Heathcliff continues to seek solitude and only eats once a day. One night, a few days later, he leaves and is out all night. When he returns in the morning, Cathy remarks that he is actually quite pleasant. He rejects all food. When Nelly tries to encourage him to send for a minister, he scoffs at her and reminds her of his burial wishes. Later, Nelly sends for the doctor, but Heathcliff refuses to see him. The following night, Nelly finds Heathcliff's dead body. Hareton is the only one to mourn Heathcliff's dying. They bury Heathcliff according to his wishes, and villagers swear that he and another walk the moors.
The growing love between Cathy and Hareton serves to intensify Heathcliff's loss. He, like Catherine, takes no food as he nears death. This is a ritual fasting. Food no longer sustains him; he needs to be nourished by something more. Heathcliff is consumed with pain as he longs to be united with Catherine.
Readers easily forgive, if not forget, what a monster Heathcliff had been, for he is such a pitiable shadow of his former self. Wuthering Heights ends on a universal note, with love conquering hate.
admonition a mild rebuke; reprimand.
fender a low screen in front of a fireplace to keep hot coals in.
Titan any person or thing of great size or power.
caper a gay, playful jump or leap.
levity lack of seriousness.
sovereign a British gold coin valued at twenty shillings or one pound sterling, no longer minted for circulation.