Summary and Analysis Chapter 23



Nelly and Cathy travel in the rain all the way to Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff is indeed not home, and Linton is more pathetic than ever. He complains about the servants and whines to Cathy, first for not visiting, and then for writing instead of visiting. He also mentions the idea of marriage. Linton's talk of love vexes Cathy, and she pushes his chair, sending him into a coughing fit. He uses this to claim that she injured him and worsened his condition; he guilts her into thinking she can nurse him back to health. Because Nelly catches a cold due to spending the day traveling in wet weather, Cathy spends her days nursing both Nelly and her father, but, unbeknownst to Nelly and Edgar, she spends her nights riding across the moors to visit Linton.


For many critics, Nelly's sickness is a contrived plot point that is entirely too convenient to be believable; however, most critics concede that sickness was possible if not plausible. Therefore, it does not detract greatly from the narrative and does aid the advancement of Heathcliff's plan for revenge.

Instrumental in Heathcliff's plan is for Cathy to marry Linton, and in order for that to happen, he needs her to care for him. When Cathy discusses her attraction to Linton, her words echo her mother: "he'll soon do as I direct him with some slight coaxing." Cathy, like her mother, enjoys the notion of having control over a man.


elysium any place or condition of ideal bliss or complete happiness.

contrite repentant.

scuttle a kind of a bucket, usually with a wide lip, used for pouring.

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