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Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - Barron's Booknotes
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Heathcliff saves Hareton's life when Hindley drunkenly drops
him over the bannister. Heathcliff immediately regrets this
missed opportunity for revenge; still, his instinctive reaction is
good, and makes you wonder again why Cathy rejects him for
Edgar. It doesn't seem to make sense, especially since Cathy is
so articulate about her feelings:

My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time
will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees.
My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath-
a source of little visible delight, but necessary.

Ambition; a desire to help Heathcliff; a fear that Heathcliff
may be beyond the accepted boundaries of love;- Cathy offers
these reasons for accepting Edgar's proposal of marriage.

You can't help believing she is making a terrible mistake in
accepting Edgar. She may need him, but she needs Heathcliff,
too. Your suspicion that she and Heathcliff can never separate
is confirmed by her reaction to Heathcliff's departure: she runs
out into the night to find him, refuses to eat, lets the rain soak
her through, and then stays up all night waiting for him. The
next day, when Hindley says he's going to throw Heathcliff out
of the house, Cathy swears she will go with him.

NOTE: Why does Heathcliff leave? In anger and humiliation?
Is it to make himself worthy of her? To find the weapons for
revenge? You can only speculate. In any case, even in his
absence his relationship with Cathy manages to wreak havoc
on Thrushcross Grange. Cathy gets sick from her walk through
the rain in search of Heathcliff, and the older Lintons catch the
fever and die.

Three years later Edgar and Cathy marry, which closes the first
part of the book. The older generation is dead, and there is a
resolution-however precarious-of the conflict between the two
houses. The interloper is gone, and characters have regrouped
themselves according to type: Edgar, Isabella and Ellen are at
Thrushcross Grange; and Hindley, Hareton, and Joseph are at
Wuthering Heights. Cathy is at Thrushcross Grange, but where
her heart is, you will have to wait to see.

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Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - Barron's Booknotes

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