Chapter 1, Summary In Chapter 1 the narrator, Mr. Lockwood, relates how he has just returned from a visit to his new landlord, Mr. Heathcliff. Lockwood, a self-described misanthropist, is renting Thrushcross Grange in an effort to get away from society following a failure at love. He had fallen in love with a “real goddess,” but when she returned his affection he acted so coldly she “persuaded her mamma to decamp. ” He finds that relative to Heathcliff, however, he is extremely sociable.
Heathcliff, “a dark skinned gypsy, in aspect, in dress, and manners a gentleman” treats his visitor with a minimum of friendliness, and the farm, Wuthering Heights, where he lives, is just as foreign and unfriendly. “Wuthering” means stormy and windy in the local dialect. Dangerous-looking dogs inhabit the bare and old-fashioned rooms, and threaten to attack Lockwood: when he calls for help Heathcliff implies that Lockwood had tried to steal something. The only other inhabitants of Wuthering Heights are an old servant named Joseph and a cook.Order now
Despite his rudeness, Lockwood finds himself drawn to Heathcliff: he describes him as being intelligent, proud and morose, an unlikely farmer, and declares his intention to visit Wuthering Heights again. The visit is set in 1801. Analysis: This chapter introduces the reader to the frame of the story: Lockwood will gradually discover the events which led to Heathcliff Ã‚Â now about forty years old Ã‚Â living all but alone in Wuthering Heights, almost completely separated from society.
The casual violence and lack of concern for manners or consideration for other people which characterizes Heathcliff here is only a hint of the atmosphere of the whole novel, in which that violence is contrasted with more genteel and civilized ways of living. Chapter 2, Summary Annoyed by the housework being done in the Grange, Lockwood pays a second visit to Wuthering Heights, arriving there just as snow begins to fall. The weather is cold, the ground is frozen, and his reception matches the bleak unfriendliness of the moors.
After yelling at the old servant Joseph to open the door, he is finally let in by a peasant-like young man. The bare kitchen is warm, and Lockwood assumes that the young and beautiful girl there is Mrs. Heathcliff. He tries to make conversation but she is consistently scornful and inhospitable, and he only embarrasses himself. There is “a kind of desperation” in her eyes. She refuses to make him tea unless Heathcliff said he could have some. The young man and Heathcliff come in for tea.
The young man behaves boorishly and seems to suspect Lockwood of making advances to the girl. Heathcliff demands tea “savagely,” and Lockwood decides he doesn"t really like him. Trying to make conversation again, Lockwood gets into trouble first assuming that the girl is Heathcliff"s wife, and then that she is married to the young man, who he supposes to be Heathcliff"s son. He is rudely corrected, and it transpires that the girl is Heathcliff"s daughter-in-law but her husband is dead, as is Heathcliff"s wife. The young man is Hareton Earnshaw.
It is snowing hard and Lockwood requests a guide so he can return home safely, but he is refused: Heathcliff considers it more important that Hareton take care of the horses. Joseph, who is evidently a religious fanatic, argues with the girl, who frightens him by pretending to be a witch. The old servant doesn"t like her reading. Lockwood, left stranded and ignored by all, tries to take a lantern, but Joseph offensively accuses him of stealing it, and sets dogs on him. Lockwood is humiliated and Heathcliff and Hareton laugh. The cook, Zillah, takes him in and says he can spend the night.
Analysis: The character of the natural setting of the novel Ã‚Â the moors, snowstorms Ã‚Â begins to develop, and it becomes clear that the bleak and harsh nature of the Yorkshire hills is not merely a geographical accident. It mirrors the roughness of those who live there: Wuthering Heights is firmly planted in its location and could not exist anywhere else. Knowing Emily BrontÃƒÂ«"s passionate fondness for her homeland, we can expect the same bleakness which Lockwood finds so disagreeable to take on a wild beauty. Its danger cannot be forgotten, though: a stranger to those parts could easily lose his way and die of exposure.
Heathcliff and the wind are similar in that they have no pity for weakness. The somewhat menacing presence of the natural world can also be seen in the large number of dogs who inhabit Wuthering Heights: they are not kept for pets. The power dynamics that Lockwood observes in the household of Wuthering Heights are extremely important. The girl is evidently frightened of Heathcliff and scornful of Hareton; Hareton behaves aggressively because he is sensitive about his status; Heathcliff does not hesitate to use his superior physical strength and impressive personality to bully other members of his household…
The different ways in which different characters try to assert themselves reveal a lot about their situation. Most notably, it is evident that sheer force usually wins out over intellectual and humane pretensions. The girl is subversive and intellectual, an unwilling occupant of the house, but she can achieve little in the way of freedom or respect. Lockwood continues to lose face: his conversational grace appears ridiculous in its new setting. Talking to Heathcliff, for example, he refers to the girl as a “beneficent fairy,” which is evidently neither true nor welcome flattery.
This chapter might be seen, then, as a continuation of the strict division between social ideals grace, pleasant social interactions, Lockwood and natural realities storms, frost, dogs, bluntness, cruelty, Hareton, Heathcliff. If the chapter was taken by itself, out of context, the reader would see that while social ideals are ridiculed, it is clear that the cruel natural world is ugly and hardly bearable. Fortunately we are only at the beginning. Chapter 3, Summary Zillah quietly shows Lockwood to a chamber which, she says, Heathcliff does not like to be occupied.
She doesn"t know why, having only lived there for a few years. Left alone, Lockwood notices the names “Catherine Earnshaw,” “Catherine Linton,” and “Catherine Heathcliff” scrawled over the window ledge. He leafs through some old books stacked there, and finds that the margins are covered in handwriting Ã‚Â evidently the child Catherine"s diary. He reads some entries which evoke a time in which Catherine and Heathcliff were playmates living together as brother and sister, and bullied by Joseph who made them listen to sermons and her older brother Hindley.
Apparently Heathcliff was a “vagabond” taken in by Catherine"s father, raised as one of the family, but when the father died Hindley made him a servant and threatened to throw him out, to Catherine"s sorrow. Lockwood then falls asleep over a religious book, and has a nightmare about a fanatical preacher leading a violent mob. Lockwood wakes up, hears that a sound in his dream had really been a branch rubbing against the window, and falls asleep again. This time he dreams that he wanted to open the window to get rid of the branch, but when he did, a “little, ice-cold hand” grabbed his arm, and a voice sobbed “let me in. He asked who it was, and was answered:
“Catherine Linton. I"m come home, I"d lost my way on the moor. ” He saw a child"s face and, afraid, drew the child"s wrist back and forth on the broken glass of the window so that blood soaked the sheets. Finally he gets free, and insists that he won"t let the creature in, even if it has been lost for twenty years, which it claims it has. He awakes screaming. Heathcliff comes in, evidently disturbed and confused, unaware that Lockwood is there. Lockwood tells him what happened, mentioning the dream and Catherine Linton"s name, which distresses and angers Heathcliff.
Lockwood goes to the kitchen, but hears on his way Heathcliff at the window, despairingly begging “Cathy” to come in “at last. ” Lockwood is embarrassed by his host"s obvious agony. Morning comes: Lockwood witnesses an argument between Heathcliff and the girl, who has been reading. He bullies her, and she resists spiritedly. Heathcliff walks Lockwood most of the way home in the snow. Analysis: It is very important that the ghost of Catherine Linton who is not perhaps simply a figment of Lockwood"s imagination appears as a child.
Of course Lockwood thinks of her as a child, since he had just read parts of her early diary, but Heathcliff also seems to find it natural that she appeared in the form she had when they were children together. Rather than progressing from childhood on to a maturer age with its different values, Heathcliff and Catherine never really “grew up. ” That is to say, everything emotionally important that ever happened in their lives either took place in childhood or follows directly from commitments made then.
They never essentially outgrew their solidarity against the oppressive forces of adult authority and religion which is described in Catherine"s diary. Thus the ghost of Catherine Linton and that is her married name tries to return to her childhood sanctuary, which Heathcliff has kept in its original state. The dominion of linear time is challenged. It might be relevant here to remember that Emily BrontÃƒÂ« kept up the imaginary world created when she was very young well into her early twenties, and hated to leave the home of her childhood.
Chapter 4, Summary Lockwood is bored and a little weak after his adventures, so he asks his housekeeper, Ellen Dean, to tell him about the history of Heathcliff and the old families of the area. She says he is very rich and a miser, though he has no family, since his son is dead. The girl living at Wuthering Heights was the daughter of Ellen"s former employers, the Lintons, and her name was Catherine. She is the daughter of the late Mrs. Catherine Linton, was born an Earnshaw, thus Hareton"s aunt. Heathcliff"s wife was Mr. Linton"s sister.
Ellen is fond of the younger Catherine, and worries about her unhappy situation. The narrative switches to Ellen"s voice, whose language is much plainer than Lockwood"s. She is a discreet narrator, rarely reminding the listener of her presence in the story, so that the events she recounts appear immediate. She says she had grown up at Wuthering Heights, and one day: Mr. Earnshaw offered to bring his children Hindley 14 years old and Catherine about 6 a present each from Liverpool, where he was going. Hindley asked for a fiddle and Catherine for a whip, because she was already an excelled horsewoman.
When Earnshaw returned, however, he brought with him a “dirty, ragged, black-haired child” found starving on the streets. The presents had been lost or broken. The boy was named Heathcliff and taken into the family, though not entirely welcomed by Mrs. Earnshaw, Ellen, and Hindley. He and Catherine became very close, and Heathcliff was Earnshaw"s favorite. Hindley felt that his place was usurped, and took it out on Heathcliff, who was hardened and stoical. For example, Earnshaw gave them each a colt, and Heathcliff chose the finest, which went lame.
Heathcliff then claimed Hindley"s, and when Hindley threw a heavy iron at him, threatened to tell Earnshaw about it if he didn"t get the colt. Analysis: A movement to the past is made in this chapter: from now on, Lockwood will gradually lose importance as the story of Heathcliff and Catherine"s childhood becomes more and more vibrant. However, we cannot entirely neglect the role Ellen Dean plays as a narrator: her personality means that the events she recounts are presented in a particular way. She is practical and, like a good housekeeper, tends to incline to the side of order.
Even when she was young, she did not really participate in the private lives of the children of Wuthering Heights, and has little access to the relationship of Heathcliff and Catherine. BrontÃƒÂ« demonstrates her versatility in using different points of view, faithfully recording her various characters" distinctive styles of speech. Considering character development, it is interesting to know what Heathcliff and Catherine were like as children since, as we have seen in the previous chapter, their essential natures remain very much the same.
Seen from Ellen"s point of view. Catherine was willful and mischievous and Heathcliff was uncomplaining but vindictive. Chapter 5, Summary Earnshaw grew old and sick Ã‚Â his wife had died some years before Ã‚Â and with his illness he became irritable and somewhat obsessed with the idea that people disliked his favorite, Heathcliff. Heathcliff was spoiled as a result, to keep Earnshaw happy, and Hindley, who became more and more bitter about the situation, was sent away to college.
Joseph, already “the wearisomest, self-righteous pharisee that ever ransacked a Bible to rake the promises to himself, and fling the curses to his neighbors,” used his religious influence over Earnshaw to distance him from his children. Earnshaw thought Hindley was worthless, and didn"t like Cathy"s playfulness and high spirits, so in his last days he was irritable and discontented. Cathy was “much too fond” of Heathcliff, and liked to order people around. Heathcliff would do anything she asked. Her father was harsh to her and she became hardened to his reproofs.
Finally Earnshaw died one evening when Cathy had been resting her head against his knee and Heathcliff was lying on the floor with his head in her lap. When she wanted to kiss her father good night, she discovered he was dead and the two children began to cry, but that night Ellen saw that they had managed to comfort each other with “better thoughts than could have hit on,” imagining the old man in heaven Analysis: The extremely close and entirely sexless relationship between Heathcliff and Cathy already manifests itself in an opposition to the outside world of parental authority and religion.
Cathy is already charming and manipulative, though her love for her father is real. The false, oppressive religion of Joseph is juxtaposed with the pure, selfless thoughts of heaven of the grieving children. The decline and death of Earnshaw highlights the bond between the physical body and the spirit. The old man had formerly been charitable, loving, and open, but his physical weakness makes him irritable and peevish: the spirit is corrupted by the body"s decline. One might remember that Emily BrontÃƒÂ« watched her brother die wretchedly of alcohol and drug abuse, having had dreams of glory and gallantry in his youth.
Chapter 6, Summary Hindley returns home, unexpectedly bringing his wife, a flighty woman with a strange fear of death and symptoms of consumption although Ellen did not at first recognize them as such. Hindley also brought home new manners and rules, and informed the servants that they would have to live in inferior quarters. Most importantly, he treated Heathcliff as a servant, stopping his education and making him work in the fields like any farmboy. Heathcliff did not mind too much at first because Cathy taught him what she learned, and worked and played with him in the fields.
They stayed away from Hindley as much as possible and grew up uncivilized and free. “It was one of their chief amusements to run away to the moors in the morning and remain there all day, and after punishment grew a mere thing to laugh at. ” One day they ran off after being punished, and at night Heathcliff returned. He told what had happened. He and Cathy ran to the Grange to see how people lived there, and they saw the Linton children Edgar and Isabella in a beautiful room, crying after an argument over who could hold the pet dog.
Amused and scornful, Heathcliff and Cathy laughed; the Lintons head them and called for their parents. After making frightening noises, the wilder children tried to escape, but a bulldog bit Cathy"s leg and refused to let go. She told Heathcliff to escape but he would not leave her, and tried to pry the animal"s jaws open. They were captured and brought inside, taken for thieves. When Edgar recognized Cathy as Miss Earnshaw, the Lintons expressed their disgust at the children"s wild manners and especially at Heathcliff"s being allowed to keep Cathy company.
They coddled Cathy and drove Heathcliff out; he left after assuring himself that Cathy was all right. When Hindley found out, he welcomed the chance to separate Cathy and Heathcliff, so Cathy was to stay for a prolonged visit with the Lintons and Heathcliff was forbidden to speak to her. Analysis: In this chapter we first hear Heathcliff speak for a long time, and it is worth noting how his language differs from the narrators we have heard so far.
He is more expressive and emotional than the other two, and his speech is more literary than Ellen"s and less artificial than Lockwood"s. He tends to speak in extreme and vibrant terms: expressing his scorn for Edgar Linton"s cowardice and whiny gentility, he says: “I"d not exchange, for a thousand lives, my condition here, for Edgar Linton"s at Thrushcross Grange Ã‚Â not if I might have the privilege of flinging Joseph off the highest gable, and painting the housefront with Hindley"s blood! He admires the comparative luxury of the Grange and recognizes its beauty, but he remains entirely devoted to the freedom of his life with Cathy, and cannot understand the selfishness of the spoiled children: “When would you catch me wishing to have what Catherine wanted? ” His devotion to Cathy is clear, and appears to him to be completely natural and inescapable: “she is so immeasurably superior to them Ã‚Â to everyone one earth; is she not, Nelly? ” He admires her for her bravery, and he possesses that same kind of bravery.
The image of the two civilized children inside the beautiful room, and the two wild children outside Ã‚Â both boy and girl of similar ages Ã‚Â makes the glass of the window take on the role of a kind of mirror. However, the “mirror” shows the complete opposite rather than the true images of those who look into it. Chapter 7, Summary Ellen resumes the narrative. Cathy stayed at Thrushcross Grange for five weeks, until Christmas. When she returned home she had been transformed into a young lady with that role"s attending restrictions: she could no longer kiss Ellen without worrying about getting flour on her dress.
She hurt Heathcliff"s feelings by comparing his darkness and dirtiness to Edgar and Isabella"s fair complexions and clean clothes. The boy had become more and more neglected in her absence, and was cruelly put in his place by Hindley and especially by Cathy"s new polish. Cathy"s affection for him had not really changed, but he did not know this and ran out, refusing to come in for supper. Ellen was sorry for him. The Linton children were invited for a Christmas party the next day. That morning Heathcliff humbly approached Ellen and asked her to “make him decent” because he was “going to be good. Ellen applauded his resolution and reassured him that Cathy still liked him and that she was grieved by his shyness. When Heathcliff said he wished he could be more like Edgar Ã‚Â fair, rich, and well-behaved Ã‚Â Ellen told him that he could be perfectly handsome without being effeminate if he smiled more and was more trustful. However, when Heathcliff, now “clean and cheerful” tried to join the party, Hindley told him to go away because he wasn"t not fit to be there. Edgar unwisely made fun of his long hair and Heathcliff threw hot applesauce at him, and was taken away and flogged by Hindley.
Cathy was angry at Edgar for mocking Heathcliff and getting him into trouble, but she didn"t want to ruin her party. She kept up a good front, but didn"t enjoy herself, thinking of Heathcliff alone and beaten. At her first chance Ã‚Â her guests gone home Ã‚Â she crept into the garret where he was confined. Later Ellen gave Heathcliff dinner, since he hadn"t eaten all day, but he ate little and when she asked what was wrong, he said he was thinking of how to avenge himself on Hindley.
At this point Ellen"s narrative breaks off and she and Lockwood briefly discuss the merits of the active and contemplative life, with Lockwood defending his lazy habits and Ellen saying she should get things done rather than just telling Lockwood the story. He persuades her to go on. Analysis: This chapter marks the end of Cathy and Heathcliff"s time of happiness and perfect understanding; Cathy has moved partly into a different sphere, that of the genteel Lintons, and Heathcliff cannot follow her.
Although Cathy still cares for the things she did when the two of them ran wild together, she is under a lot of pressure to become a lady Ã‚Â and she is vain enough to enjoy the admiration and approval she gets as such from Edgar, Hindley and his wife. Cathy"s desire to inhabit two worlds Ã‚Â the moors with Heathcliff and the parlor with Edgar Ã‚Â is a central driving force for the novel and eventually results in tragedy. Emily BrontÃƒÂ« had experienced a personal inability to remain true to herself while interacting in conventional social terms, and she chose to abandon society as a result.
Cathy takes a different route. Just as the window separated the Wuthering Heights children from the Lintons in the last chapter, a material object separates Cathy from Heathcliff in this one. The fine dress she wears is a very real boundary between the old friends: it must be sacrificed smudged, crumpled if the two of them are to be as close as they were before. It is simultaneously valuable for economic reasons its cost, for social ones the respect Cathy gets on account of it, and because of its artificial beauty.
These same categories will consistently come between Cathy and Heathcliff; he is right to recognize the dress and what it represents as a threat to his happiness. Chapter 8, Summary Hindley"s wife Frances gave birth to a child, Hareton, but did not survive long afterwards: she had consumption. Despite the doctor"s warnings, Hindley persisted in believing that she would recover, and she seemed to think so too, always saying she felt better, but she died a few weeks after Hareton"s birth.
Ellen was happy to take care of the baby. Hindley “grew desperate; his sorrow was of a kind that will not lament, he neither wept nor prayed Ã‚Â he cursed and defied Ã‚Â execrated God and man, and gave himself up to reckless dissipation. The household more or less collapsed into violent confusion Ã‚Â respectable neighbors ceased to visit, except for Edgar, entranced by Catherine. Heathcliff"s ill treatment and the bad example posed by Hindley made him “daily more notable for savage sullenness and ferocity. Catherine disliked having Edgar visit Wuthering Heights because she had a hard time behaving consistently when Edgar and Heathcliff met, or when they talked about each other.
Edgar"s presence made her feel as though she had to behave like a Linton, which was not natural for her. One day when Hindley was away Heathcliff was offended to find Catherine putting on a “silly frock,” getting ready for Edgar"s visit. He asked her to turn Edgar away and spend the time with him instead but she refused. Edgar was by this time a gentle, sweet young man.
He came and Heathcliff left, but Ellen stayed as a chaperone, much to Catherine"s annoyance. She revealed her bad character by pinching Ellen, who was glad to have a chance to show Edgar what Catherine was like, and cried out. Catherine denied having pinched her, blushing with rage, and slapped her, then slapped Edgar for reproving her. He said he would go; she, recovering her senses, asked him to stay, and he was too weak and enchanted by her stronger will to leave. Brought closer by the quarrel, the two “confessed themselves lovers. Ellen heard Hindley come home drunk, and out of precaution unloaded his gun.
Analysis: Hindley"s dissipation and moral degradation are further evidence that only a strong character can survive defeat or bereavement without becoming distorted. His desperation is a result of his lack of firm foundations: Ellen says that he “had room in his heart for only two idols Ã‚Â his wife and himself Ã‚Â he doted on both and adored one. ” Evidently it is impossible to live well when only caring about one"s self, as Hindley does following his wife"s death.
It would be interesting to compare Hindley"s behavior and Heathcliff"s in the opening chapters: both survive after the deaths of their beloveds, both live in a chaotic and cheerless Wuthering Heights… Heathcliff, however, has not entirely lost contact with Cathy: their closer relationship rules out a complete separation, even with death. Emily BrontÃƒÂ«"s obvious model for Hindley is her brother Branwell, who was sinking into dissipation when she was writing the novel.
This is the first time we really see Cathy behaving badly, showing that her temper makes the gentle and repressed life led by Edgar Linton unsuitable for her. Here she blushes with rage and in a later chapter she refers to her blood being much hotter than Edgar"s: heat and coolness of blood are markers of different personalities. The physical differences between Cathy and Edgar are linked to their moral differences, not only in their appearances but even in their blood and bones. Chapter 9, Summary Hindley came in raging drunk and swearing, and caught Ellen in the act of trying to hide Hareton in a cupboard for safety.
He threatened to make Nelly swallow a carving knife, and even tried to force it between her teeth, but she bravely said she"d rather be shot, and spat it out. Then he took up Hareton and said he would crop his ears like a dog, to make him look fiercer, then held the toddler over the banister. Hearing Heathcliff walking below, Hindley accidentally dropped the child, but fortunately Heathcliff caught him. Looking up to see what had happened, he showed “the intensest anguish at having made himself the instrument of thwarting his own revenge. In other words, he hated Hindley so much that he would have liked to have him to kill his own son by mistake. If it had been dark, Ellen said, “he would have tried to remedy the mistake by smashing Hareton"s skull on the steps. ” Hindley was somewhat shaken, and began to drink more. Heathcliff told Nelly he wished he would drink himself to death, but he had a strong constitution. In the kitchen Cathy came to talk to Nelly neither of them knew Heathcliff was in the room, sitting behind the settle. Cathy said she was unhappy, that Edgar had asked her to marry him and she had accepted.
She asked Nelly what she should have answered. Nelly asked her if and why she loved Edgar; she said she did for a variety of material reasons: “he will be rich, and I shall like to be the greatest woman in the neighborhood, and I shall be proud of such a husband. ” Nelly disapproved, and Cathy admitted that she was sure she was wrong: she had had a dream in which she went to heaven and was unhappy there because she missed Wuthering Heights. She said: “I have no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven; and if the wicked man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low, I shouldn"t have thought of it.
It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff, now; so he shall never know how I love him; and that, not because he"s handsome, Nelly, but because he"s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same, and Linton"s is as different as a moonbeam from lightening, or frost from fire. ” Heathcliff left after hearing that it would degrade her to marry him. Nelly told Cathy that Heathcliff would be deserted if she married Linton, and she indignantly said that she had no intention of deserting him, but would use her influence to raise him up.
Nelly said Edgar wouldn"t like that, to which Cathy replied: “Every Linton on the face of the earth might melt into nothing, before I could consent to forsake Heathcliff! ” Later that night it turned out that no one knew where Heathcliff was. Cathy went out in the storm looking for him, unsuccessfully Ã‚Â he had run away. The next morning she was sick. After some time she went to stay with the Lintons Ã‚Â a healthier environment Ã‚Â and she got better, while Edgar and Isabella"s parents caught the fever and died.
She returned to Wuthering Heights “saucier, and more passionate, and haughtier than ever. ” When Nelly said that Heathcliff"s disappearance was her fault, Cathy stopped speaking to her. She married Edgar three years later, and Ellen unwillingly went to live with her at the Grange, leaving Hareton to live with his wretched father. Analysis: The atmosphere of careless violence, despair, and hatred of the first part of the chapter is almost suffocating. Heathcliff"s willingness to kill an innocent child out of revenge is the first real indication of his lack of morality.
It is not altogether clear whether that lack is a partly a result of his hard childhood and miserable circumstances, or whether he was always like that. Certainly he appears quite changed from the sensitive boy who wanted to look nice so Cathy wouldn"t reject him for Edgar, and who relied trustfully on Ellen, but he had spoken of wanting to paint the house with Hindley"s blood much earlier. The definition of love for Cathy and Heathcliff is perhaps Emily BrontÃƒÂ«"s original creation. It is not based on appearances, material considerations, sexual attraction, or even virtue, but rather a shared being.
Cathy says: “I am Heathcliff Ã‚Â he"s always, always in my mind Ã‚Â not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself Ã‚Â but as my own being. ” In this sense, her decision to marry Edgar is a terrible mistake: she will be abandoning the essence of herself. Apparently the sexual aspect of love is so meaningless for her that she believes marriage to Edgar will not come between her and Heathcliff: she would not consciously abandon her soul. Heathcliff thinks otherwise, since he runs away.
Chapter 10, Summary Catherine got along surprisingly well with her husband and Isabella, mostly because they never opposed her. She had “seasons of gloom and silence” though. Edgar took these for the results of her serious illness. When they had been married almost a year, Heathcliff came back. Nelly was outside that evening and he asked her to tell Catherine someone wanted to see her. He was quite changed: a tall and athletic man who looked as though he might have been in the army, with gentlemanly manners and educated speech Ã‚Â though his eyes contained a “half-civilized ferocity. Catherine was overjoyed and didn"t understand why Edgar didn"t share her happiness. Heathcliff stayed for tea, to Edgar"s peevish irritation. It transpired that Heathcliff was staying at Wuthering Heights, paying Hindley generously, but winning his host"s money at cards. Catherine wouldn"t let Heathcliff actually hurt her brother. In the following weeks, Heathcliff often visited the Grange. Isabella Ã‚Â a “charming young lady of eighteen” Ã‚Â became infatuated with him, to her brother"s dismay.
Isabella became angry at Catherine for keeping Heathcliff to herself, and Catherine warned her that Heathcliff was a very bad person to fall in love with and that Isabella was no match for him: “I never say to him to let this or that enemy alone, because it would be ungenerous or cruel to harm them, I say Ã‚Â “Let them alone, because I should hate them to be wronged”; and he"d crush you, like a sparrow"s egg, Isabella, if he found you a troublesome charge. ” Catherine teased Isabella by telling Heathcliff in her presence that she loved him, holding her so she couldn"t run away.
Isabella scratched Catherine"s arm and managed to escape, and Heathcliff, alone with Catherine, expressed interest in marrying Isabella for her money and to enrage Edgar. He said he would beat Isabella if they were married because of her “mawkish, waxen face. ” Analysis: Catherine"s belief that Edgar should not be jealous of her relationship with Heathcliff emphasizes the difference in her mind between their relationship and ordinary love affairs. She says that she does not envy Isabella"s yellow hair, so Edgar shouldn"t hate to hear her praise Heathcliff Ã‚Â he should be glad for her sake.
The comparison with Isabella suggests that she and Heathcliff are sister and brother, which is evidently not the case Ã‚Â but it is a comparison that makes sense for her. Catherine uses natural analogies: Heathcliff would crush Isabella “like a sparrow"s egg,” he is “an arid wilderness of furze and whinstone. ” Isabella uses what seems to be a natural metaphor, but is in fact a literary one: Catherine is “a dog in the manger” for keeping Heathcliff to herself. They speak and think quite differently. There are also important differences between the ways Edgar and Catherine view class.
Edgar thinks that Heathcliff, “a runaway servant,” should be entertained in the kitchen, not the parlor. Catherine jokes that she will have two tables laid, one for the gentry Edgar and Isabella and one for the lower classes herself and Heathcliff. She and Heathcliff both call the narrator Nelly, while Edgar coldly calls her Ellen. Chapter 11, Summary Nelly went to visit Wuthering Heights to see how Hindley and Hareton were doing. She saw Hareton outside; he didn"t recognize his nurse, threw a rock at her and cursed.
She found that his father had taught him how to curse, and that he liked Heathcliff because he wouldn"t let his father curse him, and let him do what he liked. Nelly was going to go in when she saw Heathcliff there; frightened, she ran back home. The next time Heathcliff came to visit Nelly saw him kiss Isabella in the courtyard. She told Catherine what had happened, and when Heathcliff came in the two had an argument. Heathcliff said he had a right to do as he pleased, since Catherine was married to someone else.
He said: “You are welcome to torture me to death for your amusement, only, allow me to amuse myself a little in the same style. ” Nelly found Edgar, who came in while Catherine was scolding Heathcliff. He scolded her for talking to “that blackguard,” which made her very angry, since she had been defending the Lintons. Edgar ordered Heathcliff to leave, who scornfully ignored him. Edgar motioned for Nelly to fetch reinforcements, but Catherine angrily locked the door and threw the key into the fire when Edgar tried to get it from her.
Humiliated and furious, Edgar was mocked by Catherine and Heathcliff, but he hit Heathcliff and went out by the back door to get help. Nelly told Heathcliff that he would be thrown out by the male servants if he stayed, so he chose to leave. Left with Nelly, Catherine expressed her anger at her husband and her friend: ” Well, if I cannot keep Heathcliff for my friend Ã‚Â if Edgar will be mean and jealous, I"ll try to break their hearts by breaking my own. ” Edgar came in and demanded to know whether she would drop Heathcliff"s acquaintance, and she had a temper tantrum, ending with a faked “fit of frenzy. When Nelly revealed that the fit was faked, she ran to her room and refused to come out or to eat for several days. Analysis: Nelly may seem to be rather unfeeling in her unsympathetic descriptions of Catherine and Heathcliff, but her behavior to Hareton and Hindley who was her foster-brother reveals her to be extremely tender-hearted and maternal at time. She is, however, independent and spirited, and doesn"t like to be imposed on or bullied by Catherine, so she has no qualms about siding with Edgar when her mistress is being temperamental.
The strain imposed on the three characters, Catherine, Edgar, and Heathcliff, has finally resulted in outright violence: it is no longer possible to conceal the strength of the emotions involved. Edgar in particular is put into a difficult situation: the other two are used to violent expressions of feeling, but he is not, and hates having to adjust to their modes of communication. He is more committed to gentility of behavior than the others, although they now appear as well-dressed and cultivated as he does.
Heathcliff and Catherine call Edgar a “lamb,” a “sucking leverett,” and a “milk-blooded coward. ” The first two insults are natural images that might easily come to mind for people who grew up on the moors; the third again uses the “blood” imagery which appears to be central to the way they think about personality. Chapter 12, Summary After three days in which Catherine stayed alone in her room, Edgar sat in the library, and Isabella moped in the garden, Catherine called Nelly for some food and water because she thought she was dying.
She ate some toast, and was indignant to hear that Edgar wasn"t frantic about her; she said: “How strange! I thought, though everybody hated and despised each other, they could not avoid loving me Ã‚Â and they have all turned to enemies in a few hours. ” It became clear to Ellen that she was delirious, and thought she was back in her room at Wuthering Heights: she was frightened of her face in the mirror because she thought there was no mirror there. She opened the window and talked to Heathcliff who was not there as though they were children again.
Edgar came in and was much concerned for Catherine, and angry at Ellen for not having told him what was going on. Going to fetch a doctor, Ellen notices Isabella"s little dog almost dead, hanging by a handkerchief on the gate. She released it, and found Dr. Kenneth, who told her that he had seen Isabella walking for hours in the park with Heathcliff. Ellen found that Isabella had indeed disappeared, and a little boy told her he had seen the girl riding away with Heathcliff.
Ellen told Edgar, hoping he would rescue his sister from her ill-considered elopement, but he coldly refused to do so. Analysis: In her delirium, Catherine reveals that her true emotional identity has not altered since she was twelve, just before she stayed with the Lintons for some weeks. Everything that happened to her since then ceases to have any importance when she is irrational: “… supposing at twelve years old, I had been wrenched from the Heights, and every early association, and my all in all, as Heathcliff was at that time, and been converted, at a stroke, into Mrs.
Linton, the lady of Thrushcross Grange, and the wife of a stranger; an exile, and outcast, thenceforth, from what had been my world Ã‚Â You may fancy a glimpse at the abyss where I groveled! ” Time is unimportant: it has no effect on true, deep emotions in BrontÃƒÂ«"s world. Edgar"s coldness to Isabella seems to result from pique at having his sister desert him for his greatest enemy. His willingness to abandon her because of hurt pride is perhaps his greatest moral flaw.
The emphasis he places on personal dignity differentiates him from the other characters, who certainly have many faults, though not that one. Chapter 13, Summary In the next two months Catherine “encountered and conquered the worst shock of what was denominated a brain fever,” but it was realized that she would never really recover. She was pregnant. Heathcliff and Isabella returned to Wuthering Heights and Isabella wrote Edgar an apology and a plea for forgiveness, to which he gave no reply.
She later sent Ellen a longer letter asking whether Heathcliff were a demon or crazy, and recounting her experiences. She found Wuthering Heights dirty, uncivilized and unwelcoming: Joseph was rude to her, Hareton was disobedient, Hindley was a half-demented mere wreck of a man, and Heathcliff treated her cruelly. He refused to let her sleep in his room, which meant she had to stay in a tiny garret. Hindley had a pistol with a blade on it, with which he dreamed of killing Heathcliff, and Isabella coveted it for the power it would have given her. She was miserable and regretted her marriage heartily.
Analysis: Isabella"s reactions to her new home reveal her character to be lacking in moral strength: although she tries at first to stand up to Joseph and Hareton, her ladylike education has in no way prepared her for her married life, so when she loses her pride she has little else to fall back on. Her envy upon seeing Hindley"s pistol is a little disconcerting, and she herself is horrified by the realization of it. It is worth noting the unfortunate position of women who depend on men: Isabella cannot escape from Heathcliff without the help of her brother, who does not want to help her.
Surrounded by hatred and indifference, she can only fall back on Ellen"s pity. Chapter 14, Summary Ellen, distressed by Edgar"s refusal to console Isabella, went to visit her. She told Isabella and Heathcliff that Catherine would “never be what she was” and that Heathcliff should not bother her anymore. Heathcliff asserted that he would not leave her to Edgar"s lukewarm care, and that she loved him much more than her husband. He said that if he had been in Edgar"s place he would never have interfered with Catherine"s friendships, although he would kill the friend the moment she no longer cared about him.
Nelly told Heathcliff to treat Isabella better, and he expressed his scorn and hatred for her in her presence, of course. He said she knew what he was when she married him: she had seen him hanging her pet dog. Isabella told Nelly that she hated him, and Heathcliff ordered her upstairs so he could talk to Nelly. Alone with her, he told her that if she did not arrange an interview for him with Catherine, he would force his way in armed, and she agreed to give Catherine a letter from him.
Analysis: This chapter includes a great deal of criticism for the Lintons: Edgar is called proud and unfeeling, and Heathcliff says that Isabella was actually attracted by his brutality until she herself suffered from it. Edgar"s explanation of refusal to write to Isabella is extremely unconvincing: “I am not angry, but sorry to have lost her: especially as I can never think she"ll be happy. It is out of the question my going to see her, however; we are eternally divided. ” He is angry, of course, because he hates Heathcliff: presumably he is jealous of him.
Heathcliff considers Edgar"s version of love to be selfish, as though Edgar thought he owned his wife, and had a right to restrict her behavior: “Had he been in my place, and I in his, though I hated him with a hatred that turned my life to gall, I never would have raised a hand against him… I never would have banished him from her society, as long as she desired his. ” Correspondingly, he imagines Catherine"s affection for Edgar in terms of property: “He is scarcely a degree dearer to her than her dog, or her horse Ã‚Â It is not in him to be loved like me. Material wealth has always been associated with the Lintons, so Heathcliff extends ideas of property and ownership to their emotions as well.
The case of Isabella is somewhat different. Heathcliff despises her because she, knowing what he is, loves him. This is an interesting point: Heathcliff is an obviously romantic figure, with his mysterious past, dark looks, and so on. But BrontÃƒÂ« makes it very clear that although he exerts a certain amount of fascination, he should in no way be considered a “hero of romance. ” For doing so, Isabella is called a “pitiful, slavish, mean-minded brach. In this very romantic novel, one can never rely on conventional notions of romance: brutality should never be considered attractive. Even Catherine does not find Heathcliff attractive Ã‚Â she simply finds him inescapable, a part of herself.
Chapter 15, Summary The Sunday after Ellen"s visit to Wuthering Heights, while most people were at church, she gave Catherine Heathcliff"s letter. Catherine was changed by her sickness: she was beautiful in an unearthly way and her eyes “appeared always to gaze beyond, and far beyond. Ellen had left the door open, so Heathcliff walked in and Catherine eagerly waited for him to find the right room. Their reunion was bitter-sweet: though passionately glad to be reunited, Catherine accused Heathcliff of having killed her, and Heathcliff warned her not to say such things when he would be tortured by them after her death Ã‚Â besides, she had been at fault by abandoning him. She asked him to forgive her, since she would not “be at peace” after death, and he answered: “It is hard to forgive, and to look at those eyes, and feel those wasted hands… I love my murderer Ã‚Â but yours!
How can I? ” They held each other closely and wept until Ellen warned them that Linton was returning. Heathcliff wanted to leave, but Catherine insisted that he stay, since she was dying and would never see him again. He consented to stay, and “in the midst of the agitation, was sincerely glad to observe that Catherine"s arms had fallen relaxed… Ã…â€™She"s fainted or dead, so much the better… "” Linton came in, Heathcliff handed him Catherine"s body and told him to take care of her: “Unless you be a fiend, help her first Ã‚Â then you shall speak to me! He told Nelly he would wait outside for news of Catherine"s welfare, and left.
Analysis: The passionate scene between Catherine and Heathcliff in this chapter is probably the emotional climax of the novel, though it only marks the middle of the book. It reveals how little their love relies on pleasure: they can hardly be said to be fond of one another, or to enjoy each other"s company, yet they are absolutely necessary to each other. It is as though they were members of a different species from other humans, who belonged together.
Ellen says: “The two, to a cool spectator, made a strange and fearsome picture. ” Catherine tore Heathcliff"s hair, and he left bruises on her arm. Later, he “foamed like a mad dog, and gathered her to him with greedy jealousy. did not feel as though were in the company of a member of own species. ” Love appears to be a form of madness. Their emotional reunion is counteracted by Ellen"s cool and rather unsympathetic narration: their passionate conversation is interspersed with dry commentary on her part.
Chapter 16, Summary Around midnight Catherine gave birth to a daughter also named Catherine, the girl Lockwood saw at Wuthering Heights and died two hours later without recovering consciousness. No one cared for the infant at first, and Ellen wished it had been a boy: as it was, Edgar"s heir was Isabella, Heathcliff"s wife. Catherine"s corpse looked peaceful and beautiful, and Ellen decided that she had found heaven at last. She went outside to tell Heathcliff and found him leaning motionless against an ash tree.
He knew she was dead, and asked Ellen how it had happened, attempting to conceal his anguish. Ellen was not fooled, and told him that she had died peacefully, like a girl falling asleep. He cursed Catherine and begged her to haunt him so he would not be left in “this abyss, where I cannot find you!… I cannot live without my soul! ” He dashed his head against the tree and howled “like a savage beast getting goaded to death with knives and spears. ” Ellen was appalled.
On Tuesday, when Catherine"s body was still lying, strewn with flowers, in the Grange, Heathcliff took advantage of Edgar"s short absence from the chamber of death to see her again, and to replace Edgar"s hair in her locket with some of his own. Ellen noticed the change, and enclosed both locks of hair together. Catherine was buried on Friday in a green slope in a corner of the kirkyard, where, Ellen said, her husband lies now as well. Analysis: The question of what happens after death is important in this chapter and throughout the novel, though no firm answer is ever given.
Ellen is fairly sure Catherine went to heaven, “where life is boundless in its duration, and love in its sympathy, and joy in its fullness. ” But Heathcliff cannot conceive of Catherine finding peace when they are still separated, or of his living without her. In the chapter before, Catherine said: “I"m wearying to escape into that glorious world, and to be always there; not seeing it dimly through tears, and yearning for it through the walls of an aching heart, but really with it, and in it. It is as though she had in mind a heaven that was like the moors in every way but the constraints of physicality: the spirit of natural freedom. Another interesting question that comes up in this chapter is that of the value of self-control and reserve: Heathcliff tries to conceal his weakness and grief, holding “a silent combat with his inward agony,” but Ellen considers it to be worse than useless, since he only tempts God to wring his “heart and nerves.
” Yet we know that Emily herself was almost incredibly elf-disciplined, refusing to alter her everyday life even when suffering a mortal illness. Chapter 17, Summary The next day, while Ellen was rocking the baby, Isabella came in laughing giddily. She was pale and her face was cut; her thin silk dress was torn by briars. She asked Ellen to call the carriage for the nearest town, Gimmerton, since she was escaping from her husband, and to have a maid get some clothes ready. Then she allowed Ellen to give her dry clothes and bind up the wound.
Isabella tried to destroy her wedding-ring, and told what had happened to her in the last days: She said that she hated Heathcliff so much that she could feel no compassion for him even when he was in agony following Catherine"s death. He hadn"t eaten for days, and spent his time at Wuthering Heights in his room, “praying like a methodist; only the deity he implored was senseless dust and ashes. ” The evening before, Isabella sat reading while Hindley drank morosely.
When they heard Heathcliff returning from his watch over Catherine"s grave, Hindley told Isabella he would lock Heathcliff out, and try to kill him with his bladed pistol if he came in. Isabella would have liked Heathcliff to die, but refused to help in the scheme, so when Heathcliff knocked she refused to let him in, saying: “If I were you, I"d go stretch myself over her grave, and die like a faithful dog… The world is not worth living in now, is it? ” Hindley came close to the window to kill Heathcliff, but the latter grabbed the weapon so the blade shut on Hindley"s wrist; then he forced his way in.
He kicked and trampled Hindley, who had fainted from the loss of blood, then roughly bound up the wound, and told Joseph and Isabella to clean up the blood. The next morning when Isabella came down, Hindley “was sitting by the fire, deadly sick; his evil genius, almost as gaunt and ghastly, leant by the chimney. ” After eating breakfast by herself, she told Hindley how he had been kicked when he was down, and mocked Heathcliff for having so mistreated his beloved"s brother, saying to Hindley: “everyone knows your sister would have been living now, had it not been for Mr.
Heathcliff. ” Heathcliff was so miserable that he could hardly retaliate, so Isabella went on and said that if Catherine had married him, he would have beaten her the way he beat Hindley. Heathcliff threw a knife at her, and she fled, knocking down Hareton, “who was hanging a litter of puppies from a chairback in the doorway. ” She ran to the Grange. That morning, she left, never to return to the neighborhood again. Later, in her new home, in the south, she gave birth to a son, named Linton, “an ailing, peevish creature,” and died when he was about 12 years old.
Edgar grew resigned to Catherine"s death, and loved his daughter, who he called Cathy, very much. Ellen points out the difference between his behavior and Hindley"s in a similar situation. Hindley died, “drunk as a lord,” about six months after Catherine. He was just 27, meaning that Catherine had been 19, Heathcliff was 20, and Edgar was 21. Ellen grieved deeply for him Ã‚Â they had been the same age and were brought up together. She made sure he was decently buried.
She wanted to take Hareton back to the Grange, but Heathcliff said he would keep him, to degrade him as much as he himself had been degraded. If Edgar insisted on taking Hareton, Heathcliff said he would claim his own son Linton, so Ellen gave the idea up. Analysis: Isabella"s tendency toward impotent cruelty shows up again in the character of her son Linton. The question of how cruelty operates in powerful versus weak characters was evidently of great interest to BrontÃƒÂ« and might bear further investigation.
One obvious point is that weakness is not simply equated with goodness, as is often the case in the Christian tradition. Although the weak are unable to physically express their hatred, they can, like Isabella, use verbal taunts to hurt their enemies emotionally. Ellen"s particular grief for Hindley emphasizes the way characters are paired in the novel: Ellen and Hindley, Heathcliff and Catherine, Edgar and Isabella. These pairs all grew up together Ellen"s mother was Hindley"s wet-nurse, so they literally shared mother"s milk under somewhat fraternal conditions.
BrontÃƒÂ«"s careful structure and concern with symmetry are important presences throughout the novel, and form an interesting contrast with what might be considered the chaotic emotions that seem to prevail. Chapter 18, Summary In the next twelve years, Cathy Linton grew up to be “the most winning thing that ever brought sunshine into a desolate house. ” She was fair like a Linton, except for her mother"s dark eyes. High spirited but gentle, she seemed to combine the good qualities of both the Lintons and the Earnshaws, though she was a little saucy and was used to getting her way.
Her father kept her within the park of the Grange, but she dreamed of going to see some cliffs, Penistone Crags, not too far away, on the moor. When Isabella fell ill, she wrote to Edgar to come visit her, so he was gone for three weeks. One day Cathy asked Ellen to give her some food for a ramble around the grounds Ã‚Â she was pretending to be an Arabian merchant going across the desert with her caravan of a pony and three dogs. She left the grounds, however, and later Ellen went after her on the road to Penistone Crags, which passed Wuthering Heights.
She found Cathy safe and sound there Ã‚Â Heathcliff wasn"t home, and the housekeeper had taken her in Ã‚Â chattering to Hareton, now 18 years old. She offended Hareton though by asking whether he was the master"s son, and when he said he wasn"t, saying he was a servant. The housekeeper told her he was her cousin, which made her cry. Hareton offered her a puppy to console her, which she refused. Ellen told her that her father didn"t want her to go to Wuthering Heights, and asked her not to tell him of her negligence, to which she agreed.
Analysis: We have moved from the violent and discordant world of adulthood back to harmonious childhood. The abrupt contrast between the hellish last chapters and this relatively serene and innocent one could hardly be more clear. One might even suppose that we are witnessing a second chance: the story of the first Catherine ended in grief and bloodshed, but perhaps that of her daughter will be more serene. Indeed there are many similarities between the first Catherine and her daughter, although the mother"s bad qualities are minimized in the younger Cathy.
Although Cathy appears to display more Linton characteristics than Earnshaw ones, her desire to explore the wilderness outside of the Grange"s park links her strongly to the wild, Wuthering Heights clan. Her sauciness also reminds the reader of her mother, as does her aristocratic unwillingness to be related to Hareton just as Catherine thought it would degrade her to marry Heathcliff, who was at the time very much like Hareton. Chapter 19, Summary Isabella died, and Edgar returned home with his half-orphaned nephew, Linton, a “pale, delicate, effeminate, boy,” with a “sickly peevishness” in his appearance.
Cathy was excited to see her cousin, and took to babying him when she saw that he was sickly and childish. That very evening, Joseph came and demanded the child for Heathcliff Ã‚Â he was after all his son. Ellen told him Edgar was asleep, but he went into his room and insisted on being given Linton. Edgar wished to keep Linton at the Grange, but could not legally claim him, so he could only put it off till the next morning. Analysis: The contrast between Cathy and her cousin Linton is very strong: she is energetic and warm-hearted, whereas he is limp and parasitic.
It is interesting to see how BrontÃƒÂ« distributes conventionally masculine and feminine characteristics among her characters without regard for gender. Linton is pointedly described as being delicate, with fine flaxen hair even lighter than Cathy"s: he is the helpless “lady” of the two, who cries when he doesn"t get his way, and allows himself to be “courted” by his female cousin. Chapter 20, Summary The next morning, Ellen woke Linton early and took him over to Wuthering Heights, promising dishonestly that it was only for a little while.
He was surprised to hear he had a father, since Isabella had never spoken of Heathcliff. When they arrived there, Heathcliff and Joseph expressed their contempt for the delicate boy, and Heathcliff told him that his mother was a “wicked slut” not to tell him about his father. Ellen asked Heathcliff to be kind to the boy, and he said that he would indeed have him carefully tended, mostly because Linton was heir to the Grange, so he wanted him to live at least until Edgar was dead and he inherited. So when Linton refused to eat the homely oatmeal Joseph offered him, Heathcliff ordered that he be given some toast or something instead.
When Ellen left, Linton cried for her not to leave him there. Analysis: BrontÃƒÂ«"s novel is full of innocent children who are abandoned into a cold and unfriendly world: Heathcliff as an orphan in Liverpool, Hindley sent away to college, Heathcliff and Cathy again at Earnshaw"s death, Hareton, Linton, Cathy Linton at her father"s death… The effect of this is that each character, no matter how ruthless and cruel he or she may be, contains at their core the same wish for love and the same loneliness as their former childlike selves.
We are never able to judge any character entirely objectively because we know this. Linton is a particularly interesting example of this because he is unpleasant, even as a child, yet one can only pity him for being abruptly introduced to an unloving father and a home where everyone despises him. Chapter 21, Summary Cathy missed her cousin when she woke up that morning, but time made her forget him. Linton grew up to be a selfish and disagreeable boy, continually complaining about his health.
On Cathy"s sixteenth birthday she and Ellen went out on the moors, and strayed onto Heathcliff"s land, where he found them. He invited them to come to Wuthering Heights, telling Ellen that he wanted Linton and Cathy to marry so he would be doubly sure of inheriting the Grange. Cathy was glad to see her cousin, though she was somewhat taken back by his invalidish behavior. Hareton, at Heathcliff"s request, showed her around the farm, though he was shy of her and she teased him unkindly. Linton mocked his ignorance also, showing himself to be mean-spirited.
Later Cathy told her father where she had been, and asked him why he had not allowed the cousins to see each other Heathcliff had told her that Edgar was still angry at him because he thought him too poor to marry Isabella. Edgar told her of Heathcliff"s wickedness, and forbade her to return to Wuthering Heights. She was unhappy, and began a secret correspondence with Linton. By the time Ellen discovered it, they were writing love letters Ã‚Â affected ones on Linton"s part. Ellen confronted Cathy and burned the letters, saying she would tell her father if she continued.
Analysis: The issue of trespassing is important in this chapter, and recalls the scene in chapter 6, where Cathy Earnshaw and Heathcliff are caught on the Lintons" land. This chapter is almost an inversion of the other one, especially considering that this Cathy will marry Linton, just as the earlier Cathy married Edgar. In a static world, everyone stays on their own property and the marriages that result from trespassing would not take place. The emphasis on land and privacy might be taken for a metaphor for more emotional intimacy: in order for two people to become close, one must in some way trespass.
On the other hand, the marriages that result from trespassing are unhappy, while that which results from exploration see Cathy Linton"s first meeting with Hareton in chapter 18 are happy. The essential point, of course, is that the definition of trespassing versus innocent exploration depends entirely on the attitude taken by the people whose lands are being entered. Often in literature, land and women are identified with one another, so that trespassing could be taken for a metaphor for sex. This hardly seems to be the case in Wuthering Heights: Linton and Edgar remain passively in their places while their future wives come to see them.
This is coherent with the general identification of the male Lintons with female characteristics. Isabella, both biologically female and Lintonishly feminine, meets Heathcliff when he unwelcomedly intrudes at the Grange. Chapter 22, Summary That fall Edgar caught a cold which confined him to the house all winter. Cathy grew sadder after the end of her little romance, and told Ellen that she was afraid of being alone when her father and Ellen were dead. Taking a walk, Cathy ended up briefly stranded outside of the wall of the park, when Heathcliff rode by.
He told her that Linton was dying of a broken heart, and that she would visit him if she were kind. Ellen told her that Heathcliff was probably lying and couldn"t be trusted, but the next day she was persuaded to accompany Cathy to Wuthering Heights. Analysis: See the analysis of chapter 20 for a discussion of children left alone in the world Ã‚Â Cathy Linton is not the only one to fear a parent"s death, nor is her fear unjustified. In her case, she is particularly vulnerable because, as a girl, she will not inherit her father"s estate: her father"s nephew Linton will.
This is a result not of Edgar"s lack of regard for his daughter, but of legal conventions. Emily BrontÃƒÂ« had good reasons to be especially conscious of the position of orphaned children: although her father outlived her, her mother died when she was very young like Cathy"s and her older sister Maria who took the place of the mother died in childhood of tuberculosis. See chapter 12 for further evidence of the importance of abandoned children: in her delirium Catherine remembers a nest of baby birds who died of starvation “little skeletons” after Heathcliff caught their mother.
She had been greatly grieved by the sight and made Heathcliff promise never to kill a mother bird again. This may actually be the key to Emily BrontÃƒÂ«"s continual emphasis on that theme: she was deeply familiar with the natural world, in which orphaned baby animals stand next to no chance of survival. Chapter 23, Summary Cathy and Ellen heard “a peevish voice” calling Joseph for more hot coals for the fire; they went in to see Linton, who greeted them rather ungraciously: “No Ã‚Â don"t kiss me. It takes my breath Ã‚Â dear me! He complained that writing to her had been very tiring, and that the servants didn"t take care of him as they ought, and that he hated them. He said that he wished she would marry him, because wives always loved their husbands, upon which she answered that they did not always do so. Her father had told her that Isabella had not loved Heathcliff. Linton was angry and answered that Catherine"s mother hadn"t loved her father, but Heathcliff. She pushed his chair and he coughed for a long time, for which she was very sorry.
He took advantage of her regret and bullied her like a true hypochondriac, and made her promise to return the next day. When Cathy and Ellen were on their way home, Ellen expressed her disapproval of Linton and said he would die young Ã‚Â “small loss. ” Cathy should on no account marry him. Cathy was not so sure he would die, and was much more friendly toward him. Ellen caught a cold and was confined to her room. Cathy spent almost all her time taking care of her and Edgar, but she was free in the evenings: then, as Ellen later found out, she visited Linton.
Analysis: In this chapter BrontÃƒÂ« explores the intersections between love and power: to what extent does Linton want Cathy to love him freely, and to what extent does he want to have husbandly control over her? It would appear that for him, love is just another form of control: he uses Cathy"s love for him to make her do whatever he likes, without any consideration for her own happiness. Is this form of love/control essentially linked to marriage? That might well be the case: see how the relationship between the older Catherine and her husband Edgar breaks down when he tries to control her friendships.
However Edgar unmistakably loved Catherine, whereas Linton seems to care for no one but himself. Marriage in Wuthering Heights is not an unqualified good: it must be accompanied by unselfish love on both sides in order to work. Chapter 24, Summary Three weeks later, Ellen was much better, and discovered Cathy"s evening visits to Wuthering Heights. Cathy told her what had happened: She had bribed a servant with her books, to take care of saddling her pony and not telling about her escapades.
On her second visit, she and Linton had had an argument about the best way of spending a summer afternoon: he wanted to lie in the heather and dream it away, and she wanted to rock in a treetop among the birds: “He wanted to lie in an ecstasy of peace; I wanted all to sparkle, and dance in a glorious jubilee. ” They made up and played ball until Linton was unhappy because he always lost, but she consoled him for that. She looked forward to her next visit, but that day when she arrived she met Hareton, who showed her how he had learned to read his name. She mocked him for it.
Here Ellen rebuked Cathy for having been so rude to her cousin. Cathy was surprised, and went on. When she was reading to Linton, Hareton came in angrily and ordered them into the kitchen. Shut out of his favorite room, Linton staged a frightening temper tantrum, wearing an expression of “frantic, powerless fury” and shrieking that he would kill Hareton. Joseph pointed out that he was showing his father"s character. Linton coughed blood and fainted; Cathy fetched Zillah. Hareton carried the boy upstairs but wouldn"t let Cathy follow; she cried and he was sorry for it.
She struck him with her whip and rode home. On the third day Linton refused to speak to her except to blame her for the events of the preceding day, and she left resolving not to return. She did, however, and took Linton to task for being so rude. He admitted that he was worthless, but said that she was much happier than he and should make allowances. Heathcliff hated him, and he was very unhappy. He loved her however. Cathy was sorry Linton had such a distorted nature, and felt she had an obligation to be a friend to him.
She had noticed that Heathcliff avoided her, and rebuked Linton when he did not behave well to her. Ellen told Edgar about the visits, and he forbade Cathy to return to Wuthering Heights, but wrote to Linton that he could come to the Grange if he liked. Analysis: The contrast between Linton and Cathy"s ideas of how to spend an afternoon sums up the differences in their characters. The juxtaposition of Linton"s peaceful ideal afternoon with his furious temper tantrum is somewhat disconcerting, however. Are passivity and laziness essentially related to hatred and fury in the novel?
This hardly seems possible, considering Edgar"s peaceful and generally loving character. However, the juxtaposition serves to remind us that weakness and goodness are not to be carelessly equated. Chapter 25, Summary Ellen points out to Lockwood that these events only happened the year before, and she hints that Lockwood might become interested in Cathy, who is not happy at Wuthering Heights. Then she went on with the narrative: Edgar asked Ellen what Linton was like, and she told him that he was delicate and had little of his father in him Ã‚Â Cathy would probably be able to control him if they married.
Edgar admitted that he was worried about what would happen to Cathy if he were to die. As spring advanced Edgar resumed his walks, but although Cathy took his flushed cheeks and bright eyes for health, Ellen was not so sure. He wrote again to Linton, asking to see him. Linton answered that his father refused to let him visit the Grange, but that he hoped to meet Edgar outside sometime. He also wrote that he would like to see Cathy again, and that his health was improved. Edgar could not consent, because he could not walk very far, but the two began a correspondence.
Linton wrote well, without complaining since Heathcliff carefully censured his lettersand eventually Edgar agreed to Cathy"s going to meet Linton on the moors, with Ellen"s supervision. Edgar wished Cathy to marry Linton so she would not have to leave the Grange when he died Ã‚Â but he would not have wished it if he knew that Linton was dying as fast as he was. Analysis: The presence of tuberculosis in such a prominent way in the novel is rather disturbing, considering that the illness was soon to be the cause of Emily"s own death.
Cathy fools herself into thinking that Edgar is getting better, just as Emily and Frances, Hindley"s wife tried hard to pretend that she was not sick. Death is a mysterious and yet unavoidable presence: you cannot simply expect people to live until they are old. A cold can turn into a fever, which can turn into consumption, ending in the grave. Life is not predictable in Wuthering Heights, just as it was not in Emily BrontÃƒÂ«"s own world. Chapter 26, Summary When Ellen and Cathy rode to meet Linton they had to go quite close to Wuthering Heights to find him.
He was evidently very ill, though he said he was better: “his large blue eyes wandered timidly over her; the hollowness round them, transforming to haggard wildness, the languid expression they once possessed. ” Linton had a hard time making conversation with Cathy, and was clearly not enjoying their talk, so she said she would leave. Surprisingly Linton then looked frightenedly towards Wuthering Heights and begged her to stay longer, and to tell her father he was in “tolerable health. ” She half-heartedly agreed, and he soon fell into some kind of slumber. He woke suddenly and seemed to be terrified that his father might come.
Soon later Cathy and Ellen returned home, perplexed by his strange behavior. Analysis: This chapter reveals an extent of cruelty in Heathcliff which has not been seen before: he has no reason to hate his son beyond the fact that he is a Linton, and yet he is perfectly willing to fill his last moments with terror and despair. Linton"s life is singularly hopeless, and the mere fact that BrontÃƒÂ« invented it testifies to the real darkness of her vision. Linton is unlikable and dislikes everyone; he will die without ever achieving anything worthwhile or good, and probably without ever having been happy.
A more pointless, bitter existence could hardly be imagined. Heathcliff"s appears energetic and joyful by contrast. Chapter 27, Summary A week later they were to visit Linton again. Edgar was much sicker, and Cathy didn"t want to leave him, but he encouraged her relationship with Linton, thinking to ensure his daughter"s welfare thereby. Linton “received us with greater animation on this occasion; not the animation of high spirits though, nor yet of joy; it looked more like fear. ” Cathy was angry that she had had to leave her father, and she was disgusted by Linton"s abject admissions of terror.
Heathcliff came upon them, and asked Ellen how much longer Edgar had to live: he was worried that Linton would die before him. He then ordered Linton to get up and take Cathy in the house, which he did, against Cathy"s will: “Linton… implored her to accompany him, with a frantic importunity that admitted no denial. ” Heathcliff pushed Ellen into the house as well and locked the door behind them. When Cathy protested that she must get home to her father he slapped her brutally, and made it clear that she wouldn"t leave Wuthering Heights until she married Linton.
Linton showed his true character: as Heathcliff said, “He"ll undertake to torture any number of cats if their teeth be drawn, and their claws pared. ” Cathy and Heathcliff declared their mutual hatred. Ellen remained imprisoned for five days with Hareton as her jailer: he gave her food but refused to speak to her beyond what was necessary. She did not know what was happening to Cathy. Analysis: Further evidence of Linton"s bad character. Cathy"s pity and kindness are the causes of her misfortunes here: in the presence of Heathcliff"s intelligent hatred, her good qualities only serve to leave her vulnerable to his plans.
Chapter 28, Summary On the fifth afternoon of the captivity, Zillah released Ellen, and said that Heathcliff said she could go home and that Catherine would follow in time to attend her father"s funeral. He was not dead yet, but soon would be. Ellen asked Linton where Catherine was, and he answered that she was shut upstairs, that they were married, and that he was glad she was being treated harshly. Apparently he was piqued that she hadn"t wished to marry him. He was annoyed by her crying, and was glad when Heathcliff struck her.
Ellen rebuked him for his selfishness and unkindness, and went to the Grange to get help. Edgar was glad to hear his daughter was safe, and would be home soon: he was almost dead, at the age of 39. The men sent to Wuthering Heights to rescue Catherine returned without her, having believed Heathcliff"s tale that she was too sick to travel. Very early the next morning, however, Catherine came back by herself, joyful to hear that her father was still alive. She had forced Linton to help her escape. Ellen asked her to say she would be happy with Linton, for Edgar"s sake, to which she agreed.
Edgar died “blissfully. ” Catherine was stony-eyed with grief. Heathcliff"s lawyer gave all the servants but Ellen notice to quit, and hurried the funeral. Analysis: Part of Heathcliff"s revenge fails: Catherine manages to escape in time to see her father again, and Edgar dies happy. Given the great importance attached to last words and dying moments, this is a notable victory for Catherine, and an essential one if all of Heathcliff"s evil work is to be undone in the end. If Edgar had died miserably, no amount of happy endings could ever have undone that tragedy.
Chapter 29, Summary Heathcliff came to the Grange to fetch Catherine to Wuthering Heights to take care of Linton, who was dying in terror of his father, and because he wanted to get a tenant for the Grange Mr. Lockwood, as it turned out. Catherine agreed to go, because Linton was all she had to love, and left the room. Heathcliff, in a strange mood, told Ellen what he had done the night before. He had bribed the sexton who was digging Edgar"s grave to uncover his Catherine"s coffin, so he could see her face again Ã‚Â he said it was hers yet.
The sexton told him that the face would change if air blew on it, so he tore himself away from contemplating it, and struck one side of the coffin loose and bribed the sexton to put his body in with Catherine"s when he was dead. Ellen was shocked, and scolded him for disturbing the dead, at which he replied that on the contrary she had haunted him night and day for eighteen years, and Ã‚Â “yesternight, I was tranquil. I dreamt I was sleeping my last sleep, by that sleeper, with my heart stopped, and my cheek frozen against hers. Then Heathcliff told Ellen what he had done the night after Catherine"s burial the night he beat up Hindley. He had gone to the kirkyard and dug up the coffin “to have her in his arms again,” but while he was wrenching at the screws he suddenly felt sure of her living presence. He was consoled, but tortured as well: from that night for 18 years he constantly felt as though he could almost see her, but not quite. He tried sleeping in her room, but constantly opened his eyes to see if she were there, he felt so sure she was.
Heathcliff finished his narrative, and Catherine sadly bade farewell to Ellen. Analysis: Heathcliff"s continued love for Catherine"s dead body after 18 years emphasizes the physical, yet non-physical nature of their relationship. It would appear to physical in a way that transcends conventional ideas about sexuality: Heathcliff was pleased to see that Catherine still looked like herself after 18 years, but claimed that if she had been “dissolved into earth, or worse,” he would have been no less comforted by the proximity to her body.
His idea of heaven is to be utterly and completely unified with Catherine in body, as in spirit Ã‚Â and this could just as well mean to disintegrate into dust together as to be joined in the act of love. The difference between these two forms of union is that while people are joined during sexual intercourse, their separate bodies and identities remain clear. But in Heathcliff and Catherine"s corporeal and spiritual unity, as envisaged by him, an observer would not be able to tell “which is which. ” This is like Catherine"s statement in chapter 9 that she was Heathcliff.
Chapter 30, Summary Ellen has now more or less reached the present time in her narrative, and tells Lockwood what Zillah told her about Catherine"s reception at Wuthering Heights. She spent all her time in Linton"s room, and when she came out she asked Heathcliff to call a doctor, because Linton was very sick. Heathcliff replied: “We know that! But his life is not worth a farthing. ” Catherine was thus left to care for her dying cousin all by herself Zillah, Hareton and Joseph would not help her and became haggard and bewildered from lack of sleep.
Finally Linton died, and when Heathcliff asked Catherine how she felt, she said: “He"s safe and I"m free. I should feel very well Ã‚Â but you have left me so long to struggle against death, alone, that I feel and see only death! I feel like death! ” Hareton was sorry for her. Catherine was ill for the next two weeks. Heathcliff informed her that Linton had left all of his and his wife"s property to himself. One day when Heathcliff was out, Catherine came downstairs. Hareton made shy, friendly advances, which she angrily rejected.
He asked Zillah to ask her to read for them he was illiterate, but wished to learn but she refused on the grounds that she had been forsaken during Linton"s illness, and had no reason to care for Hareton or Zillah. Hareton said that he had in fact asked Heathcliff to be allowed to relieve her of some of her duties, but was denied. She was in no mood to forgive, however, and thus became the unfriendly Catherine Lockwood had seen at Wuthering Heights. According to Zillah: “She"ll snap at the master himself, and as good dares him to thrash her; and the more hurt she gets, the more venomous she grows. Ellen wanted to get a cottage and live there with Catherine, but Heathcliff would not permit it. Analysis: See the analysis of the next chapter for a discussion of the roles of education and books in the relationship of Catherine and Hareton. It is generally considered that difficult and painful experiences are also, in a way, valuable as “growing experiences. ” If this is the case, Catherine"s short marriage to Linton should have caused her to grow a great deal from the happy and innocent girl she had formerly been. Instead, it appears to make her venomous and permanently angry.
However, one might make the argument that the humbling she undergoes is necessary because, without it, she never would have bothered to see the good in Hareton. Is the time Catherine spends caring for Linton a complete loss, or does she learn anything valuable from it? This is related to the question of whether Wuthering Heights is a Christian novel: in Christian theology, suffering is usually considered ennobling. Chapter 31, Summary Lockwood went to Wuthering Heights to see Heathcliff and tell him he didn"t want to stay at the Grange any longer.
He noticed that Hareton was “as handsome a rustic as need be seen. ” He gave Catherine a note from Ellen; she thought it was from him at first and when he made it clear that it wasn"t, Hareton snatched it away, saying that Heathcliff should look at it first he wasn"t home yet. Catherine tried to hide her tears, but Hareton noticed and let the letter drop beside her seat. She read it and expressed her longing for freedom, telling Lockwood that she couldn"t even write Ellen back because Heathcliff had destroyed her books. Hareton had all the other books in the house: he had been trying to read.
Catherine mocked him for his clumsy attempts at self-education: “Those books, both prose and verse, were consecrated to me by other associations, and I hate to hear them debased and profaned in his mouth! ” Poor Hareton fetched the books and threw them into her lap, saying he didn"t want to think about them any longer. She persisted in her mockery, reading aloud in “the drawling tone of a beginner,” following which he slapped her and threw the books into the fire. Lockwood “read in his countenance what anguish it was to offer that sacrifice to spleen. Heathcliff came in and Hareton left, “to enjoy his grief and anger in solitude. ” Heathcliff moodily confided to Lockwood that Hareton reminded him much more of Catherine, than of Hindley. He also told Lockwood that he would still have to pay his full rent even if he left the Grange, to which Lockwood, insulted, agreed. Heathcliff invited Lockwood to dinner, and informed Catherine that she could eat with Joseph in the kitchen.
Lockwood ate the cheerless meal and left, contemplating the possibility of his courting Catherine and going together “into the stirring atmosphere of the town. Analysis: Books take on an important role in the relationship between Hareton and Catherine: Hareton"s illiteracy is the most glaring result of Heathcliff"s treatment of him, designed to reduce him to rustic ignorance. Hareton never rebels against Heathcliff, but his contact with Catherine, who was carefully educated by her father, makes him extremely conscious of his shortcomings. One might wonder how great the value of book-learning is, in the novel: Linton, who can read, is obviously inferior to his more vigorous cousin Hareton, which might lead one to think that BrontÃƒÂ« is championing native energy over imposed refinement.
However, for Catherine and Hareton to become close it is absolutely necessary for Hareton to wish to educate himself, and in the last chapter their love will be symbolized in the joint reading of a book. Similarly, Heathcliff"s youthful degradation really takes place when he ceases to follow Catherine"s lessons. It appears that book-learning is not enough to make a person good, but that the lack of it is enough to make someone ridiculous. It is, in short, an essential quality.
Chapter 32, Summary In the fall of 1802, later that year, Lockwood returned to the Grange because he was passing through the area on a hunting trip. He found the Grange more or less empty: Ellen was at Wuthering Heights, and an old woman had replaced her. Lockwood visited Wuthering Heights to see what had changed. He noticed flowers growing around the old farm house, and overheard a pleasant lesson from indoors. Catherine, sounding “sweet as a silver bell,” was teaching Hareton, now respectably dressed. The lesson was interspersed with kisses and very kind words.
Lockwood was loth to disturb them, and went around to the kitchen to find Nelly singing and Joseph complaining as usual. She was glad to see Lockwood and told them that he would have to settle the rent with her, since she was acting for Catherine. Heathcliff had been dead for three months. She told him what had happened. A fortnight after Lockwood left the Grange the previous spring, Nelly was summoned to Wuthering Heights, where she gladly went Ã‚Â her job was to keep Catherine out of Heathcliff"s way. She was pleased to see Catherine, but sorry at the way she had changed.
One day when they and Hareton were sitting in the kitchen, Catherine grew tired of the animosity between herself and the young man, and offered him a book, which he refused. She left it close to him, but he never touched it. Hareton was injured in a shooting accident in March, and since Heathcliff didn"t like to see him, he spent a lot of time sitting in the kitchen, where Catherine found many reasons to go. Finally her efforts at reconciliation succeeded, and they became loving friends, much to Joseph"s indignation.
Analysis: The union of Hareton and Catherine should not surprise the reader, who has been following the symmetrical unfolding of the novel. At the beginning of the story, Hindley and Catherine inhabited Wuthering Heights and Edgar and Isabella inhabited the Grange. The obvious symmetrical plot would have been: Hindley married Isabella producing “Hareton,” while Catherine married Edgar, producing Cathy. Then Cathy and “Hareton” would marry, unifying the two houses completely, and Cathy Linton would become Catherine Earnshaw, taking on her mother"s maiden name.
The harmony of this plot was disrupted by the introduction of Heathcliff, an alien figure who destroyed the potential marital balance. By the end of the novel, however, Heathcliff and his issue will be eliminated, and the unifying marriage between the families of Linton and Earnshaw will take place after all, as though Heathcliff had never existed. Hindley, sent away to college because of the outsider, Heathcliff, married an outsider, Frances, producing Hareton Earnshaw. Catherine Earnshaw married Edgar Linton, producing Cathy Linton, and Isabella Linton married Heathcliff, producing Linton Heathcliff.
The union between Isabella and Heathcliff should not have taken place, so naturally Linton Heathcliff was a mistake, an unlikable and weakly being. Cathy Linton"s marriage to Linton Heathcliff was likewise a mistake, forced by Heathcliff, and in order to preserve the integrity of the pattern, their marriage was childless. No descendants of Heathcliff must remain by the end of the novel, for harmony to be reinstated. Linton"s death eliminated a character who should never have existed, and freed Catherine to marry again.
In fact, the nature of their marriage made it particularly easy to forget: it seems unthinkable that the marriage could have been consummated. When Cathy Heathcliff marries Hareton, thus becoming Cathy Earnshaw, she will be a virgin. With the death of Heathcliff and his offspring, and the unifying marriage of the Linton and Earnshaw heirs, it is almost as though Heathcliff had never existed. In this analysis we looked at one alternate plot Ã‚Â that in which Heathcliff never entered the novel. It is not, however, the only possible alternate plot.
The other obvious one would involve the elimination in terms of offspring of Edgar Linton, or of both Edgar and Hindley. Then Heathcliff would marry Catherine, and Isabella could marry Hindley or an outsider or not at all, and Edgar could marry an outsider or not at all. It is evidently less elegant than the other alternate plot, involving more outsiders and no unification of the two houses Ã‚Â but emotional integrity would have been preserved in the unification of Catherine and Heathcliff. As it s, that unification is finally attained when Heathcliff"s body merges with Catherine"s as they disintegrate into dust, and their spirits roam the moors together. Another beauty of BrontÃƒÂ«"s plot is that the three names that Lockwood reads when he stays at Wuthering Heights in chapter 3 Ã‚Â Catherine Earnshaw, Catherine Heathcliff, and Catherine Linton Ã‚Â are all taken on at one point or another by the two Catherines. The first Catherine is named Earnshaw, then Linton when she marries Edgar, then perhaps Heathcliff when she and Heathcliff are finally united in the grave.
Her daughter is first Catherine Linton, then Heathcliff, then Earnshaw. Chapter 33, Summary The next morning Ellen found Catherine with Hareton in the garden, planning a flower garden in the middle of Joseph"s cherished currant bushes. She warned them that they would be punished, but Hareton said he would take the blame. At tea, Catherine was careful not to talk to Hareton too much, but she put flowers into his porridge, which made him laugh, which made Heathcliff angry. He assumed Catherine had laughed, but Hareton quietly admitted his fault.
Joseph came in and incoherently bewailed the fate of his bushes. Hareton said he was uprooted some, but would plant them again, and Catherine said it had been at her instigation. Heathcliff called her an “insolent slut,” and she accused him of having stolen her land and Hareton"s. Heathcliff commanded Hareton to throw her out Ã‚Â the poor boy was torn between his two loyalties and tried to persuade Catherine to leave. Heathcliff seemed “ready to tear Catherine to pieces” when he suddenly calmed down and told everyone to leave.
Later Hareton asked Catherine not to accuse Heathcliff in front of him, and she understood his position and refrained from insulting her oppressor from then on. Ellen was glad to see her two “children” happy together; Hareton quickly shook off his ignorance and boorishness and Catherine became sweet again. When Heathcliff saw them together he was struck by their resemblances to his Catherine, and told Ellen that he had lost his motivation for destruction. He no longer took any interest in everyday life; Catherine and Hareton didn"t appear to him to be distinct characters of their own, but sources of past associations to his beloved.
He also felt Hareton to be very much like himself as a youth. But most importantly, his Catherine haunted him completely: “The most ordinary faces of men, and women Ã‚Â my own features mock me with a resemblance. The entire world is a dreadful collection of memoranda that she did exist, and that I have lost her! ” He told Nelly that he felt a change coming Ã‚Â that he could no longer exist in the living world when he felt so close to that of the dead, or the immortal. Nelly wondered whether he was ill, but decided that he was in fine health and mind, except for his unworldly obsession.
Analysis: We are given an extraordinary window into Heathcliff"s mind in the chapter. Whenever he looks at something, he sees Catherine in it Ã‚Â he hears her voice in every sound. This is BrontÃƒÂ«"s conception of true haunting, which seems to bear far more resemblance to madness than to scary noises in the dark. It is mainly an interior phenomenon: if the ghost of Catherine is at work, she has found her home in Heathcliff"s mind and her vocation in distorting his perception and his ability to communicate with the outside world.
Chapter 34, Summary In the next few days Heathcliff all but stopped eating, and spent the nights walking outside. Catherine, happily working on her garden, came across him and was surprised to see him looking “very much excited, and wild, and glad. ” Ellen told him he should eat, and indeed at dinner he took a heaped plate, but abruptly lost interest in food, seemed to be watching something by the window, and went outside. Hareton followed to ask him what was wrong, and Heathcliff told him to go back to Catherine and not bother him.
He came back an hour or two later, with the same “unnatural appearance of joy,” shivering the way a “tight-stretched cord vibrates Ã‚Â a strong thrilling, rather than trembling. ” Ellen asked him what was going on, and he answered that he was within sight of his heaven, hardly three feet away. Later that evening, Ellen found him sitting in the dark with the windows all open. She was frightened by the pallor of his face and his black eyes. Ellen half-wondered if he were a vampire, but told herself that she was foolish, since she had watched him grow up.
The next day he was even more restless and could hardly speak coherently, and stared fascinatedly at nothing with an “anguished, yet raptured expression. ” Early the next morning Ã‚Â having spent the night outside or pacing in his room, he declared he wanted to settle things with his lawyer. Ellen said he should eat, and get some sleep, but he replied that he could do neither: “My soul"s bliss kills my body, but does not satisfy itself. Ellen told him to repent his sins, and he thanked her for the reminder and asked her to make sure he was buried next to Catherine: “I have nearly attained my heaven; and that of others is altogether unvalued, and uncoveted by me. ” He behaved more and more strangely, talking openly of his Catherine. Ellen called the doctor, but Heathcliff wouldn"t see him. The next morning she found him dead in his room, by the open window, wet from the rain and cut by the broken window-pane, with his eyes fiercely open and wearing a savage smile. Hareton mourned deeply for him. The doctor wondered what could have killed him.
He was buried as he had asked. People said that his ghost roamed the moors with Catherine: Ellen once came across a little boy crying amid his panicked lambs, and he said that Heathcliff was “yonder” with a woman and that he didn"t dare pass them. Catherine and Hareton were to be married, and they would move to the Grange, leaving Wuthering Heights to Joseph and the ghosts. Lockwood noticed on his walk home that the kirk was falling apart from neglect, and he found the three headstones, Catherine"s, Edgar"s, and Heathcliff"s, covered by varying degrees of heather.
He “wondered how anyone could ever imagine unquiet slumbers, for sleepers in that quiet earth. ” Analysis: An essential question for thinking about this novel is: does it end happily or not, and why? Is the novel on the side of the Grange and civilization, since Catherine and Hareton move there after Heathcliff dies? Or should we miss the intensity of the passion in Wuthering Heights? Who wins? It seems at first that the Grange wins, and yet we should remember that Heathcliff achieves his version of heaven as well.
Several film versions of Wuthering Heights prefer to delete the whole second half of the novel, ending dramatically with Catherine"s death Ã‚Â they find that the restabilizing second half detracts from the romance and the power of the first part. Is this the case? Did Emily add the second half because society would not have accepted the first half alone? The answer to the last question must be negative: the symmetrical structure of the novel is too carefully designed and too deeply imbedded to be the product of outside social pressures.
This might lead to the conclusion that civilization really does win, since the marriage of Catherine and Hareton is the final and necessary conclusion to two generations of unrest, and all traces of Heathcliff disappear, at least in genetic terms. In another sense, however, Catherine and Hareton resemble the earlier Catherine and Heathcliff, purified of their wilder and more antisocial elements: so one might assume that their marriage is an echo of the marriage that never took place between Catherine and Heathcliff.
This is supported by the fact that the story begins and ends with a Catherine Earnshaw, and that the name Hareton is very similar to Heathcliff. In another reading, one might remember that the first Catherine and Heathcliff belonged above all to the natural and immaterial world, whereas the Lintons belonged to a material society. Then the reunion in death of the two lovers constitutes their achievement of complete freedom Ã‚Â and it hardly matters what happens on earth.
One might also conclude that Emily BrontÃƒÂ« was really more drawn to her wild characters Ã‚Â Catherine and Heathcliff Ã‚Â but realized that they posed a great threat to the existence of peaceful life on earth. Perhaps she eliminated them because she was unwilling to sacrifice the rest of the world for such a wild ideal Ã‚Â but with Heathcliff"s death the novel ultimately had to end because it no longer captured her interest. In this case the ambiguous conclusion of the novel represents an inner conflict in the author herself.