Chapter 6


Narrators: Nelly, and Heathcliff on the visit to Thrushcross Grange. 

Mr Earnshaw’s funeral takes place. Hindley returns, with a wife, Frances and takes over as the master of the house. He begins to treat Heathcliff as a servant. One evening Heathcliff and Catherine escape and explore outside Thrushcross Grange; they are caught by the guard dogs one of which hurts Catherine. When her identity is discovered she is brought into the Grange, where she stays to recover. Heathcliff returns to Wuthering Heights with the news. 

High Sunderland Hall 1818, a possible inspiration for Wuthering HeightsCommentary

Hindley’s treatment of Heathcliff begins to establish reasons for revenge, a key theme of the novel. The contact between the two houses begins here, and this leads to the changing of relationships which drives the plot forward.

Brought a wife: Emily Brontë is not interested in where Frances comes from so Nelly says she does not know. Throughout the novel, unnecessary details are glossed over, adding to the intensity and claustrophobia of the book.

We don’t in general take to foreigners…: Lockwood knows this! Does the comment apply to Heathcliff, too?

Bolt the doors: an example of barriers being used to exclude people. (See Imagery and symbolism > Windows, doors, gates and locks.)  

Cant: insincere talk, implying piety.

Both of us were able to look in: this brief description of Thrushcross Grange is limited but enough to establish its atmosphere and the contrast with Wuthering Heights. (See Structure > Two houses.) 

Flinging Joseph…Hindley’s blood!: a striking example of Heathcliff’s violent thinking, and an early hint that he is thinking of revenge.

Lascar: a native of the East Indies. (Some critics have suggested that Heathcliff is dark-skinned.)

Negus: a drink of hot wine and water, sweetened.

Investigating Chapter 6

  • This chapter describes the first contact between the two houses.
    • What initial contrasts can you find? Make a list.
  • Hindley returns a changed man. Characters who leave the moors and return are usually changed in this novel. Why do you think Brontë does this?
  • What role does Frances play in the story?
    • Why has Brontë included her?
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