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Wuthering Heights, Essential Revision Notes

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Table of Contents

Context 5

Summary 6

Chronology 7

Timeline 8

Characters 9

Heathcliff 9

Catherine 10

Edgar Linton 10

Nelly Dean 11

Lockwood 11

Young Catherine 11

Hareton Earnshaw 11

Linton Heathcliff 11

Hindley Earnshaw 12

Isabella Linton 12

Mr. Earnshaw 12

Mrs. Earnshaw 12

Joseph 12

Frances Earnshaw 12

Mr. Linton 12

Mrs. Linton 12

Zillah 12

Mr. Green 12

Themes, Motifs, and Symbols 13

Themes 13

The Destructiveness of a Love That Never Changes 13

The Precariousness of Social Class 13

Motifs 14

Doubles 14

Repetition 14

The Conflict Between Nature and Culture 15

Symbols 15

Moors 15

Ghosts 15

Important Quotations Explained 17

1. 17

2. 17

3. 18

4. 19

5. 19

Sample Answers 21

Many of the names in Wuthering Heights are strikingly similar. For example, besides the two Catherines, there are a number of Lintons, Earnshaws, and Heathcliffs whose names vary only slightly. What role do specific names play in Wuthering Heights? 21

In many ways, Wuthering Heights structures itself around matched, contrasting pairs of themes and of characters. What are some of these pairs, and what role do they play in the book? 22

Analyze the character of Edgar Linton. Is he a sympathetic figure? How does he compare to Heathcliff? Is Catherine really in love with him? 23

Class Structure in Wuthering Heights 24

Revenge in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights 25

Context

Wuthering Heights, which has long been one of the most popular and highly regarded novels in English literature, seemed to hold little promise when it was published in 1847, selling very poorly and receiving only a few mixed reviews. Victorian readers found the book shocking and inappropriate in its depiction of passionate, ungoverned love and cruelty (despite the fact that the novel portrays no sex or bloodshed), and the work was virtually ignored. Even Emily Brontë’s sister Charlotte—an author whose works contained similar motifs of Gothic love and desolate landscapes—remained ambivalent toward...

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