Summary and Analysis
Heathcliff reappears suddenly one September afternoon, approximately six months after Catherine and Edgar marry. Nelly does not tell Catherine who the visitor is, but she does tell Edgar. Edgar suggests that Catherine visit in the kitchen, but she insists on entertaining in the parlor. Catherine's excitement over Heathcliff's return was not the reception he expected, but he is pleased to receive it. Their words and actions reveal that Catherine and Heathcliff love each other. Heathcliff surprises everyone by stating that he is staying at Wuthering Heights.
Catherine and Isabella often visit the Heights, and Heathcliff visits the Grange. During these visits, Isabella becomes infatuated with Heathcliff. He is not interested in the young lady, but he is interested in the fact that she is her brother's heir. Nelly is concerned about Heathcliff's return, vowing to watch for any signs of impropriety.
Now the jealousy between Edgar and Heathcliff is out in the open. Catherine is clearly bored with Edgar and her life at the Grange, and her reaction to Heathcliff's arrival bothers Edgar as much as it pleases Heathcliff. And Catherine enjoys the attention. As Edgar's wife, she is able to be the socialite; as Heathcliff's love, she is able to be true to her innermost desires and passions.
Many questions exist: How did Heathcliff transform himself? Is the transformation only external? What is the source of his money? Why is he staying at Wuthering Heights, with Hindley, whom he hates? Where Heathcliff was and what he was doing is never answered, but readers soon find out that his transformation is indeed only skin-deep and he has not forgotten his revenge against Hindley. Heathcliff also reveals his greed, which foreshadows the extent he will go to take revenge on Edgar as well.
dilatory inclined to delay; slow or late in doing things.
sizer's place a student receiving a scholarship allowance at Trinity College, Dublin, or at Cambridge University.
imperious overbearing, arrogant, or domineering.
averred declared to be true; stated positively.
fastidiousness the state of being refined in a too dainty or oversensitive way, so as to be easily disgusted.
degradation the state of being lower in rank, status, or condition.
trifles things of little value or importance.
abjured gave up.
superfluous not needed; unnecessary.
furze a prickly evergreen shrub.