Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version | Barron's Booknotes
Heathcliff and Isabella are gone for two weeks. In the meantime, Cathy's health improves under the devoted care of her husband; still the doctor knows that her condition is very fragile. Her recovery is now more important than ever because she is expecting a baby. Although Cathy shows no emotions over her pregnancy, Edgar is delighted. He is hoping for a son, who will inherit his property and keep Thrushcross Grange out of Heathcliff's hands.
Six weeks later, Isabella sends a short note announcing her marriage to Heathcliff. She also requests her brother to forgive her, but Edgar does not answer. Later, Nelly receives a long letter from Isabella telling of her misery and despair. She thinks Heathcliff is mad. She informs Nelly that they are now staying at Wuthering Heights and that she is not permitted to visit the Grange. All the residents of the Heights, Hareton, Joseph and Hindley, are nasty and uncouth. Isabella confesses that she hates Heathcliff, who mistreats her. She begs Nelly to visit her.
It is also revealed that Hindley has become a desperate man. He is maddened by the thought of losing all to Heathcliff "without a chance of retrieval" and of leaving Hareton a beggar. He is determined to kill enemy if the opportunity presents itself. Hindley's wretchedness further darkens an already gloomy chapter.
This chapter begins with an account of Catherine's partial recovery from her illness and the announcement of her pregnancy. Edgar hopes that the child will be a boy in order to keep Thrushcross Grange from Heathcliff.
Isabella and Heathcliff return and take up residence at Wuthering Heights. She sends a note to Edgar, begging his forgiveness, but he does not respond. She also sends a letter to Nelly, telling of her misery. Isabella laments Heathcliff's abuse, summing up the domestic scene in the following words: "A tiger or a venomous serpent could not rouse terror in me equal to that which he wakes. I do hate him - I am wretched - I have been a fool." Additionally, she says that everyone at Wuthering Heights is nasty and uncouth, and she is not allowed to leave the place.
The chapter also reveals that Hindley has become a desperate man. His hatred of Heathcliff and his vow of killing him add to the overall atmosphere of gloom and despair.