Chapter 24


Narrator: Nelly (with a significant section from Cathy). 

Three weeks later, Nelly discovers that Cathy has been visiting Wuthering Heights most evenings by bribing a groom. Cathy gives an account of her visits. Hareton had learned to read the inscription over the door, but could not manage the numbers, so Cathy mocked him. Later, he shouts at Linton to go to his room which sends Linton into a fit. When Hareton tries to explain, she hits him with her whip. When she returns three evenings later, Linton is sulking. Only at a later visit are they reconciled. When Nelly tells Edgar what is happening, he stops Cathy’s visits.


All this suits Heathcliff’s purpose, so he keeps out of the way and lets events continue. Cathy and Linton are growing very fond of each other, and Hareton is increasingly jealous. His effort to be more civilized is symbolized in his attempt to learn to read. The episode in which Cathy and Linton argue about their ideal July day shows clearly their different attitudes, specifically the contrast of storm and calm. See theme Calm versus Storm.

I thought her conduct odd: Nelly has learnt to be suspicious, whilst Cathy demonstrates her ability to be cunning.

Song thrushThrostles: song thrushes.

bran: the husks of grain which were used to stuff balls and other toys.

drawled over by syllables .. ‘Hareton Earnshaw.’: there is a sad irony that Hareton’s dispossession by Heathcliff is so thorough that he seems unaware of his own lineage.

I don’t like your conduct there: Nelly probably speaks for the reader when she tells Cathy not to be so unpleasant to Hareton, her cousin. 

Skift: hurry off.

‘Summat uh orther side’: something of the other side; Joseph means that he has inherited characteristics of Heathcliff.

Bahn: bound.

I thought it over: Nelly betrays Cathy’s confidence. As Edgar’s employee, does she have any choice? This is one of those occasions where Nelly affects the plot.

Investigating Chapter 24

  • The pictures of their perfect days are different for Cathy and Linton.
    • Draw up two columns and list the words used to describe each ideal.
    • Which senses are used?
  • Do you find the attraction of such opposite people convincing?
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