What is the significance of this quote from Wuthering Heights?"Have you never loved anybody in all your life, Uncle? Never? Ah! you must look once – I'm so wretched – you can't help being...

What is the significance of this quote from Wuthering Heights?

"Have you never loved anybody in all your life, Uncle? Never? Ah! you must look once – I'm so wretched – you can't help being sorry and pitying me."


Asked on by meowmix1

1 Answer | Add Yours

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

This quote comes in Chapter Twenty Seven of this excellent novel and is said by the younger Catherine to her uncle, Heathcliff, as he abducts her and forces her to marry his son, Linton. Of course, Catherine is distraught because she has left her father, who is dying, back in Thrushcross Grange and she is aware that he could die any minute. Thus it is that she will do anything to get back to be by her father's death bed. Her appeal to the human sympathies of her uncle, while misguided in terms of getting what she wants, are actually completely correct in this quote:

"Have you never loved anybody in all your life, Uncle? Never? Ah! you must look once – I'm so wretched – you can't help being sorry and pitying me."

Of course, unknowingly, she is talking about her mother, the first Catherine, who Heathcliff did desperately love. However, Heathcliff is so fixated on causing suffering to her father and on achieving his desire to see his son marry her so that he can inherit Thrushcross Grange, that he is not moved at all by this appeal to his sentiments.

We’ve answered 318,975 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question