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Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - Barron's Booknotes
Table of Contents

CHAPTER 13

Cathy survives her fever, but she's convinced she's going to die
soon anyway. In a lesser novel, the idea of a heroine dying of a
broken heart would seem sentimental or hysterical. But here it's
completely convincing.

NOTE: There are ghosts, which may or may not be real. There
are premonitions of the deaths of Cathy, Mrs. Earnshaw, and
Hindley's wife. Characters speak of being in heaven or hell in
the same tone of voice you would use to speak of a visit across
town. In Wuthering Heights the distinctions between life and
death, and between the commonplace and the extraordinary
are broken down, making life more mysterious and precarious.



The rest of the chapter consists of a letter from Isabella to
Ellen. Isabella says she regretted leaving Thrushcross Grange
so suddenly, but that she can no longer go back. When she
describes her return to Wuthering Heights, it's with a sense of
helplessness. She had imagined that some member of the
Heights household would be her ally against Heathcliff, but the
others-Hareton, Hindley, and Joseph-are rough or crazy, and
she's all alone. If only she had Hindley's pistol.

Isabella is a prisoner who isn't even allowed a cell. The
description of her return is virtually a list of rooms she enters
and is forced to leave. When Heathcliff first drops her off at the
kitchen door, Hareton threatens to set his dog on her unless she
quits the place. Then Hindley lets her back into the house
through another door, and says she'll have to use Heathcliff's
room. Hindley, in his madness, tries to force the lock on
Heathcliff's room in order to shoot him, and Isabella is driven
back into the kitchen. Joseph eventually shows her to a lumber
room, which is even worse, and she ends up sleeping in a chair.
When Heathcliff returns, Isabella reminds him that he still has
the key to their room. It's not our room, he screams, it's mine,
and mine alone. It's never made clear where she finally does
sleep.

When Isabella throws her porridge to the floor, Joseph chides
her, calling her "Miss Cathy." Isabella chafes under Heathcliff's
tyranny, just as Cathy did under Hindley's, but Isabella has no
friend to comfort her, as Cathy did.

NOTE: It's important that Isabella is the one who relates these
events. Remember, you first learned of Hindley's cruelty
through Cathy's diary. It's the victims with whom you identify,
and Heathcliff here is no longer the tormented, but the
tormentor.

Table of Contents


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Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - Barron's Booknotes
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