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                              Wuthering Heights
        As a teacher in "Terminale L", I've had to work on the first half of the novel (up to Catherine'death). Having searched for documents on the web and having used some of them, I've then thought that my own work could be of some use for either other students or teachers. All my page references are based on the Penguin Popular Classics edition .

    Contents
Catherine's life : a chronology
Heathcliff : a chronology
Chapters 1 and 2
    The romantic elements
    The characters
Chapter 3
    Catherine's diary
    Catherine's dreams
    Heathcliff's reaction
    The aftermath
Chapter 4
    The change of narrators
    Who is who?
    The chronological narrative
Chapters 5 and 6
    Heathcliff and Catherine
Chapters 6,7,8,9
    The encounter with the Lintons
    The change in Cathy
    The change in Heathcliff
    Edgar Linton
    Cathy's loves
Chapters 10 to 16
     Catherine's pretended happiness before Heathcliff's arrival
     Catherine's real happiness at Heathcliff's arrival
     Heathcliff's destruction of this happiness.

        THEMES

1. Heathcliff
2. Catherine
3. The secondary characters
4. The opposition between the Heights and the Grange
5. Romanticism in W.H.

     The song by Kate Bush


 
 


Catherine's life : a chronology


date event age
1765 birth
1771 arrival of Heathcliff in the family 6
1773 death of her mother 8
1777 death of her father. Hindley becomes master of the house. 11
1778  meeting with the Lintons  12
1781 engagement to Edgar. Heathcliff runs away 15
1783  marriage with Edgar  18
1784 death in childbirth. Birth of Cathy 19

Heathcliff : a chronology

 
1771 arrival in the family   5 
1777 death of Mr. Earnshaw.  Heathcliff considered a servant  10 or 11 
1781 he runs away  14 or 15 
1783 comes back a rich young man  17 or 18 
1784  marries Isabella  18
1784 Catherine dies 18 or 19 
1784 birth of Linton, Heathcliff's son  19
1801 Linton marries Cathy and dies at 17. Arrival of Mr. Lockwood  36

 
 
Chapters 1 and 2
           1. The romantic elements (in chronological order)

            A. Solitude, isolation. 1st §. Why is it a romantic element ?
            B. Wild nature, suggests wild emotions. p.20, 2nd §
            C. The romantic hero : Heathcliff.  p.21 lines 12 to 18. What does his name suggest ?
            D. Violence : attack of the dogs.
            E. The irrational : beginning of page 29. Mrs Heathcliff practices black magic.

        2. The characters :

          A. Mr. Lockwood :
A narrator, not interesting in himself, but interesting in as much as he offers a contrast with the other characters.

Conceited : his language, his satisfaction with his physical appearance : "I must beware how I cause her to regret her choice". Mr. L. is quite sure the young woman will be seduced by him. He must pay attention, otherwise he is going to seduce her unintentionally. p.27 line 22

Extremely good mannered. Pays compliments when they are not wanted : He speaks of Heathcliff's "amiable lady". p.27 line 2.  Then he calls her a "beneficent fairy", line 32. In fact he is ridiculous.

Unable to understand what surrounds him. Hence his continual blunders, his difficulty in understanding the situation.
List of his blunders :
a) goes back to Wuthering Heights after the first catastrophic visit whereas Heathcliff "evidently wished no repetition of my intrusion" (end of chapter 1)
b) goes back as it is snowing.
c) supposes Mrs.Heathcliff is Heathcliff's wife, despite the age difference and the brutality with which Heathcliff speaks to her.p.26 line 28
d) then supposes she is Hareton's wife. lines 31,32 p. 27

Extremely unromantic. His love story is the reverse of a romantic love story. p21, line 38 "I shrank icily into myself" The romantic hero burns with passion, he turns to ice.

    B. Heathcliff :
Romantic appearance, very nice looking. A dark skinned gypsy, erect and handsome.
But terrible temper and attitude.

a. Extremely rude. Won't let Mr. Lockwood come in at the beginning, p.19 line 23, p.22 line 35 after the attack of the dogs, doesn't excuse himself, on the contrary puts the blame on Lockwood, etc.
b. Violent in his attitude, p.26 line 28. We will see in chapter 3 that he beats her too.

c. However, a gentleman. The way he speaks, the way he is dressed.

    C. Cathy.
She's very young, pretty. lines 13 to 25 p. 25

But terribly unpleasant, rude too.p.24 lines 37 to 39

She practices witchcraft, trying to get her revenge on the people around her.

Seems to be a prisoner in the house p. 29 line 30

But is not so bad, not so wicked as Joseph says p.30 lines 17 to 20

So, why does she act this way? Who is she? Why is she called Mrs. Heathcliff if she is not Heathcliff's wife? end of p.27, we don't really get the answer.

Finally, there seems to be a special relationship between her and Hareton p.27 line 33. Hareton becomes crimson and has a violent reaction when Mr. Lockwood suggests that she is his wife.p.30 lines 13 to 24.  They seem to hate each other. He refuses to do anything if she thinks he must do it.

    D. Hareton
He's very strange because in between

Half a gentleman and half a servant. p.25 line 32 to p. 26 line 6
Half kind and half rude, brutal.
Who is he? He bears the same name as the name written on the front of the house.
 

    E. Joseph :
unpleasant, rude, verbally violent.
 
 
 
 

Chapter 3
Mr Lockwood is introduced to an odd chamber (line 26-27 p 31). The whole chapter is going to be odd indeed.

5 parts in this chapter :

1. The discovery of Catherine's diary.
2. The first dream (not interesting)
3. The second dream (Catherine's ghost)
4. Heathcliff's reaction
5. The aftermath.

1.  Catherine's diary

a. The place where it is discovered : the oak case with the small windows. it is a small house in itself, a world of its own.

b. The writing scratched on the paint : Three names.

1. Catherine Earnshaw. Mr. L. already knows it is the name of this family, the name linked to the house.
2. Catherine Heathcliff. It can make him understand that there has been a strong relationship between this Catherine and his terrible landlord
3. Catherine Linton : He doesn't yet understand what this means.

What has happened to this Catherine? She immediately appears as a mysterious character.

c. The diary.
    It begins with a complaint against Hindley. H. represents Heathcliff. Catherine doesn't have to name him.
    Then she tells the story of the service in the garret. Not heated, children freezing. Never ending homily.
    Then, as the children try to find themselves a nook where they can be at peace, where they can play house, Joseph spoils everything and boxes Catherine ears. Violence is a constant in the life of these people. If the servants are allowed to beat the children we can suppose that the master often does so too.
    After having been told off by Joseph, the children escape from the kithen which is separated from the house, which is less heated, less comfortable.
    They are very severely punished when they come back that night : read p. 34 lines 8 to 17. This is an important passage because it is the repudiation of Heathcliff by Hindley.
    Life is very hard and rustic. As we've seen it, the garret is not heated, the only light in the kitchen is the light from the fire. The dog-kennel is in the living room.

2. The first dream ::

Inspired by the character of Joseph. A sort of religious nightmare.

3. The second dream : p.36 line 17. To read

The strangeness of the dream.

It begins in a very realistic way. MrL. is in the bed where he really is. In his dream he opens the window which is exactly like the real window. In a dream, usually, things change shapes, places are always different.
It contains information Mr.L. doesn't have yet. "I've been a waif for twenty years".
The character of the waif, or ghost.
She wants to come in. "Let me in". She wants to come back. She says : "I'm come back. I'd lost my way on the moors". In fact she did lose her way. When she was 12, that is shortly after she wrote these pages Mr.L. read, she went to the Grange with Heathcliff, stayed there for a few days and from that moment onwards, started changing, started rejecting Heathcliff, even though she still loved him with all her soul. But she was guilty of having wanted to escape this life of hardships and discomfort, of having dreamt like all the little girls of becoming a lady. We don't know it yet, but we will learn about it in the next chapters and the dream will still be present enough in our memories to enable us to interpret it this way. Catherine is a ghost because she is guilty of not having listened to her heart but to her vanity. She's guilty towards herself and towards Heathcliff of course.
She is a little girl. her hand is small, her face is a child's. So she is physically what she was when she began to enstrange herself from Heathcliff. She is what she was when she was his soul and he was hers.

The dream  ends in a climax. We always wake up at such moments in our dreams. The strong emotion.

4. Heathcliff's reaction :

As he enters the room he has a strange attitude both sure of himself and hesitant :
He pushed the door open "with vigorous hand.....He appeared to hesitate,... muttered to himself, at last he said in a half whisper, plainly not expecting an answer : "Is anyone here?"  :  a banal question.
Then he has a shock when the panels of the bed open. Compared to an electric shock.(role of electricity at the time) What does he believe?  Mr. L. reveals his presence "not to expose his cowardice further". What has Mr. L. for once understood? (That H. is afraid because he believes in ghosts). Why does he call it cowardice? (He is a rational mind, doesn't believe in such things).
However, Mr.L. talks about the ghost. He chats about it lightly as if it really existed, but his absence of fear, the fact that he speaks humorously of it suggests that he doesn't believe in ghosts. If he did, he would be terrified. p. 38 lines 4 to 12. Besides he starts making blunders again, talking about the names printed on the window ledge.
Heathcliff's reaction is logical (after a shock) it is a terrible anger. p38 lines 25 to 29. It is not totally irrational. He says what people say when they have been insulted. Mr. L. has not insulted him but he has insulted Catherine's ghost, i.e. Catherine. But as L. prattles on, he abandons the fight, he realizes he can't do anything with such an insensitive person.
Then, sitting in the shadow of the great bed, he cries, vanquished by emotion. It makes him kinder, he offers his room to L.
Then he really expresses his feelings when he thinks L. doesn't watch him anymore. He opens the window and he speaks to the ghost. Which means that he has already seen this ghost several times, so it cannot be just a dream. He declares his love to Cathy. p. 39 lines 20 to 24.

5. The aftermath :

 The anti climax. We, the readers, need a little rest after all these emotions.
 a. a silent scene with the cat and Joseph in the back kitchen, no interest
 b. Then he enters the house where life is already astir. Scene between Mrs. H and H. She is at her " idle tricks" again, reading a magic book. In a fact her idleness is a form of passive resistance. end of p. 40 lines 1 and 2 p. 41. Violence again. H. ready to hit her with his fists!
 c. It is dawn. About 8 o'clock in the morning. The land is covered with snow. Just try to imagine it in the cold pale light of dawn. And H. offers to guide Mr. L. home. He doesn't ask anybody to do it, he goes himself. Why this sudden change of attitude compared to the preceding night?
d. Some remarks concerning the Grange.  How many miles away from W.H.? A real "chateau" : a two mile walk between the gate and the house. The way he calls the servants : "my human fixture and her satellites" shows all the disdain he has for them. The § finishes in the present tense because this is the moment when he writes his diary.
 
 

Chapter 4
1. The change of narrators
Here, the double narrative begins. It is artificial and very unlikely that a man like Mr. Lockwood should be able to copy down in his diary, completely faithfully, such a long narrative. But, not so surprising at the time, when aristocrats used to read and write a lot. They had nothing else to do. However the device is efficient because after all we don't care who is telling the story anymore and we get interested in the story itself.

Nelly's style of narration : She has more or less been brought up with the children of the house. Her English is correct, but not sophisticated, which indicates the ambivalence of her social position. Close to the masters but not too much. It has the advantage of being much easier to read than Mr. L ‘s pedantic English.

Nelly's name. Ellen Dean. Mrs Dean, though she's not married. (difficult for a foreign reader, but not for an English one)

The relationship between Nelly and Mr. L. : He's interested in her inasmuch as she can tell him about her masters. line 26 : "her own affairs....could hardly interest me"

2. Who is who?

Mr. L. wants to know who is whom, to have the answers to the questions he's been asking himself and we've been asking ourselves. He gets a series of answers first which he can't really analyse. First he learns that Nelly has been living there for 18 years
 "I came when the mistress (Catherine Earnshaw) was married, to wait on her." That's 18 years ago. We don't really know what she means just then, we don't know who the mistress is. (But it allows us later to realize that the young Catherine can't be more than 17.)
Heathcliff is very rich, though the origin of his money is unknown. But we can see that Nelly completely misunderstands him as she thinks it is because he is near his money that he doesn't live in the luxurious Grange but prefers the rustic Heights. Indeed we have already understood that he lives in the Heights to be haunted by Catherine's ghost.
 Then as Nelly goes on explaining, things don't get much clearer : "lines 27 to 29" which gives Mr.L. a good reason to ask Nelly to tell the story in chronological order, so that he can understand it. The only thing he has understood perhaps clearly is that Heathcliff is the cuckoo and Hareton "the dunnock", the poor little bird thrown out from the nest, the cheated one.

3. The chronological narrative.

Heathcliff's introduction to the family

"" dropped.
Nelly's mother had nursed Hindley, so probably Nelly is Hindley's age. Meaning of to nurse at that time.

Ages of the children:
How old must Heathcliff be? (4 or 5) Cathy is just 6. Hindley and therefore Nelly are 14.

1st scene. It's a very famous scene.
 Strange. What is strange in it? origin of the child. Why possible in Liverpool?
 Moving. What is moving in it. lines 5.6. p. 46
Who do we sympathise with?

Description of the situation that followed.
 Heathcliff not really adopted. What shows it? (name)
 Feelings of the different family members concerning him :
 Mr.Earnshaw : lines 26 to 29 p. 46
Mrs. Earnshaw : lines 18, 19. (remark : Mrs. E. a practically non-existent character, one of the flaws of the book The only other sentence concerning her announces her death p.36 line31).
Hindley : jealous . line 15. line 21. 32 to 35.
Nelly herself : sympathises more with Heathcliff after he's had the measles. But still, doesn't like him very much.
Only Cathy likes him. They're "very thick."

2nd scene : the colt.

 What does it reveal of H's character? Don't forget throughout the scene that Hindley must be 15 and Heathcliff 5 or 6 at most;
 a. He's greedy. wants the best for him
 b. Doesn't hesitate in blackmailing Hindley. (quite normal for a child. can't defend himself physically due to the age difference).
 c. extremely courageous because resistant to physical pain and bold as he is defying Hindley.
 Conclusion of the scene :  he gets what he wants but it is at the cost of intense suffering.
 
 

Chapters 5 and 6 (first part)
Heathcliff and Catherine
These chapters describe the period Heathcliff will always dream to come back to. They complete the pages of the diary Mr.L. read in the oak closet at the Heights.  However it's a sad period, that of the death of Mr. Earnshaw and Hindley's subsequent tyranny. But what makes it more precious than anything else for him is his then perfect friendhsip with Catherine. Is it friendship? is it love? it's something in between or it's both, it's children's love. Catherine is 6 to 12 during this period, Heathcliff 4 to 10.

1. Catherine's character :

Read lines 11 to 28 : in a word : unbearable but adorable at the same time.

2. Mr. E's death. It's a touching scene, very visual, like a painting. The death of a good man. He dies reconciled with Catherine who sings him to sleep and to his peaceful death.
Heathcliff's attitude at Mr. Earnshaws' death proves he truly loved him. Line36 p. 50 "And they both set up a heart-breaking cry." p. 51 lines 5 to 9.

3. The change in Hindley.

He comes back with a wife for his father's funeral. How young he has married! Line 36 p.51: he's been away for three years, then, it's at least four years after H.' arrival in the family. So he's 18! But still, it's very young and it was very unusual to marry that young for a boy at that time. The family is amazed.

a. His wife: just a teenager like him. from a low background. impressed by everything she sees. already ill with T.B..
b. The change in Hindley's attitude : He immediately gives orders as to the organisation of the house. He rejects the servants to the back kitchen and then treats H. as if he were just one of them. Lines 15 to 19 p. 52.

4. Heathcliff's and Cathy's occupations :

Running out to the moors together. "They forgot everything the minute they were together again." This is the greatest pleasure in their lives. However it is only alluded to in the book. Nowhere is there a description of one of their expeditions, which is another flaw in the novel. This is why for example in the film, some "moor scenes" have been added. Here, we can only imagine them. Without visualising these escapades, it's difficult to understand all the symbolic elements in the dream "I've been a waif on these moors for 20 years". It's difficult to imagine how H.'s passion for Catherine developed to become indestructible. But Cathertine's love for H. is going to be destroyed altered by the Lintons, that is by money.
 

Chapters 6,7,8,9.
These chapters describe the moment when Catherine changes her way of life and becomes  a young lady, how she marries Edgar Linton and how Heathcliff runs away.

A new important character appears in the story : Edgar Linton.

1. The encounter with the Lintons. (Chapter 6)

Told by Heathcliff. Narration in the narration in the narration. Heathcliff's point of view. Good choice because it enhances the contrast between the little wild creature he has become and the refined but pining children.

 a. Catherine and Heathcliff observe the Linton children through a window.

 -The place is so beautiful. Truly aristocratic. The Lintons are probably quite close to being part of  the aristocracy.
- But the Linton children quarrel stupidly. End of p. 53, p. 54 down to line 10.

- Heathcliff's and Catherine's reaction : they despise these children, and Heathcliff expresses his love for Catherine when he says : "When would you catch me wishing to have what C. wanted.

b. The children are heard and caught

  - Violence of the scene, the Lintons don't hesitate to set the dogs on people.

  - Cathy is adopted and Heathcliff is rejected. WHY?

  - Cathy immediately enjoys her new situation : p.56 lines 10 to 21. Heathcliff doesn't sense the danger then.

2. The change in Cathy (Chapter 7)

It's very rapid, as if Cathy had been waiting for something to happen, to change her so rustic way of life.

 a. Her clothes have changed.p.57 line 1 to 7

 b. Her manners have changed too, "She kissed me gently", but not her love for Heathcliff : she looks for him, kisses him passionately and then realise the change in him too.
But when he is punished, she cannot eat and manages to find her way to the garret where he is locked and spend some time with him.p.63 last§.

3. The change in Heathcliff

 a. He has become completely wild, out of neglect. Nobody cares for him. He is a little boy (around 11). At that age little boys rarely care for themselves. Mothers have trouble in getting them to wash themselves. A "nobody but [Ellen] did him the kindness to call him a dirty boy," (explain) line 27 p. 57.He is dirty beyond redemption.

 b. Cathy also sees him with different eyes now. She has got used to the well-educated and elegant Edgar.

 c. His reaction : he hardens himself and two factors emphasize this attitude :
 -Hindley intelligently uses the difference between the two rivals to get his revenge on Heathcliff (line 10 p. 58).  and humiliates him even more than before. All this only breeds the thirst for revenge in H. (beginning of page 64). He knows he cannot compete with E. Linton so he adopts a provocative attitude, p.58, line 24.
-And not only is Hindley against him but fate also is!  After he has finally agreed to present himself cleaned and decently dressed to the other children, even after Nelly has given him some sense of dignity and some courage again, showing him that he can be as good-looking as Edgar or even better-looking, after she has shown him that being good, he will be pleasant to the others, "ill-luck would have it that, as he opened the door to the kitchen ....from one side, Hindley would open it on the other".
Fate is also his ennemy three years later when he finds himself hidden behind the settle and hears Cathy's confession to Nelly.

4. Edgar Linton.

He is an important character because he is the cause of Heathcliff's misery and also his complete opposite. So, his presence in the novel enhances H's personality.

 a. A good boy. compassion for Cath, when she is brought into their house first : p.55 lines 25,26. When he hurts people, he doesn't do it on purpose : p.62, line 3.

 b. In love with Cathy from the beginning :" ... and Edgar stood gaping at a distance". p.56 line,13.

 c. Contrarily to Heathcliff he can forgive. He forgives Cathy when she behaves abominably and slaps him (chapt.10).

 d. But wanting life, passion. p.68, lines 15 to 27, and p.80 lines 16,17.

He represents in fact, the true gentleman. What Mr. Lockwood tries to be but fails to be because of his conceitedness.

5. Cathy's loves

How can she love two young men at the same time? How can she love fire and ice?

 a. Cathy's nature. Good and evil. First evil, then good. She has the bad impulses first. She is torn between the two extremes. The scene when she pinches and slaps Nelly is extremely revealing. She can be purely obnoxious, and then, a few moments later come and offer her trust and confide in the person she has offended showing thus her love for this person. But still, this two-sided nature can't explain by itself that she should love two boys at the same time or that she should choose one when she loves the other.
Her dialogue with Nelly is extremely revealing too. It is a key passage in the novel, because it explains everything.

b.  Edgar is what she wants to be. Polished, well-educated, a gentleman. She says she loves him, but the sentences she uses are clichés : p. 78, lines 13, 14, 15. He is Cathy's idea of heaven. But who wants to live in heaven and be bored for eternity?

c.  Heathcliff is what she is. "He's more myself than I am". She has always loved him, ever since she was 6 years old. Does she really love him as a woman loves a man or does she love him like a brother? The novel is not clear on that point. She says : "It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now". It shows that she has thought of it. And she thinks he's handsome. She also says :"He will never know how I love him." p. 80 lines 13 to 17.

Conclusion on Cathy and her loves

Catherine who is all but reasonable has listened to her reason. She has a made a choice against her nature. Never listen to your reason. Listen to your heart. The truth is in your heart.
 

The consequence on Heathcliff : Fate is against Heathcliff again. He happens to eavesdrop on  Cathy's confession, and makes his mind to go, hurt and desperate just after she has said she can't marry him because he is far too low in status now. He will never hear her confess to Nelly how she loves him incomparably more than she loves Edgar.
 

Conclusion on these four chapters :

The situation has dramatically changed. We can suppose that the following part of the story will take place at the Grange.

Catherine is married to Edgar whom she doesn't really love, Heathcliff has gone, Hindley is drowning himself in alcohol and poor little baby Hareton has been sacrificed by his ignominious father.
 

Chapters 10 to 16
 
 

Plan
     1. Catherine's pretended happiness before Heathcliff's arrival
 

     2. Catherine's real happiness at Heathcliff's arrival
 

     3. Heathcliff's destruction of this happiness.

a. Why he destroys it.

b. How he destroys it

c. The consequences of this destruction (among which, Catherine's death)

     1. Catherine's pretended happiness.

1. She seems happy : p ;89 line 4: "she seemed almost over fond of... affection."
+ conclusion of this §

2. But in between the beginning and the end of the §, so many hints suggesting Catherine is pretending and is not happy at all.

She's compared to a thorn, line 11, we are told that " Mr. Edgar had a deep-rooted fear of ruffling her humour". Can this be happiness?

NO. Catherine is in fact depressive. line 2: "seasons of gloom ands silence". The word "depression" is used line25.

     2. Her real happiness after Heathcliff's come back.

1. the nature of his retum:
        a. It is very unexpected. Nelly doesn't think it can be him calling to her even though the voice   is familiar.
        b. It is very surprising because Heathcliff has changed so much. He has become a young gentleman. p.90 line 26:  "you are altered" p.92 line 15 to 25.
        c. It is immediately marked by passion on either side.p.90 une 29 "I'm in hell till you do " p. 91 "Catherine flew  upstairs....line 23 to 34.

2. How Catherine reacts to it. She immediately take sides with Heathcliff and she feels an intense joy End of page 91....p.92 "I'm afraid the joy is too great to be real". At the end of the page, when they are at last sitting face to face: line 39. Later, Catherine will say that the event of this evening has reconciled her to humanity (p.94).

But after this intense joy comes bitterness, reproaches.He has made her suffer by leaving, she has made him suffer too.p.93, line 3. Heathcliff tells her what he had intended to do see her once again, kill Hindley and then kill himself. He says he's fought through a bitter life, but he did it for her (lines 15,16).
Edgar is diminished in her eyes.; end of page 93, line 4 p. 94. Edgar appears as a whining, weak creature. later on, p. 95 she  calls him " that creature" ! line 31.
She confesses she hasn't been happy during the preceding months. And she uses very strong voc. lines 30 to 35 p. 95.

     3. Heathcliff's destruction of this happiness

It could have lasted a little, Edgar accepting the situation and Catherine having become " a perpetual sunshine". But very soon, it's going to be destroyed.

A. Why? Because Heathcliff has to take his revenge. He has to make those who have made him suffer suffer in their turn. The list is composed of Hindley, Edgar, and to a certain extent Catherine herself.

a. Hindley. By settling down at W.H., by making himself accepted by Hindley who is interested in Heathcliff's money. Hind. Is going to get himself into such debts as he will depend totally on Heathcliff who will have the pleasure to pay him back and offer him all the possible humiliations he can think of.

b. Edgar. He is the innocent one, but the one Heathcliff hates the most. Because of sheer jealousy, because he is Catherine's husband. Heathcliff can make him suffer in two different ways.

- by showing him that it's him, Heathcliff that Catherine loves.
- by making somebody else he loves suffer: Isabella. The poor girl is going to be stupid enough to fall in love with him. 3 reasons: She is stupid, she has never seen anybody else (no other eligible young man), Heathcliff is very handsome. Besides,Isabella is the heiress. A strange will makes her the heiress of the Grange "in default of heirs male". If Edgar doesn't have a son, the Grange will be hers. If Heathcliff marries her, The Grange will be his.

c. Catherine. He loves her more than himself, but it's a cruel love. As children they could be happy together, as young adults they can only destroy each other. So he will also elope with and marry Isabella to make Catherine jealous. Thus he pays her back. She loves him, but she belongs to Edgar (physically). He loves her but he takes another wife.

B. How he destroys this happiness.

By taking the opportunity offered by Isabella when she falls in love with him. He doesn't have to make the effort of seducing her, but he takes advantage of the situation.

a. Isabella's passion for Heathcliff. Difficult to understand but easy to imagine. She is irrationally jealous of Catherine. Catherine has all the affectio,. her brother's love, Heathcliff's love too. She wants some of it. and besides, in the state of isolation in which she lives, she would have fallen in love with just anybody. Her passion is all the stronger as it is irrational. She cannot be reasoned.
Catherine tries to : end of p. 97. Nelly tries to p.98. Heathcliff himself tries to.

There is a scene (a rather long one during which, Catherine, rather cruelly exposes lsabella's feelings to Heathcliff and he declares p. 101 line 17 "And I like her too ill too attempt it" He says she has a mawkish, waxen face, that she detestably resembles Edgar. (However, he' s interested in the fact that she's the heiress). We cannot say that he's not honest at the beginning.

          b. Heathcliff's decision to take advantage of this passion. (Chapter 11). P. 104 not long after, he embraces her (takes her in his arms).
          c. The ensuing quarrel with Catherine. he says line 16 : "I have a right to kiss her...... of me" It's a very violent quarrel. All that hadn't been said comes out. line 27 to 37p. 105.
Catherine doesn't understand. His innuendoes are obviously sexual. Metaphor of the tyrant and the slave. She is the tyrant because she is sleeping with Edgar. And she will torture him forever. She offers him her friendship (the "hovel" compared to the palace of physical love), but it is torture to him. Note that they don't envisage for a moment to run away together. They could.
Heathcliff has got money now. But we must remember Catherine's dual nature. As much as she loves Heathcliff she loves the luxury of the Grange. And of course, to do such a thing at the time was much more difficult than now. They don't envisage either to become lovers. It just doesn't belong to their world.

The end of the quarrel is very violent. Edgar arrives, Catherine quarrels with him, he manages to throw Heathcliff out. The scene is very long and it exhausts Catherine. When, it's finished, she says, line 10 p.1 09 "A thousand smiths' hammers are beating in my head."
 

            C. The consequences:

          a. Catherine falls ill. She has a fit of frenzy: her eyes are turned up, she is
deadly pale, stiff. There is blood on her lips. Then she will lock herself up in her
bedroom and won't come down for several days. When Edgar will finally understand
that there's a serious problem, Catherine will be too ill to recover.
         b. Her illness. First, it makes her more outspoken. She expresses her spite for Edgar. She calls him an "apathetic being" p. 112, line 14. However, she would like him to take care of her. "Among his books, and I dying!". Then she becomes delirious. She relives the past, especially her ramblings on the moors with Heathcliff, the only moments of true happiness she has lived.p.113 line 33 "Bonny bird..." and she always wants to have the window open to look at the moors in the direction of the Heights.
          c. Nelly's role. It is not really negligible here. She deliberately, out of distrust and dislike for Catherine hides a part of the truth to Edgar.
         d. Edgar's attitude. Perhaps he's cross, he resents Catherine. But not very plausible. Catherine is pregnant he should be worried. The Brontë sisters probably had no experience at all of what a pregnancy was. Or, worse, Emily B. had completely forgotten at this moment of the story that her character was pregnant. Or, even worse, she has suddenly made her pregnant at the very last moment before her death. Then, when he realizes she's really ill, he becomes the most tender and dedicated husband.
          e. Heathcliff's attitude. In the meantime, not able to see Catherine anymore, he carries out his plan of revenge and elopes with Isabella, after having hung her little dog as a charming sort of wedding present to her. Then, as we learn through a very improbable letter sent by Isabella to Nelly, he makes her life a total, real hell.
          f. Catherine's death. We don't really understand why she dies. (Clinically, there doesn't seem to be anything really wrong with her). It's just that she can't live without Heathcliff anymore. She can't live the life she has chosen for herself.
          g. The last and first love scene. Just before she dies, Heathcliff manages to get inside the house and for the first time, they really tell each other their love (up to now they had confided in Nelly), they kiss, they hold each other. Pages 141 to 145. But as usual, their love is marked by suffering. The recurring words are "torture", "infernal", "hell" "torment" etc..p.141 : line 20 "in a stride or two had her grasped in his arms". 142 line 1 "Don't torture me"; lines 29, 30;36; physical love at last can be expressed :143; 29; 40. "You may kiss me and cry" (144,2) "Kiss me again" (17)
Finally, when they have to part because Edgar is arriving, for the first time, Heathcliff expresses his tenderness for Cathy. 1145; 10.(cf Romeo)
Difficult to imagine throughout this scene that Catherine is going to give birth to a baby the next day.

End of part One of the novel.
 
 

THEMES
1. Heathcliff
 Intro : introduced to us as a man in his 30's. Handsome, brutal, mysterious.

A. The little boy :  Adopted by Mr. Earnshaw : victim of Hindley's jealousy, very close to Cathy.

B. The adolescent :  Degraded by Hindley, in love with Cathy, building up his desire of revenge

 C. The young man : Changed, able to carry out his plans of revenge. Destroys his love.

2. Catherine.
 Intro : introduced to us as a ghost with three names which announces her death.

 A. The little girl : Wild, very close to Heathcliff

B. The adolescent : Trying to become a young lady, fascinated by the upper-class way of life of the Lintons, torn between two loves.

C. The young woman : Only apparently happy with Edgar, over-joyed by Heathcliff's return but enable to resist his plans of revenge. Cannot live with him, cannot live without him.

3. The secondary characters

Intro : many of them. We'll focus on the narrators, the Earnshaws and the Lintons.

A. The narrators.

        a. Lockwood. Well-mannered gentleman but complacent and sometimes ridiculous. Offers a sharp contrast with Heathcliff.

        b. Nelly (Ellen, Mrs. Dean) : narrator whose narration is reported by the first narrator, but the most important one. Tells 80% of the story.
Intelligent observer, but not impartial. No private life of her own because a servant.

 B. The Earnshaws.
        a. Mr. Earnshaw : good man but not able to make Heathcliff accepted by Hindley.

        b. Hindley : selfish and brutal as a child, extremely cruel and then degenerate as an adult. Only redeeming feature : love for his young wife. (Inspired by Branwell Brontë to a certain extent)

 C. The Lintons :

          a. Edgar. Good, well-mannered, but weak. dominated by Catherine

          b. Isabella : pretty but silly, and stubborn.

4. The opposition between the Heights and the Grange.

 A. Two houses, two families, two social classes,

           a. W.H. : upper middle-class, servants, old family but not rich anymore. rather rustic house. a few servants.
           b. The Grange : The upper class,  luxurious house.

 B. Two sets of characters in complete contrast.
           a. The men : Edgar, civilised, blond-haired, nearly feminine, good though prejudiced, well-mannered but weak versus Hindley and Heathcliff, both dark-haired, strong, masculine, selfish and cruel, and very strong.

            b. The women : Isabella, blond-haired, pretty, but stubborn and stupid versus Catherine, dark-haired, beautiful, wild, etc.
 

5. Romanticism in W.H.

Intro : It corresponds to the romantic ideal created by Wordsworth : it is the « spontaneaous overflow of powerful feelings » (Abrams 5) but it's the dark side of romanticism. All the feelings of the characters are exacerbated but they are all destructive.

A. The role of nature (impressive, wild, hostile most of the time)

B. The supernatural (the ghost appearing at the beginning and at the end of the novel)

C. The violence of the characters : exacerbated feelings, preoccupation with the self (the only unselfish important characters are Edgar and Nelly and they are not romantic characters.)
 

The song by Kate Bush

          Out on the wiley, windy moors
          We'd roll and fall in green.
          You had a temper like my jealousy:
          Too hot, too greedy.
          How could you leave me,
          When I needed to possess you?
          I hated you. I loved you, too.

               Bad dreams in the night.
               They told me I was going to lose the fight,
               Leave behind my wuthering, wuthering
               Wuthering Heights.

                    Heathcliff, it's me, Cathy.
                    Come home. I'm so cold!
                    Let me in-a-your window.

                    Heathcliff, it's me, Cathy.
                    Come home. I'm so cold!
                    Let me in-a-your window.

          Ooh, it gets dark! It gets lonely,
          On the other side from you.
          I pine a lot. I find the lot
          Falls through without you.
          I'm coming back, love.
          Cruel Heathcliff, my one dream,
          My only master.

               Too long I roam in the night.
               I'm coming back to his side, to put it right.
               I'm coming home to wuthering, wuthering,
               Wuthering Heights,

                    Heathcliff, it's me, Cathy.
                    Come home. I'm so cold!
                    Let me in-a-your window.

                    Heathcliff, it's me, Cathy.
                    Come home. I'm so cold!
                    Let me in-a-your window.

          Ooh! Let me have it.
          Let me grab your soul away.
          Ooh! Let me have it.
          Let me grab your soul away.
          You know it's me, Cathy!

                    Heathcliff, it's me, Cathy.
                    Come home. I'm so cold!
                    Let me in-a-your window.

                    Heathcliff, it's me, Cathy.
                    Come home. I'm so cold!
                    Let me in-a-your window.

                    Heathcliff, it's me, Cathy.
                    Come home. I'm so cold!
 

   Kate Bush

 danielle.esposito@wanadoo.fr

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