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What is a synopsis of Wuthering Heights?

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pattysol | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 14, 2009 at 1:21 AM via web

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What is a synopsis of Wuthering Heights?

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted December 14, 2009 at 6:07 AM (Answer #1)

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The novel "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte begins with a gentleman, who rents a place from Heathcliff, who gets caught in a storm while visiting Wuthering Heights.  He sits with the housekeeper Nelly, who has been with the Earnshaw family for many years.  During their fireside chat Nelly begins telling him the story of Catherine and Heathcliff.

Mr. Earnshaw the original owner of Wuthering Heights hired Nelly when she was young. He is a widow with two children named Catherine and her older brother Lindley.  From under his frock Mr. Earnshaw produces a young lad.  The boy is a gypsy orphan whom he found.  He has been brought home to be raised as a sibling to his children sibling.  The Child's name is Heathcliff.

Heathcliff is dark brooding, and handsome.  Lindley, Catherine's brother, dislikes him.  Catherine and Heathcliff become close.  They are allowed the run of the estate and moors.  Catherine like Heathcliff is wild and free spirited.

Upon Mr. Earnshaw's death the estate becomes Lindley's.  He leaves school and returns with a bride.  He reduces Heathcliff to the status of servant. Catherine is appalled by Lindley's treatment of Heathcliff.  Heathcliff endures Lindley's abuse because he can not bear to be parted from Catherine.

Heathcliff and Catherine play in the moors.  One day while observing the Linton's estate through a window, Catherine is injured when their dogs attack her.  She becomes ill and can not be moved.  This situation causes her to be left with the Linton's for a long period.  The Lintons are a sister and brother who are wealthy refined and elegant.  Catherine is infatuated by the attention she receives from Edgar Linton.  When Heathciff visits her she is repulsed by his dirtiness and lack of refinement.  It is the first time that Catherine has ever rejected Heathcliff.

Heathcliff runs off and is gone a long time. He returns with wealth and has even gained a sense of elegance.  When he returns his first order of business is to destroy Lindley and seek revenge on the Lintons.  He continues to profess his love for Catherine while destroying those she loves.

Lindley has lost his wife during childbirth. He has become a drunkard.  Heathcliff swindles him out of Wuthering Heights and becomes the Master of the House.  He then converges on the Lintons and woos Edgar's sister.  When Edgar tells her she can not marry Heathcliff she does so behind his back.  Catherine is distraught by her love for Heathcliff and her fear for her sister-in-law.  She knows the true reason behind Heathcliff's marriage.

Catherine is torn between her love for Heathcliff, her soul mate and other self.  She becomes pregnant by Edgar and dies in childbirth.  Heathcliff curses her for leaving him.  Heathciff has a son with Edgar's sister.  He despises his wife and son.  He plots to harm Edgar by taking his and Catherine's child from him and gaining control of her inheritance.

Heathcliff is tormented by Catherie's ghost that he hears calling him. Heathcliff's love for Catherine and hers for him has been like poison for both of them.  Catherine could not let go of social conventions to be with Heathcliff and he could not let go of his anger and resentment.  Their love ahs destroyed their lives and the lives of those connected to them.

 

 

 

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