Prose; Summary of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and past questions; This prose is necessary for students who are sitting for the following examinations and should be studied so as to stand a chance of passing the exams. JAMB, WAEC, NECO, GCE.
Plot summary (Prose; Summary of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and past questions.)
The narrative started when a man named Lockwood went to Heathcliff’s residence to rent the property known as Thrushcross Grange. Heathcliff lived in a house called Wuthering Heights, roughly four miles away from Thrushcross Grange. Lockwood was very curious about Wuthering Heights and all contained therein, so he approached Nelly Dean, a servant at Thrushcross Grange who had previously worked at Wuthering Heights, to tell him the tale. After telling the tale, Nelly flashed back in time. Nelly began working as a maid for Mr. Earnshaw, the proprietor of Wuthering Heights when she was a little child.
Mr. Earnshaw once traveled to Liverpool and returned with Heathcliff, an orphan. Heathcliff was cared for by Mr. Earnshaw, who also reared his own children, Hindley and Catherine, along with Heathcliff. Hindley disliked him because of his resentment toward Heathcliff for what his father had done to him, despite the fact that Catherine adored him. Mr. Earnshaw sent Hindley away to college after Mrs. Earnshaw passed away to keep Heathcliff safe from Hindley. He became his favorite son and kept Heathcliff close by. Mr. Earnshaw passed away a short while afterward, and Hindley and his wife Frances went back to Wuthering Heights. Hindley’s malice for Heathcliff did not change despite his extended absence from college. Heathcliff was treated like a servant by Hindley in an effort to make his life miserable. Catherine and Heathcliff grew closer on the other side.
Catherine and Heathcliff were playing when they stumbled onto Thruscross Grange. The Linton family was there. Catherine was abruptly bitten by a dog, and Mrs. Linton had her stay in Thruscross Grange for five weeks. While Catherine’s connection with Heathcliff grew more complex, she grew closer to Mrs. Linton’s son, Edgar Linton. After giving birth to Hareton, Frances passes away. Due to the loss of his wife, Hindley develops an alcohol problem and escalates his violence against Heathcliff.
When his one and only love, Catherine, becomes engaged to Edgar Linton due to social class, Heathcliff’s life becomes unhappy. In order to avoid Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff plans to leave for three years. When he returns with a large sum of money, he learns that Catherine has wed Edgar Linton. He came back to exact revenge on Hindley. Heathcliff gives Hindley a loan because he is aware that Hindley is unable to pay his debts and that, in the event of Hindley’s passing, he would be able to purchase Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff, who is now a wealthy gentleman, fosters Isabella Linton’s crush on him, and the two eventually get married. Because Heathcliff married Isabella Linton not out of genuine love for her but rather to inherit Thruscross Grange and Edgar’s fortune, the relationship became increasingly difficult.
After giving birth to a baby girl called Cathy, Catherine becomes unwell and passes quite quickly. Isabella gives birth to Heathcliff’s baby, who she names Linton Heathcliff after she is unable to endure his brutality any longer and flees to London. Little Cathy stumbles into Wuthering Heights one day while exploring the moors. She meets Hareton in Wuthering Heights, and they become friends. Heathcliff’s desire for vengeance against Hindley causes Hareton to become an illiterate man.
Following the passing of Isabella Linton, Linton Heathcliff returned to Wuthering Heights and cohabitated with Heathcliff. Later, Cathy runs into Linton and starts a covert relationship with him. Linton wants her to come and take care of him. It is later discovered that Linton begged young Catherine to breastfeed him because Heathcliff made him. Heathcliff would use Sick Linton as justification for his retaliation because if Linton married Little Catherine, he would have a legitimate claim to Thrusscross Grange and his retaliation against Edgar Linton would be complete.
One day, Heathcliff set up a rendezvous for Linton and Cathy. When they arrive, they find Heathcliff, who has locked up little Catherine and made her marry Linton. Soon later, both ailing Linton and Edgar pass away, making space for Heathcliff to take possession of both Thrusscross Grange and Wuthering Heights. Little Cathy works as a common servant in Wuthering Heights, while Mr. Lockwood rents Thrusscross Grange. The conclusion of Nelly’s tale marks Lockwood’s departure from Wuthering Heights. He returns to see Nelly six months later and learns that Heathcliff has passed away. Both Thrusscross Grange and Wuthering Heights are passed down to Hareton and young Cathy. On January 1st, they intend to get married. Lockwood visits Heathcliff and Catherine’s tomb after hearing the tale.
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THEMES (Prose; Summary of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and past questions.)
The destructive power of love
The romantic hero Heathcliff is frequently portrayed as being the pinnacle of in popular culture, despite the fact that his flaws exceed his virtues. Despite his long list of cruel actions throughout the book, Heathcliff manages to win readers over because of his tragic personal background and his remarkable aptitude for intense and enduring love. Readers are able to concentrate on Heathcliff’s own misery rather than the agony he causes to others because of his charisma and passion, which often obscure his sadistic inclinations. The intensity of Heathcliff exemplifies a recurring subject in Wuthering Heights: passion may be harmful to a relationship. The love between Catherine and Heathcliff is passionate, but it is also toxic and obsessive, destroying not only their relationship but also their connections with others. Heathcliff continues to be in love with Catherine even after she dies, but this is not just a romantic gesture; rather, his actions and reasons are clouded by retaliation and anger, leaving him determined to make others suffer just as much as he has.
The majority of the other relationships in the book appear like trivial parodies in comparison to Catherine and Heathcliff’s passionate love story. Although Catherine seemed to truly love Edgar, she hits him during a fight before their wedding. In spite of the fact that this terrible physical rejection ultimately brings the young couple closer together, it also highlights the fundamental contradiction between Edgar’s frailty and Catherine’s assertiveness. The relationship between Isabella and Heathcliff is likewise unsatisfactory since Isabella’s affection for Heathcliff is motivated more by her need to outdo Catherine than by any genuine admiration or comprehension of the man. Isabella romanticizes Heathcliff, which she later learns was a serious error. Heathcliff, for his side, acknowledges that he is seducing Isabella for his own gain, disproving his claim to be attached to her. In contrast to these fleeting connections, Catherine and Heathcliff’s connection is strong and doesn’t seem to be impacted by time or their separate marriages. However, each of them suffers greatly as a result of their destructive passion: Heathcliff spends the rest of his life in misery, hoping that Catherine’s ghost will haunt him as a manifestation of their true status as soulmates, while Catherine languishes and ultimately dies for her love of Heathcliff.
SUPERNATURAL (Prose; Summary of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and past questions)
When Lockwood hears Catherine’s ghost at the book’s beginning and sees Catherine and Heathcliff reunited at the book’s conclusion, the supernatural is being symbolized. Heathcliff’s sadness over Catherine’s passing causes him to want her spirit to torment him rather than allow him to rest in peace, which is a very moving scene. When he is nearing the end of his life, it appears like her ghost is following him since he claims to see her “in every cloud, in every tree,” yet this makes him “happy.”
Nelly Dean imagines Heathcliff as a goblin, a ghoul, or a vampire and wonders how he managed to cause such havoc among the family. She can only speculate about his unusual, unnatural parentage because he is an orphan of unknown provenance.
She then realizes that it is all mere superstition and wonders whether Heathcliff’s dark nature might be compared to this paranormal “black monster.” Also hinting that Heathcliff is not human, Isabella refers to him as a “monster.” In addition, Hindley claims Hareton views him as a “goblin.”
Lockwood, who is portrayed as the decent, level-headed outsider, is the one to first experience the supernatural; the Gothic elements are not overemphasized but are handled as genuine.
NATURE VS. CIVILIZATION
This theme is a component of the book’s romantic element. The tale is set far from the staid and refined centers of Victorian society, taking place in the wilds of the Yorkshire moors.
There are numerous ways in which the novel explores antagonism. One could contend that although the middle-class family Heathcliff joins represents civilization, Heathcliff, the untamed orphan kid who adores the moors, represents nature. As an alternative, Catherine embodies both nature and civilization: she runs wild and unrestrained on the moors till she injures her ankle; upon her return from the Lintons’ home, she is civilized, metaphorically clad in white, and afraid that her clothing will get soiled. The struggle between nature and society can be blamed for Catherine’s inability to marry Heathcliff, resulting in the unhappiness that befalls everyone.
The eventual happy conclusion is symbolized by the younger Catherine and Hareton, who combine nature and civilization. Heathcliff refuses to let Hareton be ‘civilized’ by education, literature, or etiquette, thus he is nurtured as a wholly natural person (although the fact that Hareton tries to read anyway is a sign that he is searching for civilization).
Catherine begins as a completely civilized youngster, despite her love of the outdoors. At the end of the story, the duo transitions effortlessly from a reading session to a walk on the moors together, putting an end to the tension between the two subjects.
CHARACTERS (Prose; Summary of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and past questions.)
Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights’ mysterious and romantically attractive antihero, is solely known by his first name. Despite his extremely hostile impulses toward other characters in the story, Heathcliff’s traumatic past and emotional depth make him a compelling figure. Mr. Earnshaw meets young Heathcliff on the streets of Liverpool and takes him home to Wuthering Heights. Mr. Earnshaw clearly prefers Heathcliff over his son, Hindley, and the tensions that arise as a result of this youthful rivalry (and, it is believed, the hue of Heathcliff’s skin) last for decades.
Although Heathcliff and Catherine share a deep and mutual love for one another, Heathcliff is not the right match for Catherine because he lacks a family, a name, fortune, or social standing. Heathcliff leaves Wuthering Heights for three years after learning that Catherine plans to wed Edgar Linton of Thrushcross Grange. His obnoxious and resentful presence causes friction between Catherine and Edgar and ultimately results in Catherine’s demise when he returns after making his wealth. Heathcliff is devastated by Catherine’s passing and spends a significant portion of the book seeking out those who have wronged him. He vents his fury and anguish on anyone who gets in his way.
The story’s narrator, John Lockwood, is ignorant and prone to making social errors, so it’s clear from the start that he might not be a trustworthy source of information. Lockwood appears in the start and the end of the book. Lockwood leases Thrushcross Grange, a building next to Wuthering Heights, as Heathcliff’s tenant. He records what he hears from Nelly in his journal as he converses with her about the enormous love that Catherine and Heathcliff shared and the negative effects of their relationship. During his time in Gimmerton, Lockwood has a number of intriguing encounters, including one with Catherine’s spirit, becoming lost on the moors, and overhearing Heathcliff attempting to speak with Catherine’s ghost. Cathy Linton, Catherine’s daughter, also sparks an unexpected (and inappropriate) romantic interest in Lockwood. When Lockwood exits the Gimmerton valley and leaves the setting of the book, he passes the graves of Catherine, Edgar, and Heathcliff.
Nelly, the Wuthering Heights’ longstanding housekeeper, is an authority on the interactions between Heathcliff, the Earnshaws, and the Lintons. She is not an unbiased spectator of events, and her (often critical) narrator is clearly influenced by her personal ideas of the characters in her stories. She shamelessly prattles with Lockwood about what she has seen. While Catherine Earnshaw Linton was still alive, Nelly took care of her, but Nelly’s sentiments toward Catherine seem conflicted. Nelly occasionally displays signs of fondness for Catherine, but she also voices serious concerns about her moral integrity. Nelly’s attitudes about Heathcliff are generally unfavorable, and it has been speculated that, like Hindley, she holds Heathcliff’s status as an orphan against him. When Frances dies during childbirth, Nelly cares for Hindley’s infant son Hareton. Nelly moves in with Catherine at Thrushcross Grange when she marries Edgar, and after Catherine’s daughter is born, Nelly takes care of the child. Nelly truly cares about Cathy as a baby, and she and Edgar try in vain to prevent Heathcliff from getting too close to Cathy as she gets older and develops her own opinions.
Catherine’s brother Hindley is a one-dimensional and generally dislikeable character due to his ongoing envy and resentment. He is entitled to a top-notch education and a sizable inheritance as Mr. Earnshaw’s son, but Hindley’s flaws demonstrate that he is undeserving of these advantages. After his father’s passing, Hindley mistreats Heathcliff and treats him like a servant. After some time, Hindley weds Frances, a woman he met while away at school. Hindley, who is genuinely grieved by Frances’s death during childbirth, neglects his son Hareton and loses money via gambling. In order to exact revenge on Hindley by humiliating him and encouraging him to engage in further destructive conduct, Heathcliff moves in with Hindley at Wuthering Heights when he reappears as a prosperous man. Heathcliff is in charge of both Wuthering Heights and young Hareton after Hindley eventually drinks himself to death.
The Earnshaw family includes Hindley and Frances’ son, Hareton. Hareton causes his father anguish and contempt because his mother passed away during giving birth. After Hindley’s passing, Heathcliff also mistreats his son, as does Hindley. Heathcliff stops Hareton from continuing his study and forces him into the simple life of a servant, just as Hindley previously did to Heathcliff, seeing Hareton as a chance to exact revenge on Hindley. Hareton swiftly transforms under Heathcliff’s guidance from a charming young kid into a harsh and coarse young man. Despite Heathcliff’s mistreatment, Hareton still has a strong allegiance to him despite not realizing how much Heathcliff has ruined his chances. When his cousin Cathy Linton visits Wuthering Heights, Hareton experiences a significant change. Although they are initially hostile to one another, they soon become friends, and under Cathy’s guidance, Hareton learns to read and starts to act politely. Despite experiencing adversity and neglect in his early years, Hareton succeeds at the book’s conclusion. He and Cathy Linton wed, and their devoted union symbolizes the beautiful conclusion that Catherine and Heathcliff yearned for.
Catherine Linton, the daughter of Catherine and Edgar Linton, is frequently referred to as “Cathy.” Cathy is a kind and passionate young girl who was raised by Nelly and her father. Cathy goes to Wuthering Heights against her father’s rules when she is thirteen years old out of curiosity. Heathcliff orchestrates a covert romance between Cathy and his son Linton in an effort to get even with Edgar. After covertly exchanging numerous letters and meeting in person, Cathy decides to wed Linton, not realizing that he is a weak and self-centered kid who is only after her on his father’s orders. Soon after their marriage, Linton passes away, leaving Cathy at Heathcliff’s mercy. Heathcliff’s mistreatment has a terrible impact on her sweet-tempered demeanor, making her resentful and nasty. Cathy eventually gets through this difficult time by falling in love with Hareton. Cathy is more sensitive than her mother while appearing to have inherited Catherine Earnshaw’s strong will. Cathy and Hareton’s relationship blooms and thrives, in contrast to Catherine and Heathcliff’s, since they discover how to be kind to one another.
Edgar Linton grows up at Thrushcross Grange with his sister Isabella in a lavish and pleasant home. Edgar’s sincere love for Catherine helps to make things easier when Hindley plans to wed them in order to unite Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. It is not an easy marriage for Edgar and Catherine, especially after Heathcliff’s return. He and Catherine are fundamentally incompatible as a pair, which contributes to some of this: Catherine’s assertiveness overwhelms Edgar, and his sensitivity annoys her. Heathcliff’s opposite in terms of looks, temperament, and status is Edgar, who has a fair complexion, polite and polished manners, and inherited money. Heathcliff sees Edgar as a rival and has a bitter grudge against him for marrying Catherine and, in Heathcliff’s opinion, being a part of her demise. Heathcliff is committed to using his daughter, Cathy Linton, to wreak revenge on Edgar for the death of Catherine.
At Thrushcross Grange, Isabella grows up in the same cozy environment as her brother Edgar. Isabella generally acts in a superficial and immature manner, in contrast to Edgar, who exhibits compassion and depth, especially as he gets older. After Edgar and Catherine get married, Heathcliff comes to Wuthering Heights, and she falls in love with him. However, her passion for Heathcliff is fleeting and largely motivated by her wish to see him as a romantic hero and the knowledge that Catherine loves him. When Isabella realizes that Heathcliff is not the gloomy, romantic guy she had envisaged, but rather a vicious and spiteful man who loves nothing for her and is only using her to obtain Thrushcross Grange, she comes to regret this decision terribly. Eventually, Isabella leaves Heathcliff’s harsh behavior and relocates to London, where she gives birth to Linton Heathcliff, his son.
The parents of Linton are Heathcliff and Isabella. He is sent to Wuthering Heights to live with his father after his mother passes away. Linton is an ill child, and Heathcliff’s harsh and careless treatment causes his health to worsen even more. Heathcliff has little regard or compassion for Linton; instead, he uses Linton as a pawn in his vendetta against Edgar Linton, compelling Linton to make friends with and marry Cathy, Edgar’s young daughter. Despite the fact that Linton is a victim of his father, he lacks empathy due to his inherent selfishness and weakness. He passes away young, putting his newlywed Cathy under Heathcliff’s roof.
QUESTIONS (Prose; Summary of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and past questions.)
1. Discuss the themes in Wuthering heights.
2. What does the title ‘wuthering heights’ symbolize?
3. Explain the significance of the setting in ‘wuthering heights.
4. Describe Heathcliff’s death.
5. Write short notes on each character.