Wuthering Heights Reading Guide
ENG 109, Prof. Cora Agatucci, Spring 2007
Emily Bronte (U.K., 1818-1848): Wuthering Heights (published 1847),
one of the "Representative Texts" featured in
Davis, Paul, and others, eds. Western Literature in a World Context. Volume 2:
The Enlightenment through the Present. New York: St. Martins Press, 1995.
Unless otherwise indicated, text & page references are to this Spring 2007 Eng 109 required textbook.
Note: WH = Wuthering Heights in annotations below.
URL of this web page: http://web.cocc.edu/cagatucci/classes/eng109/WHRG.htm
Chs. 1 - 4: Narrative Present - narrated by Lockwood (WH, Davis et al. 682-703):
Narrative Frame Story: The first narrative voice we hear in the "narrative present" of the novel Wuthering Heights (hereafter abbreviated WH) is that of the character Lockwood. Lockwood is the new tenant of the estate called Thrushcross Grange, and goes to call upon his landlord Heathcliff, who lives at the nearby much ruder and wilder estate of Wuthering Heights. Lockwood is shocked and made ill, but also intrigued, by his visits to Wuthering Heights. Recovering back at Thrushcross Grange, Lockwood asks his housekeeper Nelly Dean [aka: Ellen Dean] to tell him the full "history" of Wuthering Heights and its strange inhabitants. Thus the narrative frame story introduces a plausible situation for Nelly Dean to tell the novel's main story, which takes place in the narrative past. The first chapters of Wuthering Heights also begin the exposition (i.e. introduction) of the novel's major settings, characters, plot conflicts & complications.
Time frames of the novel's interlocking narratives (stories) will shift back and forth between the "narrative present" story (narrated/told by Lockwood) and the "narrative past" story (narrated/told by Nelly Dean to Lockwood).
First Narrator (story teller) of narrative present events = Lockwood.
Second (and Main) Narrator (story teller) of narrative past events = Nelly Dean (AKA: Ellen Dean), who was a first-hand witness and often participant in most of the narrative past events that she narrates to Lockwood (and to us, the readers of the novel Wuthering Heights).
The character of participant-narrator Nelly [Ellen] Dean is especially important to analyze and understand. In creating and choosing this character to be the primary narrator of WH, Emily Bronte has set up a complex narrative structure. Many critics have asked and tried to answer why. One reason may be to make WH more believable and "realistic." Nelly Dean seems firmly rooted in common sense, every day normative "reality," and thus helps to "authenticate," or make more believable, the often wild, passionate, even fantastic story of WH. Yet Nelly Dean also complicates our understanding of the characters and actions of the story, because she was a participant in the past history she relates. Overall, she seems to be a fairly honest, straightforward and reliable narrator--but she is not altogether nor always an objective, disinterested observer. She has opinions and interests invested in the events and characters she presents to Lockwood--and to us, the readers. Keep in mind, then, that Nelly mediates the story--that is, we and Lockwood have access to the "history" only through her point of view, which is filtered and colored by Nelly's opinions and values. For example, it becomes clear after awhile that she does not like the protagonist Cathy Earnshaw. Consider, then, how Nelly's attitudes may affect and prejudice the way she represents the characters and their actions in the story--especially Nelly's representation of the original Cathy. Consider, too, that Nelly is not just a silent witness but sometimes an active participant with a hand in shaping the events of major scenes. It is, therefore, likely that Nelly is at least tempted at times to downplay her role or shift blame away from herself and on to others, in some of the events and climactic scenes in which Nelly played a part.
Narrative Frame or "frame-story" is "a preliminary narrative within which one or more characters proceed" to tell one or more stories within the "frame-story" (Abrams 195). In the case of Wuthering Heights and Heart of Darkness (which we will study later), the initial narrative frame-story told by a first narrator, who establishes the situation for and "frames" the telling of a second embedded (and the main) story, told by a second and main narrator. The narrative frame of novels such as Wuthering Heights and Heart of Darkness can provide a plausible situation for the telling of its main story (i.e. narrative)--and plausibility is important in 19th-century Realistic fiction.
NARRATOR: "The teller of a story," who may be a character who participates in the story's action--i.e. a First-Person Narrator (Charters 1050; emphasis added).CHARACTER: "Any person who plays a part in a narrative. . . . The main character in the story can usually be labeled the protagonist or hero; he or she is often in conflict with some other character, an antagonist. Other characters who affect the action slightly or only indirectly may be called minor characters . . . " (Charters 1045). "In its most general literary sense, a character is a figure in a literary work. The figure need not be human, although most characters are. Characters may be nonhuman animals or even nonliving entities [e.g. setting], provided that the author characterizes them by giving them the attributes of a human individual" (Murfin and Ray 52-53). In discussing depth and complexity of characterization, [writer and critic] E. M. Forster makes a distinction between flat and round characters that is still in use today (Murfin and Ray 53). "Characters may also be divided into static and dynamic characters" (Murfin and Ray 53; emphasis added).
First-Person Narration: "The telling of a story by a person who was involved directly in or directly observed the action narrated. Such a narrator refers to himself or herself as I and becomes a character in the story, with his or her understanding shaping the reader's perception of the events and characters" (Charters 1047; emphasis added).
Flat Characters are "types or caricatures defined by a single idea or quality" (Murfin and Ray 53); they are "simple, one-dimensional, usually unchanging" characters who show little of the "human depth, complexity, and contrariness of a round character or of most real people" (Charters 1048). Flat characters are often, but not always, also static characters.
Round Characters "have the three-dimensional complexity of real people" (Murfin and Ray 53); they are "full, complex, multi-dimensional" characters with rich and contradictory personalities that "we are accustomed to observing in actual people, rather than the transparent obviousness of a flat character" (Charters 1051). Round characters are often, but not always, also dynamic characters.
Static Characters "do not change significantly over the course of a [literary] work no matter what action takes place (Murfin and Ray 53).
Dynamic Characters "change in some [significant] way during the story" (Charters 1045); this change may be "for better or worse" "in response to circumstance and experience" (Murfin and Ray 53) or an internal realization over the course of a literary work.
PLOT: "The arrangement and interrelation of events in a narrative work, chosen and designed to engage the reader's attention and interest . . . while also providing a framework for . . . an author's message, or theme, and for other [literary] elements such as characterization [see also CHARACTER], symbol, and conflict" (Murfin and Ray 347). "Crafting a plot requires choosing not only which elements of a story to include - and what order to tell them in - but also relating the events of a story to one another so that causality may be established convincingly" (Murfin and Ray 347). The narrative of events in a story is traditionally organized chronologically (i.e. time order in which the events occurred)"; however, authors may organize plots using achronological devices such as beginning a narrative in medias res ["in the middle of things"] or integrating flashbacks or flashforwards (familiar to most of us as modern film techniques) into a narrative" (Murfin and Ray 348; emphasis added). Long-running critical debates argue the relative supremacy of PLOT vs. CHARACTER: some critics consider "characterization as the defining element of a literary work, viewing plot as a mere framework for showcasing character. Following this theory, the plot of Emily Brontė's Wuthering Heights (1847), composed of a carefully arranged story line, nonetheless serves primarily as a structure and spotlight for the development of Cathy Earnshaw and her volatile and brooding soul mate, Heathcliff," according to Murfin and Ray (348; emphasis added).
SETTING: "The place and time in which a story's action takes place; also, in a broader sense, the culture and the ways of life of the characters and the shared beliefs and assumptions that guide their lives" (Charters 1051). More specifically, setting also refers "the particular physical location" in which a "single episode or scene within a work" takes place (Abrams 192). In skillful hands, specific physical settings can be embued with larger roles and meanings: such is the case with the two major contrasted settings of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange in the novel Wuthering Heights.
Discussion Questions to consider as you read Wuthering Heights:
1. NARRATORS: What sort of person is Lockwood? How does his own character and experiences--for example, his illness--seem to color his account of events in Wuthering Heights? Characterize Nelly Dean. Do you ever detect times when she misrepresents, and perhaps omits, information in her narrative of past events? Does she ever cause any significant events to happen? Is Dean a reliable narrator? Why do you think Bronte chose/created this kind of character to narrate the main (past) story of Wuthering Heights? What do you think is the purpose of having two narrators--Lockwood and Dean--in the novel Wuthering Heights?
2. SETTING: As you read Wuthering Heights, consider the ways in which the estates of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange differ as physical places. Consider also which characters are most closely associated with each, and what these characters' lives and values are like. Notice also the characters who move between these two estates and what happens to them when they do. Do you see any parallels or similarities between them, or would you characterize these two settings as complete opposites? What do these differences and/or similarities suggest about their symbolic roles in the novel? Notice the few characters who move between these estates and what happens to them when they do.
Chs. 4 - 7: Narrative Past - narrated by Nelly Dean (WH, Davis et al. 699-715):
|PLOT SUMMARY: Nelly Dean describes Heathcliff's mysterious origins and introduction to the Earnshaw household & estate Wuthering Heights. Family dynamics are characterized in terms of relationships to Heathcliff, who is Mr. Earnshaws favorite (why?). Formative events reveal the childhood characters and relationships among Heathcliff, Catherine, & Hindley. Hindley is sent away to college. Mr. Earnshaw dies, Hindley returns with wife, and Hindley abuses and degrades Heathcliff. Strong attachment between Catherine & Heathcliff develops: Catherine teaches Heathcliff his letters & they roam the moors as free spirits. Then comes their adventure and the fateful incident at Thrushcross Grange: Catherine mends, staying 5 weeks with Edgar and Isabella Linton. When Catherine returns to Wuthering Heights, she is changed.|
|KEY SCENE: Ch. 7. Edgar and Isabella Linton visit Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff attempts to be presentable but Hindley banishes him to the garret. Catherine steals away to join Heathcliff--who vows revenge:" I shall pay Hindley back" (Davis et al. 714; ch. 7). Note contrasts between Edgar Linton & Heathcliffespecially from Cathys point of view.|
Discussion Questions to consider as you read Wuthering Heights:
|3. HEATHCLIFF: What mysteries are there about Heathcliff and his origins? What possible explanations might there be for Mr. Earnshaws fondness for Heathcliff? What attracts Catherine to Heathcliff? Why does Hindley hate him?|
Chs. 8 - 10: Narrative Past - narrated by Nelly Dean (WH, Davis et al. 709-740):
|PLOT SUMMARY: Hareton Earnshaw is born, his mother (Frances) Mrs. Hindley Earnshaw dies, and his father Hindley grows ferocious and savage, especially toward Heathcliff. Then . . .|
|KEY SCENES: Chs. 8 - 9.
Catherine dresses for Edgar Linton’s visit; note further contrasts made between Edgar and Heathcliff. Nasty scene develops wherein Cathy slaps Nelly and Edgar, but Edgar doesnt leavehe is "doomed" in Nellys view. Hindley enters drunk and abusive: he drops his son Hareton, but Heathcliff saves the child, ironically serving as "the instrument of thwarting his own revenge" (722) against the hated Hindley Earnshaw.
Later in the kitchen, out of sight by the fire, Heathcliff overhears (part of) Catherines discussion with Nelly regarding Cathys accepting Edgars proposal of marriage. Catherine relates her "queer dream"a parallel with traits of the Byronic hero/ineher "joy" when angels fling her out of heaven. Heathcliff leaves when he overhears Cathy say it would degrade her to marry him, and does not stay to hear the rest of Cathy's telling exchange with Nelly. Cathy contrasts her love for Edgar and Heathcliff: "Nelly, I am Heathcliff" (726). She cant abide the idea that they would ever really be separated. Heathcliff disappears into the stormy night. Cathy grieves uncontrollably, makes a mad scene and and experiences her first serious illness--Nelly observes, Catherine cant "bear crossing much" (730).
Return to Narrative Present: It grows late, Nelly breaks off her "narrative" and retires, while Lockwood lingers on to mediate for another hour or two.
Discussion Questions to consider as you read Wuthering Heights:
|4. CATHERINE: Why does Catherine marry Edgar Linton? What do you think of Catherine's explanation to Nelly Dean? Catherine explains to Nelly Dean that her feelings for Linton and Heathcliff are different: how are her feelings for these two men different? Does her explanation suggest that Catherine knows she will be making a mistake in marrying Linton?|
Wuthering Heights Reading Guide, continued . . .
Cora's Summary of the novel:
Emily Brontė (1818-1848) published Wuthering Heights, her only novel, in 1847. Wuthering Heights tells the interconnected stories of three generations of characters living on two estates--wild Wuthering Heights and civilized Thrushcross Grange--set in Yorkshire, a region of northern England, during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The main story focuses on the turbulent relationship of Catherine Earnshaw-Linton and the mysterious Heathcliff, soul-mates whose childhood bond is ravaged in adulthood if never entirely broken. In this painful process, Cathy and Heathcliff do their best--their worst--to wreck not only their own lives but also the lives of nearly everyone else involved with them. However, what was unnaturally torn asunder in life is reunited through death and rebirth, it seems. At the end of the novel, village folk report ghostly sightings of Heathcliff and his Catherine walking the Yorkshire heath; and their descendants Hareton Earnshaw and Cathy Linton-Heathcliff (who parallel Heathcliff and the first Cathy in many ways) marry on New Year's Day.
Film Clip [complete title]: Emily Brontė's Wuthering Heights
(UK/USA Paramount, 1992)
Ch. 10: Narrative Present, narrated by Lockwood (WH 731):
Lockwood complains about his situation, sick in bleak and bitter Yorkshire, treated with "draughts, blisters, and leeches," of mixed mind about his strange landlord Heathcliff, and wanting the diversion of having his housekeeper Nelly Dean "finish her tale" (WH 731; ch. 10). Narrative Function: Here Lockwood also conveniently provides a brief plot summary that reminds his auditors (us) where the story left off and poses dramatic questions to propel our interest in the next stage as Nelly continues her story (WH 731).
Chs. 10 - 14: Narrative Past - narrated by Nelly Dean (WH, in Davis et al. 731-766):
|PLOT SUMMARY: Catherine & Edgar enjoy marital happiness--until Heathcliff returns after 3 years' absence. Cathy is at first joyful at Heathcliffs reappearance, but develops grave doubts about his transformation and intentions. Isabella Linton falls in love with Heathcliff, despite Catherines and Nellys warnings and assessment of his true character. Heathcliff pursues his revenge plot against Hindley, buying up Hindley's gambling debts. When Heathcliff learns of Isabella’s feelings for him, he hatches a second revenge plot.|
|KEY SCENES: Chs. 11 - 12. Heathcliff accuses Cathy of treating him "infernally" and swears he wont "suffer unrevenged" (743). Edgar forbids Heathcliff to come again to the Grange. Note Catherines reaction to this 2nd separation from Heathcliff: she holds herself blameless, feels victimized by both Heathcliffs and Edgars "ingratitude" (744), vows to "break their hearts by breaking my own" (745) and punish them by dying. Catherine fasts three days in her room. Nelly mistakes Catherines "true condition" (747) and remembers too late Cathys previous illness (748; caused also by the first sustained separation from Heathcliff, when he disappeared three years earlier). Cathys madness is dramatized: her bird and mirror hallucinations, her return to childhood self when Hindley had also tried to separate her from Heathcliff, "my all in all" (750). To this 12-year-old remembered Catherine, Mrs. Linton is "wife of a stranger; an exile and an outcast"/an "abyss" (750). Catherine foresees her own death, and speaks to Heathcliff through the window to her past self: "I wont rest til you are with me. I never will!" (750). Edgar, learning of Catherines true condition, is enraged with Nelly Dean. Cathy, realizing very late that Nelly has been an enemy rather than a friend, calls Nelly "traitor" and "witch" (752).|
|PLOT SUMMARY: Isabella elopes with Heathcliff; Edgar is resigned. Catherine, pregnant, sustains a long illness. Nelly learns that Isabella and Heathcliff have returned to Wuthering Heights via a long letter Isabella writes to Nelly. In it Isabella asks, "Is Mr. Heathcliff a man? . . . mad? . . . [or] a devil?" (756). Alarmed, Nelly pays a visit to Wuthering Heights, is more alarmed when she sees Isabella, and undergoes Heathcliffs close questioning about Catherines illness. Heathcliff is in obvious inner torment, and he exacts from Nelly a promise to help him see Catherine.|
Discussion Questions to consider as you read Wuthering Heights:
5. BYRONIC HERO/INE: Many critics view Catherine and Heathcliff as
"Byronic heroes"e.g. like the heroes in
the poems of George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824), a
celebrated and notorious English Romantic poet. The
typical Byronic hero is contemptuous and rebellious
against conventional morality and/or defies fate; is
proud, moody, cynical, with defiance in his heart and
misery on his browusually a secret misery; he is
passionate: capable of strong and deep affection,
but implacable in revenge. Do you think this description fits
the character of Catherine and/or Heathcliff?
Consider also some literary critics' interpretation that Catherine's story is a female version of the dark Romantic quest to overcome self-division, caused by a fall from innocence into experience. Do you consider Catherine a divided soul, conflicted within herself? When, how, why does Catherine "fall" from innocence into experience and into her conflicted divided state? What are Catherine's divisions and conflicts? What destructive choices does Catherine make? Does she make any constructive choices?
|6. OTHER CHARACTERS: Analyze the characters of Edgar and Isabella Linton. The Lintons live at Thrushcross Grange: how does this associated setting help establish these characters? Why does Heathcliff marry Isabella? Describe Heathcliffs relationships with Hindley and son Hareton.|
|7. ROMANTICISM V. REALISM: What are some of the "Realistic" aspects of the novel. Consider, for example, Joseph. He is a difficult character in the novel, difficult to get along with and his dialect difficult for most readers to understand. What is his role in the novel? What would be missing if he were left out?|
Ch. 15: Narrative Present - narrated by Lockwood (WH, Davis et al. 766-771):
|Lockwood is recovering from his illness and says hell continue the "history" of Wuthering Heights. He is said to remark, but in Nellys "own words, . . . [that] she is . . . a fair narrator."|
Chs. 15 - 17: Narrative Past - narrated by Nelly Dean (WH, Davis et al. 766-784):
|PLOT SUMMARY: Young Cathy is born, the child of Edgar and Catherine. Catherine dies; and Heathcliffs reaction is savage, tormented. Nelly Dean twines locks of Heathcliffs and Edgars hair and (re)places them in dead Catherines locket before she is buried (773). A storm breaks the next day. Hindley and Isabellas murder attempt on Heathcliffs life fails. Isabella escapes Wuthering Heights, goes south (to London), and bears their son Linton Heathcliff. Hindley dies 6 months after his sister Catherine dies. Heathcliff is now the outright legal master of Wuthering Heights, and he extends his revenge plot against the next generation. To Hindleys son Hareton, Heathcliff says: "Now . . . you are mine! .well see if one tree wont grow as crooked as another, given the same wind to twist it!" (783).|
|KEY SCENE: Ch. 15: Heathcliffs
last meeting with Catherine alive: "Oh, Cathy! Oh,
my life! how can I bear it? . . .".
Catherine responds: " . . . You and Edgar have both broken my heart, Heathcliff! . . ."
Heathcliff: " . . . Why shouldnt you suffer? I do! . . . " (768).
Catherine: ". . . I shall not be at peace. . ." (768).
Heathcliff: ". . . Why did you betray your own heart, Cathy? . . . " (769). & etc.
Edgar comes, but Cathy wont let loose her grasp on Heathcliff. She faints.
Discussion Questions to consider as you read Wuthering Heights:
|8. Does Wuthering Heights seem to be Catherines story or Heathcliffs? Or would you argue that the novel has two protagonists? Do you sympathize with either or both? What motives and desires drive these two characters?|
|9. Compare Bronte's Catherine and Goethe's Faust. Some critics consider Catherine a Faustian character, her story a female version of the dark, dangerous Romantic quest to overcome self-division. These critics argue that both Catherine and Faust fall from innocence (union) into experience (division); become divided souls, conflicted within themselves; and are compelled to make many destructive choices that hurt not only themselves but many around them. Do you agree with this interpretation? Are their stories of division and conflict similar? What of their stories' endings: what are the outcomes of their dark Romantic quests?|
Chs. 18 - 25: Narrative Past - narrated by Nelly Dean (WH, Davis et al. 784-822):
|PLOT SUMMARY: Twelve years pass. Young Cathys character is introduced. She begins to long to visit Penistone Crags, which she can see from her nursery windows at Thrushcross Grange, and she gets her chance to escape when her father Edgar goes to London to attend his dying sister Isabella. While he is away, young Cathy visits Wuthering Heights. She encounters her cousin Hareton Earnshaw and they wound each others pride. Edgar returns with his nephew Linton Heathcliff, but Heathcliff comes to claim his son, "my property" (794). Heathcliff now pursues his revenge plot against Edgar Linton. Wanting his son Linton Heathcliff to become Lord of Thrushcross Grange (795), Heathcliff plots to get young Cathy to marry his son Linton. Meanwhile, Linton Heathcliffs abusive treatment of his cousin Hareton Earnshaw is depicted. Direct and inverted parallels suggest themselves between the first and second generations of the Earnshaw-Linton-Heathcliff characters. Edgar tries to warn his daughter Cathy of Heathcliffs true character, but she still wants to get to know her cousin Linton Heathcliff better. Their secret "love" correspondence is stopped, but when her chaperon Nelly Dean become ill, young Cathy manages to visit her cousin Linton at Wuthering Heights. Nelly tells on Cathy, and her father Edgar forbids further visits.|
|Ch. 25: Return to Narrative Present. "These things happened last winter," Nelly tells Lockwood (820). Lockwood vows to leave the district for "the busy world" beyond, though he is a bit attracted to young Cathy Linton.|
Chs. 25 - 30: Narrative Past - narrated by Nelly Dean (WH, Davis et al. 820-842):
|PLOT SUMMARY: Edgar Linton relents and allows his daughter young Cathy to resume her correspondence with Linton Heathcliff (son of his sister Isabella and Heathcliff). Linton's affectionate letters to Cathy are dictated by Heathcliff and motivated by Heathcliff's threats. Both Edgar Linton and Linton Heathcliff are deathly ill, though Heathcliff keeps his son Lintons deteriorating health a secret. Cathy rides to meet her cousin Linton on the heath and she doubts his professions of feeling, but Heathcliff succeeds in luring Cathy and Nelly Dean back to Wuthering Heights, and takes them prisoner. Heathcliffs final revenge plot against Edgar Linton nears fruition, when he forces young Cathy to marry Linton Heathcliff. Cathy is kept prisoner at Wuthering Heights and is anguished at being kept from her dying father Edgar Linton. Nelly Dean is released, and Cathy escapes and manages to see her father Edgar before he dies. Edgar is unable to change his will in time, for his lawyer has been bought off by Heathcliff. Edgar dies, and Cathy, now married to Linton Heathcliff, is ordered to return to Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff reveals to Nelly Dean that he has unearthed Catherines corpse from her grave, seen her face, and is "pacifieda little" (838). Heathcliff takes Catherines portrait from Thrushcross Grange and makes Nelly stay at the Grange.|
|Nelly, our primary narrator, now must rely upon the reports of Zillah, the housekeeper at Wuthering Heights, for news of young Cathys life. Nelly calls Zillah "a narrow-minded, selfish woman" because Zillah dislikes young Cathy (839)an ironic parallel to Nelly's own attitude toward the original Cathy. Linton dies: "Hes safe and Im free," young Cathy proclaims (840). Yet Heathcliffs second revenge plot seems to be fulfilled: he is now master of Thrushcross Grange, and young Cathy, "destitute of cash and friends" (840), is his dependent. Zillah tries to help Hareton smarten up (note parallels to Nellys relationship to young Heathcliff in earlier years), but young Cathy scorns her cousin Hareton . . . at first.|
|Ch. 30-31: Return to Narrative Present: "Thus ended Mrs. Dean’s story" (842). Lockwood, recovered, plans to quit the Grange and return to London, and he visits his landlord Heathcliff to tell his plans.|
Chs. 32 34: Narrative Present & Immediate Past
|PLOT SUMMARY: Some time has passed. Lockwood returns to Yorkshire and finds Nelly Dean at Wuthering Heights. Young Cathy and Hareton are in love (Cathy has been teaching Hareton to read & the two have taken to wandering the moors, paralleling the original Cathy and Heathcliff in their youth). And Heathcliff is dead.|
|Nelly provides Lockwood with the
"sequel of Heathcliffs history" (849).
Heathcliffs reaction to the growing intimacy between Cathy Heathcliff and Hareton Earnshaw: an "absurd termination to my violent exertions" (856)i.e. an ironic conclusion to his revenge plots. Heathcliff is disarmed by young Cathys "resemblance" to the original Catherine, and sees her eyes in both young Cathy and Hareton. He also sees in Hareton "a personification of my youth" (857). Heathcliff: "I am surrounded by her image" (857), and he foretells a strange "change," the attainment of his "single wish" is at hand. Nelly relates Heathcliffs strange behavior, his talk of his will and burial wishes. Heathcliff is haunted: "Well, there is one who wont shrink from my company! By God! she is relentless" (862-863). Nelly finds Heathcliff dead in his bed. Joseph gives thanks that the "lawful master and the ancient stock were restored to their rights" (863). Hareton grieves for Heathcliffs death. Heathcliff is buried next to Catherine in the churchyard, to the scandal of the neighborhood. Country folk swear that the ghosts of Heathcliff and "a woman" walk. Hareton and Cathy are to marry on New Years Day and will then move to Thrushcross Grange.
Ch. 34: Narrative Present & Conclusion - narrated by Lockwood.
|Lockwood visits the graves of Edgar, Catherine, and Heathcliff. In the closing lines, Lockwood "wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth" (864).|
Discussion Questions to consider as you finish reading Wuthering Heights:
|10. Wuthering Heights covers a long period of time and three generations of the families involved. How does Bronte try to unify her story? What are the roles of Hareton and young Cathy, and the effect of carrying the story of the Earnshaws and Lintons into a third generation? Compare/contrast Hareton and young Cathy to Heathcliff and the original Cathy. Would the novel have been more or less effective if it had stopped with the story of Catherine and Heathcliffs generation? Compare Catherine and Heathcliffs ends to that of Hareton and young Cathy. Do the younger couple redeem the excesses of the original pair?|
M. H. A Glossary of Literary Terms. 6th ed. Fort
Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace College
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