Wuthering Heights Summary Essay

815 words - 3 pages


Set in the wild, rugged country of Yorkshire in northern England during the late eighteenth century, Emily Bronte's masterpiece novel, Wuthering Heights, clearly illustrates the conflict between the 'principles of storm and calm';. The reoccurring theme of this story is captured by the intense, almost inhuman love between Catherine and Heathcliff and the numerous barriers preventing their union.
The fascinating tale of Wuthering Heights is told mainly through the eyes of Nelly Dean, the former servant to the two great estates, to Mr. Lockwood, the current tenant of the Grange.
The tale of Wuthering Heights begins with the respectable Earnshaw family. After a his trip to Liverpool, old Mr. Earnshaw returns home to Wuthering Heights with 'a dirty, ragged, black-haired child'; named Heathcliff. As he grows older, Heathcliff, to the dismay of Hindley Earnshaw, usurps the affections of not only Hindley's father, but also that of his younger sister Catherine. Thereafter, in part due to his jealous behavior, Hindley is sent away to school. Years later due to old Mr. Earnshaw's death, a married Hindley returns, now the master of Wuthering Heights. Intent on revenge, Hindley treats Heathcliff as a servant and frequently attempts to break Heathcliff and Catherine's unique bond.
Before Hindley can do more harm though, Fate seems to step in. Due to a leg injury, Catherine is forced to stay at Thrushcross Grange, the neighboring estate of Wuthering Heights, where she consequently meets Edgar and Isabella Linton and learns to act like a civilized, young lady. The return of Catherine to Wuthering Heights marks the apparent change in her personality and ultimately decides the course of her life. Uncomfortable with Catherine new refined appearance and rather condescending attitude towards him, Heathcliff becomes even more sullen and morose than before. Hearing Catherine's conversation with Nelly, which reveals her choice of Edgar Linton as a suitable husband, rather than Heathcliff, a wild, penniless orphan, ultimately drives Heathcliff away. At first, Heathcliff's disappearance elicits Catherine's naturally fiery disposition, but eventually, Catherine marries Edgar and moves to Thrushcross Grange, and she becomes a calmer, civilized lady.
The once peaceful life of Catherine and Edgar is disrupted once again though with the reappearance of Heathcliff, who has stayed in London for several years, improving his manners and education. Now living with his sworn enemy, Hindley, a pronounced drunkard since the death of his wife and birth of his son, Hareton, Heathcliff enacts the first step in his plans of revenge by eloping with...

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