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Brief summary of chapter
After three days in which Catherine stayed in her room, Edgar sat in the
library, and Isabella moped in the garden, Catherine called Nelly for some
water and gruel because she thought she was dying. She was brought
toast, and was indignant to hear that Edgar wasn't frantic about her; she
said: "How strange! I thought, though everybody hated and despised each
other, they could not avoid loving me and they have turned to enemies in a
few hours." It became clear to Ellen that she was delirious, and thought she
was back in her room at Wuthering Heights: she was frightened of her face
in the mirror there. She opened the window and talked to Heathcliff, as
though they were children again; and hoping he would hear her voice and
respond through the howling winter-wind. Edgar came in and was much
concerned for Catherine, and angry at Ellen for not having told him what
was going on.
Going to fetch a doctor, Ellen notices Isabella's little dog almost dead,
hanging by a handkerchief on the gate. She released it, and found Dr
Kenneth; whom told her that he had seen Isabella walking for hours in the
park with Heathcliff. Ellen found that Isabella had indeed disappeared, and
a little boy told her he had seen the girl riding away with Heathcliff. Ellen
told Edgar, hoping he would rescue his sister from her ill-considered
elopement, but he coldly refused to do so.…read more
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Analysis of Chapter
· We could acknowledge the residents at Thrushcross Grange in these few days, have all
become detached from one another and engrossed by their own mental state of minds;
this is emphasised at the beginning of the chapter by, "Miss Linton moped about the park
and garden...her brother shut himself up amongst books that he never opened..." And
Catherine "fasted pertinaciously, under the idea, probably, that at every meal, Edgar was
ready to choke her absence,"
· The narrator Nelly/Ellen, stated she was the only sane one at the Grange- "...the Grange
had but one sensible soul in its walls, and that lodged in my body". Throughout the novel,
Thrushcross Grange does tend to be portrayed as the more grounded/sane establishment
as opposed to Wuthering Heights; therefore it is ironic, that Nelly claims (with exception to
herself) that everyone else have lost their minds- this comment presumably is looking
upon the events from the previous chapter, and their behaviour as a result.
· Since Catherine was twelve, just before she stayed with the Lintons for some weeks.
Everything that happened to her since then ceases to have any importance when she is
"...supposing at twelve years old, I had been wrenched from the Heights, and every early
association, and my all in all, as Heathcliff was at that time, and been converted, at a
stroke, into Mrs. Linton, the lady of Thrushcross Grange, and the wife of a stranger; an
exile, and outcast, thenceforth, from what had been my world - You may fancy a glimpse at
the abyss where I grovelled!"
· Time is unimportant: it has no effect on true, deep emotions in Brontë's world. For
example, time could never truly enable her to love Edgar in her heart, the way she does
Heathcliff. "What you touch at present you may have; but my soul will be on that hilltop
before you lay hands on me again. I don't want you, Edgar: I'm past wanting you." And,
before this, exclaims from her open window into the night that she will end up by
Heathcliff's side. "I'll not lie thereby myself: they may bury me twelve feet deep, and throw
the church down over me, but I won't rest till you are with me. I never will!"
· Edgar's coldness to Isabella seems to result from pique at having his sister desert him for
his greatest enemy. His willingness to abandon her because of hurt pride is perhaps his
greatest moral flaw. The emphasis he places on personal dignity differentiates him from
the other characters, who certainly have many faults, though not that one. "Trouble me no
more about her. Hereafter she is only my sister in name, not because I disown her but
because she has disowned me." He is characteristically passive in how he acted.…read more
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·Catherine's obsession in her delirious state, with the bird feathers
(separating them onto her sheet in a childlike manner) and the animals
themselves "wild duck's...Ah they put pigeon's feathers in the pillows-no
wonder I couldn't die!...lapwing's. Bonny bird; wheeling over our heads in
the middle of the moor..." birds are often associated with freedom, and so The Weather
could reflect Catherine's inner-free spirited and wild self, who is longing to Pathetic fallacy- Nelly and Catherine's
run free on the moors, breaking from her life with Edgar and pursue her conversation on a dark winter's night,
heart's desire. " Or, the vivid memories associated with birds and Heathcliff with surrounding frosty, howling
spark her interest- "Heathcliff set a trap over it, and the old ones dare not winds.
come. I made him promise he's never shoot a lapwing after that, and he
"Frosty air that cut about her
shoulders as keen as a knife."
·Hanging of Isabella's dog- a grim sign of what may be to come in her life
with Heathcliff. Perhaps Heathcliff stating towards Isabella he is beyond
repentance. Suggesting his at times a twisted character, showing no
remorse for what grief he will leave behind, and the hurt he will course in
order to fulfil his purpose . Or the hanging, could be perceived as a symbol The Window- a seen opportunity by
towards her character suggesting her character is therefore condemned, Catherine in communicating with
from when she leaves through the gate to commence her elopement- by the Heathcliff, and enabling her to
dog being almost dead may imply Isabella still had the choice of staying at picture her old bedroom at the
the Grange or leaving with Heathcliff; and there was still time for her to Heights. Here she wants to escape
resume her old life. out of the window and onto the
·"Tore the pillow with her teeth"-animalistic/ savage like moors where she can be free.
The Mirror- becomes a fear for Catherine. Could suggest, she doesn't recognise herself,
or she indeed imagines she is being haunted- and so shows fear towards it - "I was
incapable of making her comprehend it to be her own; so I rose and covered it with a
shawl...'Who is it? I hope it will not come out when you are gone!'" Brontë might use the
mirror as a symbol for facing reality- something Catherine doesn't like, as Mrs Linton.…read more
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The Gothic elements...
Self- Condemnation, neglect and physical/mental decline (Catherine)
· Woe and self-pity
· Isolation-Isabella secret elopement, Edgar locked up with his books; and Catherine's
fasting, alone, behind her barred door.
· Paranoia / feeling of being watched or haunted
· Vast contrasts in behaviour- "A minute previously she was violent; now, supported on one
arm, and not noticing my refusal to obey her,"
· Animalistic behaviour
· Death- Isabella's dog, Catherine's acceptance if death and personifying it "How dreary to
meet death surrounded by their cold faces!"
· Solitary candles
· Elderly references
· Supernatural e.g. witches "You witch!.. I'll make you howl an recantation"
· Colours; red, black, grey...
· Skeletons e.g.- those found in the nest
· a blacksmith's "at a blacksmith's shop, two miles out of Gimmerton, not very long after
· Souls lasting forever, reference to hearts Gothic romance…read more
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· "she fasted pertinaciously, under the idea, probably, that at every meal, Edgar was ready to choke her absence,"
· "convinced that the Grange had but one sensible soul in its walls, and that lodged in my body."
· "No, I'll not die- he'd be glad- he does not love me at all- he would never miss me!"
· "ghastly countenance" "strange exaggerated manner" "Our fiery Catherine was no better than a wailing child."
· "he is continually among his books, since he has no other society."
· "I'll choose between these two; either to starve at once- that would be no punishment unless he had a heart- or to
recover, and leave the country."
· "Is he actually so utterly indifferent for my life?"
· "`If I were only sure it would kill him,'...'I'd kill myself directly!'"
· "Though everybody hated and despised each other, they could not avoid loving me."
· "How dreary to meet death, surrounded by their cold faces!"
· "she increased her feverish bewilderment to madness, and tore the pillow with her teeth"
· "We saw its nest in the winter, full of little skeletons. Heathcliff set a trap over it, and the old ones dare not come."
· "I was incapable of making her comprehend it to be her own; so I rose and covered it with a shawl."
· "Oh! Nelly, the room is haunted! I'm afraid of being alone!"
· "Oh, if I were but in my own bed in the old house!"
· "I had no command of tongue, or brain, and he did not guess my agony, perhaps: it barely left me sense to try to
escape from him and his voice."
· "Supposing at twelve years old, I had been wrenched from the Heights, and every early association...and been
converted at a stroke into Mrs Linton, the lady of Thrushcross Grange, and the wife of a stranger"
· "I wish I were a girl again, half savage and hardy, and free"
· "frosty air that cut about her shoulders as keen as a knife."
· "It's a rough journey, and a sad heart to travel it"
· "But Heathcliff, if I dare now, will you venture? If you do, I'll keep you."
· "He was invisible to her abstract gaze... having weaned her eyes from contemplating the outer darkness"
· "you are one of those things that are ever found when least wanted, and when you are wanted, never!"
· "Mr soul will be on that hilltop before you lay hands on me. I don't want you Edgar: I'm past wanting you"
· "Heathcliff held both bridles as they rode on, and they set their faces from the village, and went as fast as the rough
roads would let them."
· "Hereafter, she is only my sister in name: not because I have disowned her but because she has disowned me."…read more