|Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff 1939
"What do they know of heaven or hell, Cathy, who know
nothing of life?"
Four main characters:
Heathcliff - He is a bitter man tormented by the loss of
his love Catherine and the abuse of his stepbrother, Hindley. He gains the Earnshaw inheritance and sets out to ruin
Catherine Earnshaw - She falls in love with Heathcliff, marries
Edgar Linton because of financial and social advantages and dies after giving birth to Catherine Linton.
Hindley Earnshaw - He is the son and heir to the Earnshaw
inheritance but abuses Heathcliff and seeks to degrade Heathcliff for winning the love of Mr. Earnshaw.
Hareton Earnshaw - He is the son of Hindley, yet cared for
by Heathcliff. In his plot to ruin Hindley and Edgar, he becomes like Heathcliff but falls in love and marries Catherine
Two minor characters:
Isabella Linton - She is the naive sister of Edgar and the
wife of Heathcliff but later runs off to London and remains in hiding after Heathcliff throws a knife at her.
Linton Heathcliff - He was born in London but his mother
died and he was given to his Uncle, but Heathcliff later get custody of him and marries him off to Little Cathy.
Three main settings:
Wuthering Heights - It was once the estate of the Earnshaws
but falls into the hands of Heathcliff and mirrors his cold and grim state of mind.
Thrushcross Grange - It is the ostentatious home of the Lintons
and impresses Catherine and transforms her into a lady.
London - Isabella Heathcliff runs there after having a knife
thrown at her head. There she gives birth to Linton Heathcliff.
Symbols and references:
Wuthering Heights - This house symbolizes anger, hatred and
jealousy. As in the shown by the name, there is lot of tension within that house. The Heights mirror the
conditions of its inhabitants, especially Hindley and Heathcliff.
Thrushcross Grange - This house contrasts with Wuthering
Heights since it has the appearance one would expect from a pleasing worldly lifestyle. This appearance of this house
also symbolizes the feelings of the inhabitants. Like the house, the Lintons are materialistic and superficial.
Hareton and Cathy - These two symbolize Heathcliff and Catherine
showing what they could have become if their situations were slightly different. Both couples live in similar situations
and allow for the comparison.
Two or three sentences on style:
Bronte write in a dreary, melancholy style that provides
the dark atmosphere to the story. She write the book making use of a frame since most of the story is conveyed through
the narration of Nelly.
One or two sentences on dominant philosophy:
This book contrasts the effects of love and hate contrasting
the two feelings. It shows hatred through Heathcliff and displays how that leads to destruction while contrasting it
with the love of Cathy and Hareton displaying how that builds.
Four short quotations typical of the work (include
“Cathy, do come. Oh do-once more! Oh!
my heart’s darling! hear me this time, Catherine, at last!” Heathcliff calls for Catherine after Mr. Lockwood
confessed he saw an apparition outside his window.
“I’m trying to settle how I shall pay Hindley
back. I don’t care how long I wait, if I can only do it at last. I hope he will not die before I do.”
Heathcliff swears revenge against Hindley after Hindley had locked Heathcliff in the attic.
“’Here! and here!’ replied Catherine,
striking one hand on her forehead and the other on her breast, ‘in which ever place the soul lives. In my soul
and in my heart, I’m convinced I’m wrong!’” Catherine acknowledges that her marriage to Edgar
cannot be one of love because she knows that Heathcliff is her true love.
“Is Mr. Heathcliff a man? If so, is he mad?
And if not, is he a devil?” Isabella writes to Ellen.