A summary of Wuthering Heights for high schoolers
The 1847 novel by Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights tackles the intertwined lives of Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw. The story revolves around how these two individuals fall in and out of love, get revenge and finally, offer reconciliation even after death, says AHEAD Tutorial & Review Center tutor Yvette Ruiz.
Heathcliff is a passionate vagabond who starts out as a lovable character but ends up as a scheming and wretched man out for revenge. Adopted by the Earnshaws, but later on abused physically and verbally, he sets out to steal the riches of Catherine, her husband Edgar, her Hindley, and her sister-in-law Isabella.
Most memorable line: My old enemies have not beaten me; now would be the precise time to revenge myself on their representativesI could do it, and none could hinder me. But where is the use? I don’t care for striking. I can’t take the trouble to raise my hand.
Catherine Earnshaw is a young lass torn between two loves, the mysterious Heathcliff and the incomprehensible Edgar Linton, whom she later marries to advance her social position in the hope of eventually helping her true love, Heathcliff. She dies rejected.
Most memorable line: I’ve no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven; and if the wicked man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low, I shouldn’t have thought of it. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him; and that, not because he’s handsome, Nelly, but because he’s more myself than I am.
Edgar Linton seems to be the opposite of both Heathcliff and Catherine: weak and frail. He could never match the passion between the two real lovers.
Most memorable line: Now, darling, your cousin is not so strong or so merry as you are, and he has lost his mother, remember, a very short time since; therefore, don’t expect him to play and run about with you directly. And don’t harass him much by talking: let him be quiet this evening, at least, will you?
Isabella Linton, Edgar’s sister, is a flirty and seductive woman who falls madly in love with Heathcliff and eventually marries him. But the marriage resulted in nothing but pain for both of them. Isabella is often used by Heathcliff as a pawn to bring Catherine back to him.
Most memorable line: I recovered from my first desire to be killed by him, I’d rather he’d kill himself! He has extinguished my love effectually, and so I’m at my ease.
Hindley Earnshaw, the brother of Catherine, abused Heathcliff by making him works in the fields rather than go to school and treating him like a servant. When his wife Frances dies, he becomes a jealous and self-destructive man.
Most memorable line: You may come and wish Miss Catherine welcome, like the other servants.