Wuthering Heights Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Wuthering Heights

Heathcliff has always loved Catherine Earnshaw but has never been allowed to have her. Heathcliff appears as an adult at the beginning of this classic novel. Subsequently the housekeeper Nellie tells his story to the new tenant. Through her narration using flashback we are introduced to the owners of 'Wuthering Heights, the Earnshaw family, whose pride and joy is the tomboyish Cathy. Her father goes on a trip to Liverpool and upon her request for a gift brings back an unexpected 'gift' in the form of the little gypsy boy Heathcliff. They become fast friends. Eventually as they grow they fall in love but neither tells the other. This is a case of too little too late as there is a rival for Cathy's affections in the form of their neighbour Edgar Linton of the palacial 'Thrushcross Grange'. Cathy has a decision to make and seeks Nellie's advice. It is often said that those who eavesdrop will not hear anything good of themselves and alas for poor Heathcliff he hears Cathy tell Nellie that to love him would be an embarrassment for her. He slinks away into the dark night and is not heard of or seen for years. In the interim Cathy marries Edgar. Heathcliff returns as a wealthy and now desirable aristocrat. He is bent on revenge and woos and wins the heart of Edgar's sister Isabella. Cathy is by now pregnant and ill. With Nellie's assistance Heathcliff manages to see her one last time. The visit strains her and she goes into labour. Shortly after giving birth to a daughter she dies. Isabella is also pregnant and disappears to parts unknown to get away from Heathcliff. Years pass and Heathcliff becomes the owner of 'Wuthering Heights'. He now sets his sights on obtaining by either fair or foul means his neighbouring property 'Thrushcross Grange'. Years pass and his wife Isabella dies. Through schemes he arranges for his sickly son, Linton, to marry Cathy's daughter, also named Cathy. His son dies and wills everything to his father. In spite of now having obtained all Heathcliff is still miserable as he pines for his darling Cathy. At the end he dies and is at last at peace as death reunites him with the love he could not have in life. The story goes full circle as Cathy II settles down with her cousin Hareton who was a resident at 'Wuthering Heights' but grossly mistreated by Heathcliff.
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Best part of story, including ending: This story is the quintessential love story as it tells of so many types and combinations of love. It is seen that even the toughest of characters, like Heathcliff, can still be touched and affected by this simple yet powerful emotion.

Best scene in story: Heathcliff dies with Cathy although in reality he dies years after. He becomes ill and locks himself in her old room where he has been having hallucinations of her in spirit form. He starved himself and four days later he is found dead. In death he looks so much more peaceful than he had in life as his soul is now reunited with his darling Cathy.

Opinion about the main character: Heathcliff, though gruff and course is an admirable character. He shows that in spite of ones circumstances and general proclivities to cruelty and vengeance, all it takes is the right one that can capture the heart to transform said being into a decent respectable, civil individual.

The review of this Book prepared by Beverley Bowen-Evans a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Set in the 18th century against the backdrop of the wild and rugged Yorkshire moors, Wuthering Heights is the story of unbridled passion longing and revenge. The story begins when Mr Lockwood, tenant of an old mansion Thrushcross Grange goes across the windy moors to meet his weird, reticent and brooding landlord Heathcliffe, master of another mansion Wuthering Heights. He is forced to spend the night in Heights because of a thunderstorm and is put up in a room which once belonged to a youbg Catherine Earnshaw. The night turns out to be wild and stormy. Adding a touch of eeriness is the figure of a young woman whose plaintive wails of ''let me in'' sets the story in motion.

Heathcliffe, actually of gypsy descent was raised in the Heights where he was brought by the master of the house Earnshaw from one of his trips to faraway places. Heathcliffe befriends and falls in love with the wild and passionate Catherine Earnshaw who returns Heathcliffe's silent and brooding love. Their star-crossed love coupled with the intense hatred of Cathy's brother forms the core of the book.
How Heathcliffe loses Cathy and his agonizing longing for the only woman he could ever love is the haunting motif of the novel.
The review of this Book prepared by Rebecca Thomas

Heathcliff is an orphan boy who is adopted by Mr Earnshaw, a generous man, who introduced the boy to his two children as their new brother. His daughter, Catherine, accepts the boy completely and they become best friends while his boy, Hindley, considers Heathcliff as a rival. When Mr Earnshaw dies, Hindley is the new owner of Wuthering Heights, their house, and decides treating Heathcliff as a servant.

Young and passionate, Cathy and Heathcliff start their love story. He is torn between the anger and humiliation he suffers and his love for her.

One night, being with Heathcliff, Cathy meets Edgar Linton. He is a rich fine young man who lives near Whuthering Heights with his parents and his sister. He belongs to a family of a higher social class. Cathy is captivated by this. Edgar falls in love with her and she is attracted to his life style.

Heathcliff can stand it no longer and, in a violent stormy night, he leaves for three years. While Heathcliff is far from her, Cathy marries Edgar but she loves Heathcliff who is now coming back to start with his revenge.

The review of this Book prepared by Marta Garay

The story of two children grown up together, not getting along very well... they seem to hate each other... but love is hidden behind hate, an impossible love destined to last till the end.
The review of this Book prepared by Katy

This is the story of Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, who have loved one another since childhood. When Catherine declares that she cannot marry Heathcliff because it would lower her, he disappears and she marries Edgar Linton. When Heathcliff does return, he weasles his way back into Cathy's life; but she dies and Heathcliff vows to take it out on everyone around him...even if it means ruining Cathy's daughter's life.
The review of this Book prepared by Sarrah

Wuthering Heights is a book filled with hate, lust and revenge. It is based on a ferocious and fierce love story of Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw and their immortal, all-absorbing passion. After all the agony, misery and anguish they reunite in death.
The review of this Book prepared by Olga Maximenko

Catherine Earnshaw and her family take in a ragged orphan-Heathcliff. Catherine, "Cathy", and Heathcliff fall in love but are parted but a cruel fate. Their love lives through all things, even death
The review of this Book prepared by Alli Baker

A breathtaking story of obsessive love AND hate. Two tortured souls devided by social structure. This book will leave you as chilled as the wind on the Yorkshire moors but in complete awe of the power of love!!
The review of this Book prepared by heather huckfeldt

For a renowned romance novel, this is a savage and cold tale. (See Camille Paglia's chapter on it in _Sexual Personae_.) Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, an orphan raised in Catherine's home on the moors of northern England, are enthralled with each other but marry other people. Out of the violence of their emotions and the opposition in and between their families come the destruction of nearly all the Earnshaws of Wuthering Heights and the Lintons of nearby Thrushcross Grange. Though the narrator Mr. Lockwood pieces together most of the tale in the early 19th century, most of the events take place earlier, in the second half of the 18th.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Heathcliff and Catherine are wildly in love. Th book is the result of their violence and misery that result from their thwarted longing for eachother. It is filled with the uncanny understanding of the terrible truths about men and women.
The review of this Book prepared by Jenna Evans

Chapter Analysis of Wuthering Heights

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   upbeat Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Kind of romance:    -   spurned lover going for revenge Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Lover is    -   of a different social class

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   wealthy Age:    -   20's-30's    -   40's-50's Unusual characteristics:    -   Extremely cynical or arrogant


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK Farm/Ranch?    -   Yes Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Weird Victorian/Shakespearean English?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Wuthering Heights

Emily Bronte Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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