Wuthering Heights Book Summary

Wuthering Heights Summary, it is an 1847 novel by Emily Brontë, initially published under her pen name "Ellis Bell" . It concerns two families of the landed gentry living on the West Yorkshire moors, the Earnshaws and the Lintons, and their turbulent relationships with the Earnshaws' foster son, Heathcliff. The novel was influenced by Romanticism and Gothic fiction.

Wuthering Heights is now widely considered to be one of the greatest novels ever written in English, but contemporaneous reviews were polarised. It was controversial for its depictions of mental and physical cruelty, including domestic abuse, and for its challenges to Victorian morality and religious and societal values.


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Wuthering Heights Synopsis

Wuthering Heights 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.

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.

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Questions about wuthering heights book

What is the main point of Wuthering Heights?
The main themes of this novel are love, passion, and vengeance. It is the love between Heathcliff and Catherine that permeates the novel, though it assumes dangerous proportions as the plot thickens. Catherine rejects Heathcliff choosing instead Edgar Linton.

What is the moral lesson of Wuthering Heights?
Wuthering Heights teaches you that everyone has a bad side. Brontë created no virtuous characters: all of them are capable of cruelty; all are a combination of good and evil, like real people. This moral lesson is one of the most life changing experiences you may get out of reading.

What kind of short story is Wuthering Heights?
Wuthering Heights is a Gothic novel. Gothic novels usually feature supernatural elements, ominous settings, and threats to young women, often involving imprisonment in an isolated mansion.

What are the major events in Wuthering Heights?
1777: Mr. Earnshaw dies; Hindley and Frances take possession of Wuthering Heights; Catherine first visits Thrushcross Grange around Christmastime. 1778: Hareton is born in June; Frances dies; Hindley begins his slide into alcoholism. 1780: Catherine becomes engaged to Edgar Linton; Heathcliff leaves Wuthering Heights.

Why is it called Wuthering Heights?
The title of Emily Brontë's classic novel Wuthering Heights refers to the name of a haunted farmhouse in an exposed moorland location. Brontë explains that the provincial adjective 'wuthering' is 'descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather'.

What is the irony in the Wuthering Heights?
Heathcliff spends his entire life planning and plotting to bring misery to those who have wronged him, but it does nothing to improve his life. Everyone dies except young Cathy and Hareton. He has managed to make them miserable, but loses interest.

What is the conclusion of Wuthering Heights?
At the conclusion of a dark and cruel tale, Wuthering Heights finally offers a glimpse of hope for the future. After Heathcliff dies under mysterious circumstances, Hareton and Cathy Linton are engaged to marry and planning to move to the Grange.

Does Wuthering Heights have a happy ending?
Wuthering Heights has a somewhat happy ending, although Heathcliff and Catherine are never together in life, they are together after Heathcliff dies.

What is the theme of love in Wuthering Heights?
Wuthering Heights explores a variety of kinds of love. Loves on display in the novel include Heathcliff and Catherine's all-consuming passion for each other, which while noble in its purity is also terribly destructive. In contract, the love between Catherine and Edgar is proper and civilized rather than passionate.

Is Wuthering Heights Based on a true story?
Wuthering Heights is not a true story. It is a novel and, by definition, a novel is a story imagined by the author. It is commonly classified as gothic fiction or a gothic tragedy, as it combines aspects of both the horror and mystery genre.

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