The Comparative

The three texts with which I will discuss the theme of ‘outcasts and their fight for acceptance’ are ‘Wuthering Heights’ [WH] by Emily Bronte, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ [CN] by Mark Haddon, and ‘My Left Foot’ [MLF] by Jim Sheridan. All three texts demonstrate how outcasts can succeed in being accepted into their communities through strength of character and determination; Christy in MLF, Heathcliff and Hareton in WH, and Christopher in CN.

Communication, or a lack thereof, plays a key role in all three texts as the outcasts struggle to be understood. In MLF, Christy tries desperately to make himself understood through, at first, painting, and then later through written and spoken words. In WH, Heathcliff’s desire for revenge becomes an obsession as he bulldozes his way to power by destroying all who stand in his way. He fails to communicate and articulate the great pain and yearning he feels for his deceased Cathy, his only friend and true love as a boy. Christopher in CN too has problems with effective communication, as his inability to lie causes numerous social faux pas, such as informing the policeman of his deliberate assault and questioning his neighbours about Wellington’s death. All three outcasts struggle in their fight for acceptance in part as a result of their inability to communicate effectively.  

Our initial impressions of both Christy (MLF) and Heathcliff (WH) are that they are both a little rough and somewhat hardened by experience. Christy is wheelchair-bound and tongue-tied through cerebral palsy and Heathcliff is a gypsy child found abandoned on the streets of London and brought home by the wealthy Mr Earnshaw. Heathcliff’s attitude as he grows older becomes aggressive through neglect towards outsiders, and Christy’s language is crude and his drinking heavy. Christopher (CN) in contrast seems more fearful than aggressive, although it appears likely that he is prepared to commit violent acts in self...