As Mr. Earnshaw's health begins to fail, he becomes less tolerant of complaints about Heathcliff, and as a result, sends Hindley away to school. As Mr. Earnshaw moves closer to death, Joseph begins to have a greater influence over his master, particularly in regard to religion.
Catherine continues to tease her father about her exploits with Heathcliff, never really conscious of how sick her father really is. When Mr. Earnshaw dies, Catherine and Heathcliff console one another with talk of heaven.
The bond between Catherine and Heathcliff grows stronger as Mr. Earnshaw grows weaker. The extent of their love is shown as they console each other with talk of heaven the night Mr. Earnshaw dies. This is a particularly interesting scene because, although religious terms like heaven and angel are used to describe Catherine (and other religious terms, like devil and Satan are used to describe Heathcliff), neither character is shown to be particularly religious in a conventional understanding. It is as if the love Catherine and Heathcliff share is truly beyond organized religion and is indeed spiritual. Mr. Earnshaw's death, however, is the one time that Catherine and Heathcliff do not turn exclusively to one another. At this time, religious beliefs bring them comfort; at all other times, Catherine and Heathcliff serve as each other's source of love.
curate [Archaic] a clergyman.
reprobate rejected as worthless.