Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte starts off with Mr. Lockwood, a wealthy Southerner, renting an estate called Thrushcross Grange in England. Here Mr. Lockwood meets Heathcliff, the wealthy owner of Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff and his family seem strange to Mr. Lockwood, so he asks his housekeeper, Nelly Dean, to tell the story of Heathcliff and the other inhabitants of the estate.
Nelly Dean was a servant years ago when Heathcliff was only a boy. Heathcliff was adopted by the wealthy Mr. Earnshaw and brought back to Wuthering Heights to live. Despite Mr. Earnshaw's hospitality, Heathcliff was rejected by Mr. Earnshaw's son Hindley. Along with Hindley was Catherine, who also hated Heathcliff but soon began to passionately love him. Heathcliff and Catherine grew very passionate about each other and could not be separated. Hindley hated this and was sent off to college for three years by Mr. Earnshaw.
When Mr. Earnshaw dies, Hindley comes back with his newly wedded wife, Frances. Hindley immediately seeks revenge on Heathcliff by treating him like a servant instead of a family member. Even though Heathcliff and Hindley have a terrible relationship, Catherine remains close to Heathcliff until she meets Edgar, a wealthy and spoiled man. When Catherine becomes engaged to Edgar, Heathcliff runs away and finally comes back three years later shortly after Catherine and Edgar get married. Heathcliff has become wealthy and Frances has died giving birth. When Hindley dies, Heathcliff inherits the Wuthering Heights and treats Hindley's son like a slave, just as Hindley has done to him in the past. Then, Heathcliff places himself in line to inherit Thrushcross Grange by marrying Isabella Linton, Edgar's sister. In the mean time, Catherine has a baby girl, which they also name Catherine, and then shortly dies. Even though Heathcliff treats Isabella very poorly, the two have a child, which they name Linton. Heathcliff gains control of the two estates and treats the children of those who have wronged him like servants in order to get revenge.
After many years pass, Linton and the young Cathering meet. They play in secret and eventually develop a romance. However, Linton is forced to be involved with Catherine by Heathcliff just so he can inherit Thrushcross Grange and get revenge on Edgar Linton, the man who took his beloved Catherine away from him. Heathcliff holds Catherine and Nelly hostage until Catherine agrees to marry Linton. Soon after, Linton dies and Catherine becomes the servant of Wuthering Heights.
1. Hindley seeks revenge on Heathcliff because his father, Mr. Earnshaw, liked Heathcliff better. Later in the novel, Heathcliff seeks revenge on Hindley and Edgar. Does the cycle of revenge ever end? If your family treated you as a servant, would you be able to forgive them or would you seek revenge?
2. Even though Catherine is deeply in love with Heathcliff, she marries Edgar because of his social status. Would you ever choose social status and wealth over love? Why or why not?