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Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - Barron's Booknotes
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When Cathy returns home after five weeks with the Lintons,
she's dignified and well dressed. Heathcliff is still rough and
dirty, and Cathy laughs at his black, cross expression. She
apologizes and takes his hand, but looks with concern at her
dress afterward to make sure it's still spotless. Ellen makes
clear from her choice of details that she doesn't think much of
Cathy's transformation.

After brooding for a day, Heathcliff tells Ellen he's going to be
"good" (there's that word again-what does it mean to you?).
Ellen helps him clean himself up, chatting happily.

Before Christmas dinner Edgar inadvertently insults Heathcliff,
who responds by throwing a tureen of hot applesauce at him.
The house is divided: Hindley beats Heathcliff, Ellen spitefully
scrubs away at the victim's face, and Cathy lashes out at
Hindley for speaking harshly to her old friend. During the
carols Cathy sneaks off to where Heathcliff is locked up.
Despite her new ladylike demeanor, all seems well between
them, even better than before. The fact that their love has
survived their separation makes it seem even more precious.

It's clear that Ellen, the voice of common sense, is still on
Heathcliff's side. When Heathcliff announces that he'll have
revenge on Hindley some day, Ellen doesn't make his plan
sound evil. She understands him.

NOTE: Notice how Emily Bronte diverts your attention from
the Heathcliff-Edgar conflict to the Heathcliff-Hindley conflict.
This allows you to sympathize with Heathcliff without any
slight to Edgar.

Mrs. Dean now tries to stop her narrative-it's getting late-but
Lockwood presses her to continue.

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Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - Barron's Booknotes

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