Wuthering Heights Summary – Tragedy Novel by Emily Bronte

Before starting Wuthering Heights Summary, let’s discuss Wuthering Heights novel author Emily Bronte, who was born in July 30, 1818 and died in December 19, 1848. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte was published in December 1847.

Wuthering Heights Summary

This story relates to a scenario where the author, Lockwood has been told some stories and he has narrated them in this series. The story begins when he rents a house as well as a park which is called Thrushcross Grange in the city of Yorkshire and here he learnt much about the two local families present in the surroundings. He got to know about these family by the housekeeper whose name was Ellen Dean who had spent entire life with one of the family.

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He was told by the housekeeper that a farmer who was the head of the family went to Liverpool once for some business trip in 1760, there he came across a boy who was abandoned and was found on the streets, the boy looked like a gypsy and the man felt emotional for him so he bright him back home. He introduced him to his own family where he had his wife a son and a daughter, also he had one servant named as Joseph and at that time Ellen the housekeeper was very young. The little boy was named as Heathcliff after the son of the man who passed away.

The entire family of this man was against keeping this boy except for his daughter Catherine who was younger than Heathcliff and very quickly became friends with him. The man’s son Hindley got a bit insecure after this abandoned boy joined their family and he felt as if Heathcliff will take his place despite of the fact that he was not the actual son of the family. He used to bully Heathcliff and he being a silent boy had no idea as to what was happening with him and never minded the bullies by Hindley. After sometime, the wife of that man died and so Hindley was sent for further studies to a college and also this was to make things settled at home.

After a few years the health of Earnshaw also started to deteriorate and was worried about the fact that everyone in the family used to hate Heathcliff just because he liked him a lot. At the same time he was also very upset about the way Catherine used to behave in mischief and charming blend and at that point with all this in his heart he passed away. Though the children, Catherine and Heathcliff were both very upset about it yet they used to console one another.

On the death of Earnshaw, Hindley returned back with his wife named as Frances, at that time he was 20 years old, whereas Catherine was 11 years old and Heathcliff was 12 years old. Hindley used to suppress Heathcliff more and more now and treated him like a servant however; the little children were busy with their own intimacy. They both used to run away in the fields and played throughout the day without worrying about the punishments which they are going to face later.

Once fine day the children ran away to the Grange which was a very civilized house and the family of Linton’s lived there, they had two children Edgar and Isabella. The children with their wild actions stated teasing them by making faced and yelling at them by way of window. The Linton when got to know this they called the help and the children made to run away but Catherine came across the bulldog and the children were then taken inside by the family. When the Linton’s got to know that Catherine is the daughter of Earnshaw they treated her with care however, Heathcliff was thrown out of the house.

The family kept Catherine for five weeks and trained her with discipline, when she got back home, Hindley and his wife were happy to see her like this, however Heathcliff was upset. The main reason that made him upset was the fact that now Catherine has moved ahead of him and things might not be the same. Whereas, Catherine tried her best to balance her relationship with Heathcliff and at the same time she socialized with the children of Linton with the same grace.

Hindley and his wife then had the birth of their son who was named as Hareton but the child couldn’t survive due to Tuberculosis. This setback made the life of Hindley fall into a chaos and he started drinking and became wild, the entire house got disturbed. The hatred between Hindley and Heathcliff was increasing day by day and at the same time the son of Linton, Edgar fell for Catherine and the two of them got engaged.

After this, Heathcliff ran away from the house and there was a storm in the town, Catherine worried about Heathcliff started to look for him in the storm and fell ill. She went to the Linton family in the state of fever and they kept her there, the parents of the Linton family died as they caught the fever of Catherine. Later on Edgar and Catherine were married at the age of eighteen.

The life of the new couple was going much on the track till one day Heathcliff arrived. He was a much better man now with manners, money and education all gained. This was a delightful moment for Catherine and at the same time displeasure for Edgar. Heathcliff stayed at Wuthering Heights and paid by the gambling debts of Hindley and this made him get a strong position there. The relationship of Heathcliff and Edgar became much strained because of the relationship of Catherine and Heathcliff and they both had a serious quarrel over it, Heathcliff left the place and this made Catherine much upset on both the men.

She locked herself in the room for many days. Heathcliff wanted to take revenge from Edgar and so he went being inclined towards Isabella, who was the sister of Edgar. Edgar never liked this and the two of them got married. After all this Catherine became severely ill and was almost on the verge of death, but Edgar took good care of her.

After some months passed by, Catherine remained the same weak and ill but she got pregnant and at the same time Isabella and Heathcliff came back to the Wuthering Heights. Isabella wrote a letter to Ellen and told her about the ruthless behavior of Heathcliff and that she regrets being married to him. Ellen upon knowing it all went to see Isabella to see if she could do anything for her and told them about the situation of Catherine. Heathcliff asked her that he wants to go and see Catherine.

After some days, Heathcliff went to Grange and at the time Edgar was not home, he met Catherine and they both with the same passion met each other and also forgave one another for whatever has happened. At that point, Catherine fainted and Heathcliff had to leave because Edgar came back. Catherine passed away and it was when she was giving birth to her daughter. After some time Hindley attempted to murder Heathcliff and instead he was attacked by Heathcliff. Isabella ran away and started her new life in London and also she gave a birth to her son named as Linton. After sometime Hindley also passed away.

Cathy was the daughter of Edgar and Catherine and she was one of the most composed child brought up completely in the boundaries of Grange and had no idea about Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights and Hareton at all. She was once exploring moors and came across a farmhouse where she got to know that such a child like Hareton who is an ignorant child related to her. But Ellen told her about the rivalry of Edgar and Heathcliff and told her not to ever get back here again.

While being in London twelve years after the birth of her son Isabella passed away, Edgar brought her son Linton to his Grange and Cathy was happy to have a new playmate. When Heathcliff got to know this entire he made Joseph go to the Grange and bring back his son. One morning when Cathy work up she found that her cousin is no more at their house and after feeling a little sad she started back her normal life once again.

When it was Cathy’s sixteenth birthday, she along with Ellen went to the lands of Heathcliff and there they were invited to meet Linton, Cathy was pleased to see him after a long but the intentions of Heathcliff was to make the children feel for one another and occupy the land of Edgar after he died. After Edgar got to know about Cathy’s visits to that place he stopped her but the children used to write letters to one another. Once Ellen go to know about their love she put a full stop to all this.

Edger was very ill and Cathy was forced by Heathcliff to get to Withering Heights because Linton has been giving him a tough time for her. She used to visit there very often but since the health of Ellen was also deteriorating she was unable to stop her every time Cathy went to meet Linton. Ellen also told about the visits of Cathy to the place to Edgar and he asked her not to go there anymore now.

The condition of Edgar was getting bad day after day and he had no idea about the bad health of Linton as well and neither had he had any idea of his ill character. He finally thought that it is better for them to get married because eventually Grange would be inherited by Linton. On the other side Heathcliff was scared that in case if Edgar found out about Linton’s health or if Linton passed away before Edgar then he would lose a golden chance of having all the property. So, he kidnapped Ellen and Cathy and made the children marry, after which Cathy visited her father.

After the funeral of Edgar, Heathcliff made Cathy to move to Wuthering Heights and look after Linton so that the place of Grange may be freed up and he could make it rented out which was actually rented to Lockwood, the narrator of the story. Heathcliff also told Ellen that he is still much obsessed with Catherine and was amazed to see the coffin of Catherine when the grave of Edgar was being dug next to hers.

Cathy was looking after Linton all alone and when he passed away she was not much friendly to the family, Hareton was in love with her and at that time along with Cathy were Hareton, Heathcliff, Zillah and Joseph were living in the Wuthering Heights. With the passage of tome however, Cathy became very lonely and finally began to teach Hareton.

This all happened at the time when Lockwood was living at Grange and for some time he left the place and upon his return he got to know that Heathcliff started to act in a very strange way and with the passage of time the ghost of Catherine couldn’t let him concentrate on any thing around him. He even stopped leading a normal life and neither had he eaten anything nor did he sleep, one day Ellen found him dead. Though Hareton was sad about the demise of Heathcliff but he was happy that now he and Cathy would be able to start a new life together and at the end of the novel both of them planned to marry and start their lives in the Grange.

Wuthering Heights Characters

Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights), Catherine Earnshaw, Edgar Linton, Hareton Earnshaw, Nelly Dean, Hindley Earnshaw, Catherine Linton, Lockwood (Wuthering Heights), Mr Earnshaw, Isabella Linton, Linton Heathcliff, Mr. Linton, Mrs. Linton, Frances Earnshaw, Zillah, Mrs Earnshaw, Dr Kenneth, Joseph.

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