Wuthering Heights is really a novel compiled by Emily Bronte in 1847 which is considered a golden classic of modern literature. Surprisingly, this is actually the only novel of this British writer, but its mastery plot and innovative using numerous narrative lines won for Mrs. Bronte eternal place in the ranks of best literature writers of most times.

It isn't just an iconic novel – this is a novel that changed a normal idea of romance. Years and years following its appearance, this story of stormy, prohibited, passionate and tragic love is still relevant and tempting to read. This book never gets old, just like real love can never get old.

Analysis of Characters

The first person the reader meets in the novel is Mr. Lockwood. It’s 1801 and a young Londoner moves in to the countryside, the Thrushcross Grange mansion, looking for some alone time. 1 day he decides to visit the neighbor and owner of the mansion, Heathcliff – a cold and significantly dry man who lives in the Wuthering Heights mansion. Lockwood narrates the story in his personal diary, however the main way to obtain his knowledge is Nelly Dean – the housemaid for the strange family he once encountered.

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Nelly Dean practically brought up three kids of the Earnshaw family – a girl Catherine and two boys Hindley and Heathcliff. The whole story is a personal impression of Nelly Dean and her view on the specific situation. Despite the subjectivity, it still has a large amount of credibility since Nelly is well educated and quite an intelligent woman. She is trustworthy and attentive, which makes many characters confide their true feelings and deepest fears into her. Mrs. Dean also serves as a mother to young Cathy.

Catherine was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Earnshaw. She's somewhat spoiled and selfish, curious and cheerful. She can be pushy and strong, maybe even rude. Nevertheless , she grows into a delicate and tender woman, whilst the author states in Chapter VII:

“Instead of a wild, hatless little savage jumping to the house, and rushing to squeeze all of us breathless, there ‘lighted from the handsome black pony a really dignified person, with brown ringlets falling from the cover of a feathered beaver, and a long cloth habit, which she was obliged to put on up with both hands that she may possibly sail in”.

Cathy loved her foster brother Heathcliff but married Edgar Linton.

Young Heathcliff and Cathy in “Wuthering Heights”

It’s important never to confuse both female characters named Catherine in the book: Catherine Earnshaw may be the key character, while her daughter, Catherine Linton, is just a secondary character. Catherine Earnshaw dies while giving birth to her daughter.

Chapter IV “… Wuthering Heights has “Earnshaw” carved on the front door. Are they a vintage family?... Very old… and Hareton may be the last of these, as our Miss Cathy is of us—I mean, of the Lintons”

Hindley may be the son of Earnshaw family and brother of Catherine. He is a jealous, revengeful and aggressive young man. He's jealous of his adopted brother, Heathcliff, and doesn’t miss an opportunity to abuse or humiliate him. The conflict intensifies as boys get older, and Mr. Earnshaw’s treatment for the problem was to send his son Hindley away to university. There Hindley meets his wife Frances – a tender and delicate woman, who dies soon after giving birth to son Hareton. Following the death of his beloved wife, Hindley starts drinking and eventually loses his family estate to Heathcliff:

Chapter XVII “… he has spent the night in drinking himself to death deliberately! We broke in this morning, for we heard him sporting like a horse; and there he was, laid on the settle: flaying and scalping would not have wakened him. ”

Heathcliff is just a foster son of Earnshaw family. He's stubborn, revengeful and notably cruel. That he was a close friend to Catherine (the two even loved each other) and the biggest enemy to Hindley. After Mr. Earshow dies, Hindley came ultimately back to the mansion, assumed the position of the head of the family and made Heathcliff a servant, not allowing him to have an education. He later married Isabella Linton and brought up a son Linton. All his life was centered around getting revenge on those who didn’t respect him.

Key Facts: The Unfold of Earnshaw Family Drama

  • Catherine Earnshaw develops a close intimate relationship with her foster brother Heathcliff, while her brother Hindley is jealous of the new relative and is incredibly rude towards him.
  • Catherine decides to marry Edgar Linton – a boy from an aristocratic neighbor family. They don’t have the ability to become a model couple and Cathy dies when having a baby to her daughter Catherine Linton.
  • Heathcliff blames everyone for maybe not treating him as equal and tries to make the life of all loved ones who reside in Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange miserable: he marries Edgar’s sister Isabella merely to prove he can but treats her badly, that he also forces Catherine’s daughter to marry his son Linton to really have the rights to the family estate and her money that her father Edgar left her.
  • In the long run, Heathcliff dies and rejoins his beloved foster sister while Catherine’s daughter develops a close relationship with Hidley’s son Hareton.

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Wuthering Heights Summary

The actual story happens thirty years before Mr. Lockwood concerns the Northern England countryside. During his second (and just as unwelcomed while the first) trip to Wuthering Heights, Lockwood is stuck in the home due to a storm and has to pay the night in the guest bedroom. There he finds the diary of some one called Catherine Earnshaw where she tells the story of two kids – Catherine and Heathcliff. Throughout the night he encounters the female ghost.

Upon his come back to the Thrushcross Grange, that he asks his maid Nelly Dean to share with him an account of Wuthering Heights occupants since she spent nearly all of her life caring for that estate and the family that owned it. Nelly tells him how one day Mr. Earnshaw returns home with an orphan Heathcliff who became part of the family. The orphan became very close together with his foster sister Catherine while finding an enemy facing his jealous foster brother Hindley.

Following the death of his father, Hindley returns to Wuthering Heights as well as a new wife and assumes the role of who owns the estate. He instantly downgrades Heathcliff to a normal worker, never missing an opportunity to demonstrate that his foster brother is nothing in his house. But Heathcliff doesn’t appear to mind such treatment as he is enjoying being around Catherine. Both spend all their time together and create a special sort of bond.

With time, Catherine starts to spend increasingly more time at their neighbors’ place, where Edgar and Isabella Linton live. Linton family welcomes Catherine but doesn’t wish to see Heathcliff. At Linton’s house Catherine learned good manners and became a girl of high upbringing and status. Unlike Heathcliff, Edgar Linton was a noble young man with a good education, decent upbringing and sophisticated manners. Catherine’s affection towards Edgar made Heathcliff even more rude and aggressive, he demonstrated his jealousy once such way:

Chapter VII “In other words, I must desire Edgar Linton’s great blue eyes as well as forehead… I actually do - and that won’t help me to them”

That he leaves the estate and vanishes for three years. Catherine feels betrayed by Heathcliff but gets over it and marries Edgar.

Hidley’s wife Frances gives birth to a son named Hareton but dies immediately after. The stress of losing his beloved wife pushes Hindley down the lane of misery and pity. At exactly the same time, Cathy’s marriage is strained as as time passes the two recognize that they result from different worlds and have a totally different group of values. Heathcliff returns after three years, which brings a lot more tension but overjoys Catherine who is pleased to see her childhood sweetheart.

Throughout the three years of his absence, Heathcliff makes a fortune and becomes a nice-looking man, Isabella Linton desires to marry him. Catherine knows the heavy temper of her foster brother and tries to dissuade Isabella that Heathcliff is not a good match for her. Heathcliff doesn’t deny that he only wants to marry Isabella as a revenge for poor people treatment that he once received from Linton’s family. Edgar tries to eradicate Heathcliff, their fight provokes Catherine to really have a nervous breakdown. The housekeeper Nelly hides Catherine’s vomiting from Edgar hoping that it would disappear. By the full time Edgar discovers that his wife is losing her mind, she's already too sick as well as carries his child. Cathy dies two hours after giving birth to a baby girl Catherine Linton.

Isabella doesn’t pay attention to her brother or Catherine and marries Heathcliff. Their marriage develops into an abusive and miserable relationship. She fundamentally moves out into the outskirts of London and gives birth to a son whom she calls Linton Heathcliff. Isabella dies 13 years later and Edgar brings her son to live with him and his daughter Catherine.

When Catherine turns 16, Heathcliff insists that she marries his son Linton because he desired to claim rights for Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange estates (where Edgar moved with Catherine after they got married). That is his solution to get revenge over the Linton family he despises so much! Heathcliff locks Catherine in his house and wouldn’t let her go see her dying father unless she agrees to marry Linton. Since Linton was sick, he dies a month following the wedding and according to his will, all his estate goes to his father, Heathcliff. Catherine Linton finds herself completely reliant on Heathcliff, who's mad at the whole world.

Through the duration of his life time Heathcliff carried love for the deceased Catherine Earnshaw, whose ghost starts travelling the estate at night. That he joins his beloved woman when that he dies. Sooner or later, Catherine Linton becomes friends with Hareton (son of Hindley whom Heathcliff hated) and both want to get married. Towards the finish of his life Heathcliff becomes too tired of revenge and doesn’t try to stop the couple from becoming close:

Chapter XXXIII “My old enemies have not beaten me; now would be the precise time to revenge myself on the representatives: I really could do it; and non-e could hinder me. But where could be the use? I don’t take care of striking: I can’t simply take the trouble to boost my hand! That sounds as if I had been labouring the whole time only to exhibit a fine trait of magnanimity. It is not even close to being the case: I've lost the faculty of enjoying their destruction, and I am too idle to destroy for nothing. ”

Wuthering Heights is really a worthy book to read. Its plot is gripping, and the mastery of the writer makes the text an extremely entertaining read. The attention to details of village life, mastery interpretations of nature signs in the romantic context of the book, bright symbols and characters and slight references to the gothic style make this novel an iconic masterpiece

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