What is the conlusion of the novel "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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In the conclusion of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, the tragedies, the wrong-headed decisions, the remorseless cruelties, the cowardice and judgmental rejection of past life at Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange are reversed and subsumed in the renewal of heart, mind and soul of young Catherine, Hareton and Heathcliff.

Catherine and Hareton, cousins, reconcile their ill will and unkindness to each other and become devoted to one another. Catherine, inspired by the presence and response of Lockwood, says she does not want to hinder Hareton's attempts to learn to read. She later says she is sorry for having teased him. This choice of young Catherine's symbolically represents remorse from her remorseless mother for cruelty to Heathcliff.

Hareton accidentally shoots himself and is confined indoors which gives him and Catherine a chance to reconcile their hateful ways toward each other. This reconciliation leads to devotion and a marriage between them (it was still common and legal for cousins to wed in the 1800s). Their reconciliation and marriage symbolically represents reconciliation and unity between the elder Catherine and Heathcliff.

Brontë concludes Wuthering Heights by giving peace and rest to the troubles of the manor of Wuthering Heights, which will be Hareton's inheritance (with the name of Hareton, which was born by his ancestor, inscribed above the entry), and Thrushcross Grange. Heathcliff also finds peace by abandoning his plans for revenge to be taken out upon Hareton and young Catherine and by his experience of a vision on the moors. He seems to Nelly to have seen an apparition to which he continues to talk. He excitedly gives Nelly instructions for his funeral, then she finds him peacefully dead and believes that he is reunited with his beloved Catherine.

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