AP Independent Novel Lorie Sasinoski Jennifer Lang
Summary • Wuthering Heights opens with Lockwood, a tenant of Heathcliff's, visiting the home of his landlord. A subsequent visit to Wuthering Heights yields an accident and a curious supernatural encounter, which pique Lockwood's curiosity. Back at Thrushcross Grange and recuperating from his illness, Lockwood begs Nelly Dean, a servant who grew up in Wuthering Heights and now cares for Thrushcross Grange, to tell him of the history of Heathcliff. Nelly narrates the main plot line of Wuthering Heights. • Mr. Earnshaw, a Yorkshire Farmer and owner of Wuthering Heights, brings home an orphan from Liverpool. The boy is named Heathcliff and is raised with the Earnshaw children, Hindley and Catherine. Catherine loves Heathcliff but Hindley hates him because Heathcliff has replaced Hindley in Mr. Earnshaw's affection. After Mr. Earnshaw's death, Hindley does what he can to destroy Heathcliff, but Catherine and Heathcliff grow up playing wildly on the moors, oblivious of anything or anyone else — until they encounter the Lintons. • Edgar and Isabella Linton live at Thrushcross Grange and are the complete opposites of Heathcliff and Catherine. The Lintons welcome Catherine into their home but shun Heathcliff. Treated as an outsider once again, Heathcliff begins to think about revenge. Catherine, at first, splits her time between Heathcliff and Edgar, but soon she spends more time with Edgar, which makes Heathcliff jealous. When Heathcliff overhears Catherine tell Nelly that she can never marry him (Heathcliff), he leaves Wuthering Heights and is gone for three years.
Summary cont. • While he is gone, Catherine continues to court and ends up marrying Edgar. Their happiness is short-lived because they are from two different worlds, and their relationship is strained further when Heathcliff returns. Relationships are complicated even more as Heathcliff winds up living with his enemy, Hindley (and Hindley's son, Hareton), at Wuthering Heights and marries Isabella, Edgar's sister. Soon after Heathcliff's marriage, Catherine gives birth to Edgar's daughter, Cathy, and dies. • Heathcliff vows revenge and does not care who he hurts while executing it. He desires to gain control of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange and to destroy everything Edgar Linton holds dear. In order to exact his revenge, Heathcliff must wait 17 years. Finally, he forces Cathy to marry his son, Linton. By this time he has control of the Heights and with Edgar's death, he has control of the Grange. • Through all of this, though, the ghost of Catherine haunts Heathcliff. What he truly desires more than anything else is to be reunited with his soul mate. At the end of the novel, Heathcliff and Catherine are united in death, and Hareton and Cathy are going to be united in marriage.
Wuthering Heights Family Tree Many characters are introduced in the book at such a fast pace. This tree will help recognize where the characters come from and how they come into play in the book. The lines connecting two names means the characters married, if there are double lines it means the character remarried. ? - 1777 ? - 1773 ? - 1780 ? - 1780 1760-1778 1765-1784 1762-1801 1757-1784 1765-1797 1764-1802 1778- 1784- 1784-1801 Other Important Characters in the book; Mr. Lockwood – the tenant of Thrushcross Grange and narrator of the story Nelly Dean – a server to both houses (Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange), who tells the story to Mr. Lockwood Joseph – a server to the house
Analyzing Main Characters Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw-Linton Although there are many characters throughout Wuthering Heights, there are only two main characters; Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw. The whole novel is set around their love for one another and the good and evil love brings.
Heathcliff Wuthering Heights is focused mainly around Heathcliff and his adoration of Catherine Earnshaw. Heathcliff was an orphan who was brought to live at Wuthering Heights by Mr. Earnshaw, who Nelly Dean (server of the household) says is a very kind man. Mr. Earnshaw treated Heathcliff as his own, schooled him and dressed him properly. From the beginning to the end of the novel, Heathcliff is presented as very mysterious. Heathcliff has a dark complexion and is described as a “gypsy”, where no one knew where he had come from. In between the time Heathcliff leaves and returns to Wuthering Heights, he acquires a great deal of money, where no one knew where it came from. Heathcliff gets two different reactions from the reader, pity and disgust. You pity Heathcliff for the way he was raised whenever Mr. Earnshaw died and at the loss of his love to another man. Yet his actions to gain revenge make you disgust him. Heathcliff is presented as evil throughout the novel, one who will do anything for love even if it is hurting the one he loves. Heathcliff may even symbolize the devil in a sense. Many descriptions of Heathcliff were made throughout the book such as, “fiend”, “hellish villain”, “diabolical”, “incarnate goblin”, “a monster and not a human being” and etc. Catherine, the love of his life, even describes him as “a fierce, pitiless, wolfish man.” Even when Mr. Earnshaw brought him home, he introduces Heathcliff as a dark man and says, “almost as if it came from the devil”.
Catherine Earnshaw-Linton Catherine Earnshaw, later known as Catherine Linton, was the daughter of Mr. Earnshaw. Whenever, Heathcliff was brought home, Catherine was the only one who fully accepted him. Catherine and Heathcliff grew to love each other through a childhood friendship. Catherine even admits to Nelly, "I am Heathcliff! He is always in my mind; not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being." Whenever Catherine broke her leg outside the Linton’s house, Thrushcross Grange, she was told to stay there until her leg was better. After that experience, Catherine now found the finer things in life and had to choose between love (Heathcliff) and a life of comfort (in marrying Edgar Linton). Catherine ends up marrying Edgar for very selfish reasons, and to help Heathcliff “rise, and place him out of my brother's power." Catherine is a very strong willed, arrogant, and wildly passionate character. Catherine can also be seen as cruel. Whenever Nelly Dean follows Hindley Earnshaw’s orders of not letting Catherine alone with Edgar Linton, Catherine rebels by pinching and slapping Nelly. Catherine taunts and embarrasses Isabella in front of Heathcliff because, of her own jealousy. Catherine also uses Edgar to get somewhere in life and marries him for the advantages she will get and not for love. Her actions throughout the novel make her an interesting character. Catherine dies of an early death and her spirit stays to haunt Heathcliff at Wuthering Heights because, she vows before she dies that she wants Edgar and Heathcliff to suffer as they have caused her to suffer. Their (Heathcliff and Catherine) love goes beyond the grave which creates the whole novel.
Themes The major theme we found in the novel would be “Vengeance is Pointless.” Throughout the entire novel, the main character, Heathcliff, seeks revenge on any one that has stood against him and anything that is on their side. He spends his entire life obsessing over destroying the Earnshaws (Hindley and Hareton) and Wuthering Heights, their home; also the Lintons (Edgar and young Cathy) and Thrushcross Grange, their home. He manipulates Cathy into marrying his son Linton Heathcliff so that he can own both properties, both monies, therefore being able to dictate their lives. Even after all of this he cannot perform the final task of destroying both homes all together, and erasing their existence. He is left feeling empty and like his wishes have gone unfulfilled and he dies not long after. Also, with Isabella, she hated Heathcliff so much yet when Hindley is about to murder him, she warns Heathcliff therefore saving her life. Later she escapes and lives the rest of her life happily with her son. Its almost as if she is rewarded for not thinking vengefully. All this vengeful behavior always relates back to and surrounds Heathcliff.
LiteraryDevices • Symbolism • The Moors • Winter • Ghosts • 2. Repetition • Names • Hate • The Moors
Symbolism • TheMoors • They are vast, that are dangerous, infertile, overgrown wastelands, innavigable, swampy and treacherous. • When Catherine and Heathcliff are children, they play on these despite the fact that they are so dangerous. • This can symbolize their love. Their love is dangerous, impossible, and “swampy.” They are stuck in love with each other even though they may not want to. • Weather • Every time a bad weather (storms, winter, etc.) is described in the book, someone becomes ill and sometimes die. • Mr. Earnshaw dies. Mr. Lockwood gets sick. Mrs. Dean gets sick. Catherine Linton dies. Edgar Linton dies. Heathcliff dies. Linton Heathcliff dies. • Can be evaluated using Thomas Foster’s “How to Read Literature Like a Professor” • Bad weather signifies desolation, gloom and for our purpose, most specifically: death. • Ghosts • Catherine’s ghost visits Mr. Lockwood in a dream at the very beginning of the novel, therefore serving as the introduction to the entire story.
Symbolism Cont. • Towards the end of the novel, Heathcliff starts seeming like he is happy and is heard talking to someone who isn’t present: Catherine’s ghost. Her ghost comes back to keep him from destroying both homes and waiting with him until he dies. • After both Heathcliff and Catherine die, villagers and guest have accounts of seeing them together. • These occurrences can symbolize an untold story, and most important, eternal love. • 4. GravePlacement • At the end of the novel it is described how the graves are placed. • Edgar Linton, then Catherine Earnshaw-Linton and lastly, Heathcliff. • It seems that even in death Catherine is placed between the two men she • and she’ll have to choose between them even in the afterlife.
Style Emily Bronte’s narrative style is formed using the “flashback” method. The novel begins in the present when Mr. Lockwood, who is the narrator, first meets Heathcliff, Cathy Linton, and Hareton Earnshaw at Wuthering Heights. He becomes very interested in them therefore going back to Thrushcross Grange and asking Mrs. Dean, who becomes the narrator at this point, to tell him the story behind the people. The novel then becomes a flashback as Mrs. Dean tell their stories. Several times the novel switches back to the present using Mr. Lockwood as the narrator, but these visits are brief and the novel goes right back to the past. The novel ends with the present time as Mr. Lockwood visits the Graves of Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Linton and Heathcliff. The change between present and past as well as the change in narrator keeps you on your toes and alert.
Social/HistoricalRelevance This novel is socially relevant due to its portrayal of social class. In the beginning of Mrs. Dean’s story about the families, she tells of how Heathcliff came to live with the Earnshaws. Mr. Earnshaw finds the boy, on the street and brings him home, kind of like a stray pet. He was described as a “gypsy” child. He was nameless and therefore classless. For his whole youth he was looked down upon by the Earnshaws, (excluding Catherine and Mr. Earnshaw), the Lintons and anybody else of high class. He could never escape the fact that he had dark skin and black hair and had no surname. This display of social class is also why Catherine could not marry Heathcliff although she loved him so. “It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now, so he shall never know how I love him…”
Evaluation Emily Bronte’s novel “Wuthering Heights” tells a story of love, death and vengeance that will never get old. The piece uses several different themes as well as loads of literary devices to concoct an ultimate classic. It is a great read that anybody can understand. This novel is a classic piece of English literature that should be a part of everyone’s personal collection. The End