He is the exact polar opposite of Heathcliff, with blond hair and a gentle character. Nelly Dean remarks that Edgar Linton is like seeing “a beautiful fertile valley after a bleak hilly coal country” (p. 91). His inheritance, unlike that of Heathcliff, is legitimate and he is an educated and well-mannered gentleman. In the preface written by Emily Bronti?? ‘s sister Charlotte it says, “for an example of constancy and tenderness remark that of Edgar Linton” (p. 17). Isabella Linton is Edgar Linton’s sister, and physically resembles him with her blonde hair and haughty educated persona.Order now
She falls in love with Heathcliff, not realising how angry he is. He deliberately makes her life miserable, as she becomes a vehicle for his revenge. Her imagined love for Heathcliff is a nai?? ve fantasy, which she soon regrets, as evidenced in her letter to Nelly where she asks, “Is Mr. Heathcliff a man? If so, is he mad? And if not, is he a devil? ” (p. 161) In the same letter, Isabella describes how she left the Grange, with the sun setting behind her and arrived in darkness at Wuthering heights to the face of an inhospitable Joseph.
Eventually Isabella escapes Heathcliff and moves away. She gives birth to Linton, but dies when he is twelve, in exile, having never returned to Thrushcross Grange. Cathy Linton is the daughter of Catherine Earnshaw and Edgar Linton. Cathy’s birth is clouded by her mother’s death. It is almost as though when Catherine dies, she is reborn as a Catherine who is part Earnshaw and part Linton and so has inherits the best character traits of both her parents, and both the spiritedness of Wuthering Heights and the gentleness of Thrushcross Grange.
She is, according to Nelly Dean, high spirited like Catherine, but also sensitive, affectionate, thoughtful and gentle. However, we do see Cathy behaving in ways that conflict with this generous description. She mocks Hareton for his lack of education, rather as her mother mocked Heathcliff for his lack of refinement, and in this, we see aspects of Catherine emerge in her. Linton Heathcliff is the offspring of Isabella Linton and Heathcliff, such an unnatural union that he is doomed from the beginning.
He has inherited the worst traits of both parents and is both soft willed and cruel by turn – like Cathy Linton, he also embodies the spirits of the two houses, only this time in reverse. Heathcliff manipulates him into getting what he himself wants, and then dies tended only by the softhearted Cathy. Although he stays at Thrushcross Grange for a short time, and Wuthering Heights for longer, he always embodies the Lintons, with his blond hair, educated manner and lazy ways. When Cathy and Linton are speaking of their ideas of heaven, Cathy’s
is more in the manner of Catherine’s spirit, “Rocking in a rustling green tree with a west wind blowing, bright white clouds flitting rapidly above… ” whilst Linton dreams of “lying still on a hot July day from morning til evening… ” (p. 276). Ellen Dean, or Nelly, is one of the narrators in Wuthering Heights. She crosses between Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights, and as such understands much of the nature of the two houses and families. She has the advantage of knowing all of the characters within the novel since she grew up with Heathcliff, Hindley, and Catherine at Wuthering Heights.
She has nursed both of them when they were ill, watched over both their children and has been privy to many of their confessions and confidences. One problem that the reader has with Nelly Dean is that she tends be overly superstitious, and this impacts on the much of the behaviour of the main characters. Nelly relates imagery of heaven and hell often, such as when Catherine recounts a dream about being exiled from heaven, saying, “You are not fit to go there, all sinners would be miserable in heaven”. (p. 102) Nelly also describes Heathcliff in an animalistic terms, “…
he gnashed at me, and foamed like a mad dog, and gathered her to him with greedy jealousy. ” (p. 187). Nelly makes judgements on what she sees although she does not always understand. In Chapter 9, the reader can see how little Nelly understands of Catherine and Heathcliff, by the contrast in dialogue. Catherine’s words are passionate and heartfelt, and Nelly’s own are dry and rather unsympathetic. Although Nelly is only a servant, she considers herself to be a Linton. “Hareton is the last of them (the Earnshaws), as our Miss Cathy is of us – I mean, of the Lintons”(pg.
54). She considers herself honest and reliable, but she can be seen to be untrustworthy as she reveals and withholds information as she chooses and her actions impact upon the lives of the characters. She reveals Heathcliff’s courting of Isabella to Edgar when this would have better remained a secret. At the end of Emily Bronti?? ‘s only novel, the constant triangles and parallels that abound within it finally merge together, and the lightness and hope so lacking throughout appears to have arrived to exorcise the ghosts and imagery of harshness away.
Lockwood observed that the second Cathy and her fianci?? e Hareton look as if, together, “they would brave Satan and all his legions”(p. 370). It is as though the two houses at last unite with Cathy and Hareton’s love. Wuthering Heights becomes more a heaven than a hell, less the “land of the storm” described by Lord David Cecil in 1934, and both it and Thrushcross Grange which they intend to move into, become transformed by a finally fulfilled true love, one which is both spiritual and physical. The story turns full circle, and is completed.