Wuthering Heights Emily Jane Bronte was born on July 30, 1818 in Thorton, Yorkshire, England. She was the daughter of Patrick, an Anglican clergyman, and Maria Bronte. Emily lived with her parents, sisters Charlotte and Anne, and brother Patrick Branwell. Two other sisters, Elizabeth and Maria, died while Emily was very young. Mrs. Bronte also died while Emily was young, in 1821. Mr.
Bronte and an aunt, Elizabeth Branwell, raised the surviving children. They were educated at home and spent much of their time reading and writing. Charlotte and Emily spent a year at the Clergy Daughters’ School in Lancashire. Charlotte received a job teaching at Miss Wooler’s school in Roe Head in 1835 and Emily went with her as a student. However, Emily became homesick and returned to the moors of her hometown, Haworth, after only three months of schooling. In 1838 Emily taught in a school near Halifax but became exhausted after six months and resigned.
Emily and Charlotte planned to open a girl’s school in Haworth and went to Brussels to learn foreign language and school management in 1842. Emily’s reserved personality seemed to fit into the style of city life but she yearned to return to the moors. Her quiet but passionate nature was more easily understood by the people of Brussels than her sister’s somewhat restrained temperament. She finally returned to England when her aunt died. In 1845 Charlotte, Emily, and Anne jointly published a volume of poetry, Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.
The poems by Emily, Ellis, received the best reviews. Emily had finished her only novel, Wuthering Heights, by the summer of 1847. It was published in December, after the release of Charlotte’s hugely popular Jane Eyre. Emily’s novel never received the attention that Jane Eyre received. It was considered hostile, savage, animal like, and poorly developed. Now Wuthering Heights is considered one of the greatest novels in the English language.
Soon after the publication of the novel Emily became ill, and her health failed rapidly. She complained of difficulty of breathing. Emily Bronte died of tuberculosis in Haworth on December 19, 1848. Wuthering Heights is a powerful tale of passion, hatred, and revenge. It deals with two families, the Earnshaws and Lintons, living in the moorlands of England. Mr.
and Mrs. Earnshaw have a son, Hindley, and a daughter, Catherine. One day while in Liverpool Mr. Earnshaw picks up a homeless boy and brings him home with him, to Wuthering Heights. The abandoned boy is named Heathcliff. Heathcliff becomes a close friend of Catherine’s but as he becomes Mr.
Earnshaw’s favorite Hindley becomes jealous and begins to abuse him. Hindley eventually goes to college, leaving Catherine and Heathcliff at Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff falls deeply in love with Catherine, and she develops feelings towards him as well. However, one day while the two were visiting the nearby Thrushcross Grange Catherine was bitten by a dog. Her ankle is injured so badly that she is forced to spend the next five weeks at the Grange with the Lintons. She spends most of her time with the Linton’s children, Edgar and Isabella, and becomes more dignified and refined, much like the Lintons.
She returns to Wuthering Heights shortly before Mr. Earnshaw’s death. Hindley returns with a wife, Frances, and being the closest male relative, inherits the land. The other possessions are split between Hindley and Catherine. As Edgar becomes more a part of Catherine’s life she forgets about the unrefined, uneducated Heathcliff. When Edgar proposes to her Heathcliff is heartbroken.
He runs away and is not seen again for several years. Hindley and Frances have a son, Hareton, but she dies shortly after his birth. Edgar and Catherine are married and she moves in with the Lintons. Heathcliff unexpectedly returns and is surprisingly educated and refined. Isabella falls in love with the improved Heathcliff and they elope, later returning to live at Wuthering Heights. He marries her in a scheme to control the property of both the Lintons and the Earnshaws. Catherine dies giving birth to a daughter, also named Catherine. Her death affects both Edgar and Heathcliff, who both love her.
Both of the men are haunted by thoughts and memories of her. Isabella can no longer stand Heathcliff’s mourning and runs off to London, where she gives birth to their son, Linton Heathcliff. Hindley dies and all of his property is mortgaged to Heathcliff, instead of being passed down to Hareton. Heathcliff now controls the Earnshaw estate. When Isabella dies Edgar goes to London to bring back Linton.
Upon his return Heathcliff demands that his son live with him at Wuthering Heights. Edgar reluctantly agrees and sends the boy away. The young Catherine and Linton had only been in contact for four hours but they immediately developed a curious attraction toward each other. Catherine and Linton meet as frequently as possible over the next few years. They fall in love and wish to be married, but Edgar and Heathcliff forbid it, out of sheer hatred for each other.
However, Heathcliff realizes that Linton is a weak child and will die soon. This realization further develops his plot for revenge. In fact, almost every event in the story is influenced by or is the result of his plans for revenge, the action is always under Heathcliff’s malevolent spell. He knows that when Linton’s Uncle Edgar dies the nephew will inherit the property. When Linton dies Heathcliff will inherit his property, as the closest male relative.
Edgar’s many late night walks to his wife’s grave in cold, damp weather begin to take their toll on him, and he becomes ill. One day Catherine and her nurse, Ellen, are visiting Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff imprisons them, forcing her to marry Linton or she will never see her dying father again. She agrees and rushes back to her father at Thrushcross Grange. When he realizes what Heathcliff is planning he sends for a lawyer so he can alter his will, putting Linton’s inheritance into trusts so Heathcliff cannot ever control it.
However, the lawyer never comes and Edgar dies. Linton dies soon after marrying Catherine, and Heathcliff’s plan of revenge is complete; he now controls the old Earnshaw and Linton estates. The aloof Hareton tries to comfort Catherine after the losses of her father and husband but she will not have it. She instead takes out her sorrows on him. Catherine mocks his illiteracy and pronunciation of words. He tries to learn to read, in order to impress her but when he tries to read to her she just laughs and calls him stupid.
He is embarrassed and storms off, avoiding her as much as possible. In a strange hunting accident he is injured and forced to spend most of his time recovering in the kitchen at Wuthering Heights, the room that people spend m …