Wuthering Heights By Emily Brontë Summary and Analysis Chapter 18

Summary

Young Cathy, sporting features of both parents, grows up at the Grange, unaware of Wuthering Heights and the people who live there. For 13 years Edgar never allows her to leave the grounds by herself. Being an inquisitive girl, when she hears of the Fairy cave at Penistone Craggs, she begs her father to take her there, but the road passes by Wuthering Heights, and he is not willing to travel there.

During the time of Cathy's fixation with the Fairy cave, Isabella writes to Edgar, informing him of her impending death. She asks him to come to her and take Linton to the Grange, in an attempt to keep him from Heathcliff. Edgar goes to her, leaving Nelly in charge of Cathy.

Nelly entertains Cathy by indulging in imaginative adventures about the grounds, but one morning, Cathy does not return. Seeking her out, Nelly discovers that Cathy's pony leaped the hedges this morning, heading in the general direction of Penistone Craggs.

Nelly ends up finding Cathy at Wuthering Heights. Cathy was riding toward the cave when Hareton's dogs and hers ended up getting intertwined. Hareton and Cathy spend the day together, enjoying themselves immensely — until Nelly arrives. Nelly insists on getting Cathy home immediately, but she is too interested in Hareton. Her interest vanishes, though, as soon as she finds out that Hareton is not the son of the master of Wuthering Heights. She immediately assumes he is a servant, and this enrages Hareton.

A servant reveals that Hareton is Cathy's cousin; Cathy, in turn, reveals that her father is off to London to fetch her cousin. Both bits of news upset Nelly. She and Cathy decide not to tell Edgar of Cathy's visit because neither wants Nelly to lose her position at the Grange.

Analysis

Nelly starts the second half of her narrative focusing on her own self-preservation. She uses guilt to get Cathy to agree to keep the visit to Wuthering Heights a secret rather than to admit to Edgar what had happened. Although Nelly was not entirely at fault for Cathy's excursion, she finds it easier to pretend the entire incident did not exist because it is easier to avoid the truth than deal with any recriminations.

When Cathy is visiting Wuthering Heights, readers first receive a glimpse of Hareton's pride; he is reminiscent of young Heathcliff. In fact, many things are reminiscent of the earlier generation: The day Hareton and Cathy spend together at Penistone Craggs parallels the fun-filled adventures Heathcliff and Catherine had on the moors, and Cathy's rejection of Hareton's lack of an education mirrors her mother's rejection of Heathcliff's societal standing.

Glossary

propensity a natural inclination or tendency.

perverse obstinately disobedient or difficult.

emissaries persons or agents, especially a secret agents, sent on a specific mission.

galloway one of a small but strong breed of horses peculiar to Galloway, Scotland.

wicket a small door or gate.

propitiate to win or regain the goodwill of.

offald ways used to characterize Catherine's and Heathcliff's behavior as disreputable.

comminations threats or denunciations.

near stingy.

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