Wuthering Heights Chapter Summary
Lockwood visiting Yorkshire pays his landlord, Heathcliff, a somewhat unwelcome visit in order to introduce himself. Introduction to Lockwood, Heathcliff, Heathcliff’s servant Joseph and a female servant. Description of the property of Wuthering Heights.
Lockwood repeats his visit to the Heights and meets Hareton and Catherine Heathcliff. Lockwood is obliged to spend the night as a guest at the Heights owing to hostile weather conditions.
Lockwood sleeps in a forbidden, secret room, and encounters the ghost of Catherine, much to Heathcliff’s distress.
Lockwood engages his housekeeper Nelly Dean to tell him the story of the inhabitants of Wuthering Heights, whereupon he and we learn something of Heathcliff’s history and the family relationships that currently prevail.
Nelly Dean recounts how the family relationships develop as Mr Earnshaw’s health fails. First sustained description of Catherine.
Following the death of his father, Hindley returns as the master of the Heights, with a wife, Frances. He endeavours to make Heathcliff’s life a misery, but Catherine and Heathcliff remain inseparable and wild. Catherine is hurt on one of their escapades and remains at the neighbouring house, Thrushcross Grange, until she is considered well enough to return to the Heights.
Catherine returns from her five week stay at Thrushcross Grange, transformed into a lady. Heathcliff has been systematically further debased by Hindley during this time. The end of the chapter reminds us that this is a story being related to Lockwood by Nelly Dean.
Hindley’s son Hareton is born. Frances Earnshaw dies of consumption and Hindley declines even further into recklessness. The relationship between Catherine and Edgar is developed and the tension between Edgar and Heathcliff is intensified.
Catherine makes her choice between Edgar and Heathcliff and chooses Edgar. Heathcliff disappears. Catherine catches a fever and goes once more to recuperate at the Grange. Three years later, when Edgar is master of the Grange, he marries Catherine. Nelly reluctantly leaves Hareton and goes with Catherine to the Grange.
Catherine Earnshaw now married to Edgar Linton, lives in relative luxury and peace with Edgar and his sister Isabella. Heathcliff returns to Catherine’s immense jubilation. Heathcliff reveals that he is staying with Hindley at the Heights. Isabella develops an intense fascination for Heathcliff who, while he does not return the sentiment, nevertheless sees that he might use her attraction for him as a way to revenge himself upon Edgar.
Nelly returns on a whim to the Heights and is appalled to see how it has deteriorated. Heathcliff calls at the Grange and makes overtures to Isabella, displeasing both Catherine and Edgar. Fierce arguments between Catherine, Edgar and Heathcliff induce Catherine to retire to her bed.
Catherine is truly ill. Isabella leaves secretly to marry Heathcliff. Edgar disowns Isabella.
Catherine is diagnosed as having “brain-fever”. Edgar nurses her devotedly. Letters from Isabella to Edgar and Nelly suggest that she…