oh heathcliffe!

anonymous asked:

I was in your Wuthering Heights tag, and is it true that Heathcliff is poc? I haven't read the book in a long time, but I thought he just had dark hair and eyes

oh my god Heathcliff is not a white guy. Like. no. no no. It’s mind-blowing to me that in the year of our Lord 2015 this isn’t common knowledge to every kid who’s ever taken an English class. it’s not your fault, it’s just. who is teaching this material, jesus.

his race is only alluded to, it’s never the singular point of contention between himself and the other characters, but it is another thing that sets him apart, like his brutality and his tight-lipped secrecy and his sneering genre-savvy-ness. He and Cathy are less human beings than they are wild, sharp-toothed young animals, testing their claws on one another and delighting in the fact that no one but the two of them can stand the blood. 

he’s marked as Other from the moment he appears in the novel, in almost every respect. Bronte wants Heathcliff with black eyes and black hair and dark skin and strong, hard features, and that’s what she writes. It’s just easy to assume otherwise when you’re carrying Tom Hardy and Ralph Fiennes in your head. 

Heathcliff’s exact race is a mystery, like so much about him, but if you want my reading (and I have read Wuthering Heights a truly embarrassing number of times), I believe he’s bi-racial. The book gives us enough clues to gather that his mother was probably from Northern India, originally. His father, however, was white. And we know this because Heathcliff is very obviously half-brother to Cathy and Hindley. 

So yeah. Heathcliff is one of the most iconic, finely-crafted characters in English literature, awful and sympathetic and villainous and cruel and miserably romantic–and he doesn’t look a fucking thing like Laurence Olivier.