OverviewThe novel, which features an unusually intricate plot, traces the effects that unbridled hate and love have on two families through three generations. Ellen Dean, who serves both families, tells Mr. Lockwood, the new tenant at Thrush cross Grange, the bizarre stories of the house's family, the Linton's, and of the Earns haws of Wuthering Heights. Her narrative weaves the four parts of the novel, all dealing with the fate of the two families, into the core story of Catherine and Heathcliff. The two lovers manipulate various members of both families simply to inspire and torment each other in life and death.
Heathcliff dominates the novel. Ruthless and tyrannical, he represents a new kind of man, free of all restraints and dedicated totally to the satisfaction of his deepest desires no matter what the cost to others or himself. He meets his match in Catherine, who is also his inspiration.
Her visionary dreams and bold identification with the powers of storm and wind at Wuthering Heights are precisely what make Heathcliff worship her. When Catherine betrays Heathcliff by marrying Ralph Linton, Heathcliff feels she has betrayed the freedom they shared as children on the moor. He exacts a terrible revenge. However, he is no mere Gothic villain. Somehow, the reader sympathizes with this powerful figure who is possessed by his beloved.
IntroductionIn 1801, Mr. Lockwood became a tenant at Thrushcross Grange, an old farm owned by a Mr. Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights. In the early days of his tenancy, he made two calls on his landlord. On his first visit, he met Heathcliff, an abrupt, unsocial man who was surrounded by a pack of snarling, barking dogs. When he went to Wuthering Heights a second time, he met the other members of the strange household: a rude, unkempt but...