Brief synopsis of each chapter in Wuthering Heights

Brief synopsis of each chapter
Chapter 1:(I) A Visit to Wuthering Heights
1801. Mr Lockwood visits Heathcliff at Wuthering Heights who is
leasing him Thrushcross Grange. He describes Heathcliff and the
sitting room of the the Heights, and briefly has an altercation with the
dogs before returning to the Grange.
Chapter 2:(II) A Singular Family
Lockwood returns to Wuthering Heights the next day. He encounters
the rest of Heathcliff's family ― sullen Cathy and rough Hareton. The
weather turns bad and, after being injured by the dogs, Lockwood is
forced to remain at the Heights overnight.
Chapter 3:(III) The Ghost at the Window
Lockwood is shown to a room to sleep which used to belong to Cathy's
mother, Catherine. He has a restless night and is apparently woken by
a tree branch tapping on the window. As he reaches out to stop it, his
wrist is grasped by a cold hand, the ghost of Catherine. He wakes and
rouses Heathcliff. Unable to sleep, he moves downstairs until
Heathcliff escorts him back to Thrushcross Grange.
The Childhood of
Chapter 4:(IV) Arrival of a Foundling
In Thrushcross Grange, Ellen begins to tell Lockwood of the story of
Heathcliff. She explains how he was brought to Wuthering Heights as
a child and spread discord among the Earnshaw family.
Chapter 5:(V) The Death of Mr Earnshaw
Mr Earnshaw sends Hindley off to college. Several years later, he goes
into decline and dies.
Chapter 6:(VI) New Acquaintances
Hindley returns to Wuthering Heights with a new wife. Catherine and
Heathcliff grow more rebellious and wild. They sneak into
Thrushcross Grange and Catherine is injured by their dogs.
Chapter 7:(VII) Catherine Becomes a Lady
Catherine returns to Wuthering Heights having been taught to look
and act like a lady at Thrushcross Grange. She acts aloof from
Heathcliff who briefly tries to smarten himself up to impress her but
fails, throwing apple sauce over Edgar.
Chapter 8:(VIII) The Disintegration of the
Hareton is born to Hindley and Frances but the latter soon dies of
tuberculosis, causing Hindley to gradually fall apart. Catherine
continues her friendship with Edgar, moving further from Heathcliff
and closer to Edgar.
Chapter 9:(IX) The Disappearance of Heathcliff
In a drunken state, Hindley returns and drops Hareton from the
landing; the child is saved by Heathcliff. Catherine talks with Ellen
and reveals that she has accepted an offer of marriage from Edgar.
She says that she couldn't marry Heathcliff because he is too poor and
rough but that, really, her heart belongs to him. He overhears the first
part of this but not the second and runs away from Wuthering
Heights. Catherine goes on to marry Edgar and Ellen leaves with her
as her maid.
Chapter 10:(X) Mr Heathcliff Returns
Three years after Heathcliff's departure, six months after the
marriage, Heathcliff arrives at Thrushcross Grange, now improved in
physique and manner. He is staying with Hindley at Wuthering
Heights and taking advantage of his alcoholism and gambling.
Isabella falls in love with Heathcliff and is teased by Catherine.
Chapter 11:(XI) "The Milk-Blooded Coward"
Ellen walks to Wuthering Heights to see Hindley but she meets
Hareton at the gate who has become coarse and foul-mouthed under
Heathcliff's tutorage. Heathcliff goes to Thrushcross Grange to see
Catherine and Isabella, and clashes with Edgar.
Chapter 12:(XII) Delirium
Catherine falls ill from fever and delirium, and Ellen gets into trouble
for not telling Edgar. With their minds occupied by this, they are
unaware that Isabella has eloped with Heathcliff.
Chapter 13:(XIII) Isabella Learns Her Fate
Under Edgar's care, Catherine recovers from her fever. Ellen receives
a letter from Isabella describing her arrival at Wuthering Heights and
the poor treatment she received there. She writes how she wishes to
hear from her brother.
Chapter 14:(XIV) The Mediator
Ellen visits Wuthering Heights with the news that Edgar no longer
wants any communication with Isabella or Heathcliff. Heathcliff
wants to see Catherine again and refuses to let Ellen leave until she
agrees to act as mediator.
Chapter 15:(XV) The Final Meeting
While Edgar is absent, Heathcliff arrives at Thrushcross Grange for a
final meeting with Cathy. Edgar returns but, with Cathy very ill, he is
more concerned with her than his enemy.
Chapter 16:(XVI) Life and Death
Cathy is born and her mother dies soon after. Heathcliff makes one
last visit to see her body before she is buried.
Chapter 17:(XVII) The Master of Wuthering Heights
Isabella arrives at Thrushcross Grange, having fled from Heathcliff.
She eventually moves south near London where she gives birth to
Linton. Six months after Catherine's death, Hindley dies as well and
Heathcliff becomes master of Wuthering Heights.
The Maturity of
Chapter 18:(XVIII) The Explorer
Cathy grows up in isolation at Thrushcross Grange. With Isabella
dying, Edgar travels to London to pick up Linton. While he is away,
Cathy goes exploring on the moor and meets Hareton at Wuthering
Chapter 19:(XIX) A Sickly Child
Edgar arrives back at Thrushcross Grange with Linton. Before the day
is out, Joseph arrives with orders to take the child to Wuthering
Heights immediately but Edgar puts him off until the morning.
Chapter 20:(XX) Father and Son
The next day, Ellen takes Linton up to Wuthering Heights. Although
Heathcliff despises the child, he assures Ellen that he will look after
him as he has plans for him.
Chapter 21:(XXI) Young Love
On her sixteenth birthday, Catherine goes with Ellen onto the moor
and meets Heathcliff to takes her back to Wuthering Heights to meet
Hareton. She is prohibited by her father from seeing either of them
again but keeps up a clandestine relationship via mail. Ellen finds out
and burns the letters, forcing Catherine to promise to end the
Chapter 22:(XXII) An Invitation from Heathcliff
A few months later, Catherine and Ellen are walking around the
grounds when they encounter Heathcliff on the boundary road. He
explains that Linton is ill and believes that Catherine deliberately
stopped writing. Heathcliff notes that he will be away for a week and
she could visit in the meantime. Reluctantly, Ellen agrees to
accompany her to Wuthering Heights the next day.
Chapter 23:(XXIII) The Wiles of Linton
At Wuthering Heights, they find Linton who quarrels with Cathy. He
feigns illness and she is fooled into sympathy for him. They return
home where Ellen is confined to bed with illness for a few weeks.
While there, Cathy continues to visit Linton.
Chapter 24:(XXIV) Deeper In
Ellen learns of Cathy's secret visits to Wuthering Heights to see
Linton. The former reveals the information to Edgar who prohibits
Cathy from visiting the Heights again (although he allows Linton to
visit Thrushcross Grange).
Chapter 25:(XXV) Mr Linton Considers the Future
As Edgar begins to decline and fear for the future, he reconsiders his
opposition to Linton and comes to believe that a marriage between
him and Cathy may be the best option so that she will not be left
without an inheritance.
Chapter 26:(XXVI) An Ominous Meeting
Some months later, Edgar allows Cathy to meet Linton again (but not
at Wuthering Heights). Linton is visibly more ill and hardly has the
energy to meet her. He makes her promise to return the next week.
Chapter 27:(XXVII) Prisoners
With Edgar dying, Ellen and Cathy make their way onto the moor to
see Linton. He is there but very frightened. Heathcliff arrives and
persuades everyone to go into Wuthering Heights. Once there, he
locks them in and says that they will remain prisoners until Cathy and
Linton are married.
Chapter 28:(XXVIII) The Last of the Lintons
Ellen is set free and returns to Thrushcross Grange after failing to free
Cathy. Edgar is on the point of death. She vows to get Cathy freed but,
fortunately, the girl arrives after being let out by Linton. She spends a
last few moments with her father before he dies and Heathcliff takes
control of the Grange.
Chapter 29:(XXIX) Heathcliff Triumphant
Heathcliff arrives at Thrushcross Grange to escort Cathy to
Wuthering Heights while Ellen must stay. While Cathy is preparing,
he tells Ellen of how he has been tormented by Catherine for the last
eighteen years.
Chapter 30:(XXX) Catherine Alone
Heathcliff does not allow Linton any medical help and he dies. Later
on, Hareton tries to start a friendship with Cathy but, because of his
previous neglect, remains aloof.
Chapter 31:(XXXI) Mr Lockwood Takes His Leave
Deciding to stay no longer in Yorkshire, Lockwood rides to Wuthering
Heights to tell Heathcliff. He sees Cathy and Hareton in argument
over books and the latter's attempts to improve his education.
Chapter 32:(XXXII) Many Changes
The next autumn, Lockwood visits Thrushcross Grange on a trip
north. He finds Ellen has moved to Wuthering Heights. When he
arrives there, he finds that Hareton and Cathy are in love and
Heathcliff has been dead three months. Ellen tells him of the events
since he left, explaining how Cathy gradually broke down Hareton's
resistance by offering to teach him to read.
Chapter 33:(XXXIII) The Haunted Soul
In Ellen's account, Cathy persuades Hareton to dig up some of
Joseph's fruit bushes to make a garden. When Heathcliff finds out
though, his expected outburst is muted. He is strangely quiet and tells
Ellen that he feels a change coming on, that he is haunted by
Catherine everywhere.
Chapter 34:(XXXIV) Unions
Heathcliff grows worse, roaming the moors and neither eating nor
sleeping. He sees Catherine everywhere he looks but is strangely
happy. Eventually he is found dead in Catherine's room and is buried
alongside her. Lockwood leaves with Hareton and Cathy planning to
marry and move to Thrushcross Grange.
Famous Scenes
The right hand column indicates roughly where in the chapter the
scene begins, useful if you have a printed copy. The page icon in the
left column will take you directly to it in the online version.
Catherine's ghost
Catherine's ghost appears at a window and begs to be le
Heathcliff's arrival
Heathcliff's first appearance as a child, brought from
Liverpool by Mr Earnshaw.
Catherine and Heathcliff visit Thrushcross Grange for t
first time and Catherine remains there.
Catherine and
Heathcliff at
Thrushcross Grange
Heathcliff runs away
Heathcliff returns
Catherine accepts Edgar's proposal and pours out her h
to Ellen. Heathcliff overhears and runs away from
Wuthering Heights.
Heathcliff returns after three years away.
Edgar and Heathcliff Edgar finds Heathcliff at Thrushcross Grange and they
briefly fight.
Catherine in delirium Catherine tears her pillow apart in delirium and then
wishes to be back at Wuthering Heights.
The final meeting
Catherine's death
Heathcliff meets Catherine for the final time before she
Catherine dies and her daughter is born.
Heathcliff visits
Catherine's body
Heathcliff visits Catherine's body before the funeral and
intertwines his hair with hers in a locket.
The clash at
Wuthering Heights
Meeting on the road
Heathcliff fights with Hindley, and Isabella flees.
Cathy held captive
Cathy and Ellen are held captive by Heathcliff where th
former tries to take the key from his hand.
Before Edgar's funeral, Heathcliff pays the sexton to
uncover Catherine's grave where he removes the side of
Heathcliff digs down to Catherine's coffin to embrace h
body but, note, he doesn't actually reach her.
Cathy decides that she wants to be friends with Hareton
and he accepts a book as a gift.
Heathcliff is found dead in his chamber.
Heathcliff removes
the side of
Catherine's coffin
Heathcliff digs up
Catherine's coffin
Cathy and Hareton
become friends
Death of Heathcliff
Heathcliff and
Catherine as ghosts
Cathy meets Heathcliff on the road at the edge of the pa
A shepherd boy sees Heathcliff and 'a woman' as ghosts
List of Narrators
To help you understand the multiple narrators in Wuthering
Heights, here is a list of who is talking and when. Names in
(brackets) indicate minor narration.
Lockwood, Ellen
Ellen, Heathcliff
Ellen (Lockwood)
(Lockwood), Ellen
Ellen, Cathy
Ellen, (Lockwood)
Ellen, Isabella
Ellen, (Lockwood)
(Lockwood), Ellen
Ellen, Isabella
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Ellen, Heathcliff
Ellen, Zillah, (Lockwood)
Lockwood, Ellen
Ellen, Lockwood
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