Chapter 15


Narrators: Lockwood, then Nelly. 

Nelly passes on a letter from Heathcliff to Catherine. Heathcliff visits Catherine at Thrushcross Grange but Edgar discovers them. However, he is more taken up with Catherine’s illness. Heathcliff goes out to wait in the garden until morning. Catherine is seven months pregnant.


We are reminded of the passion and intensity of the relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine in this chapter, before Catherine dies. It is worth reading their final meeting carefully, noting the language used and the way they look towards death. They both claim to be the one who should be ‘pitied’.

Out of this world: the description of Catherine makes her seem ghost-like; if she is gazing beyond death, in her view is the place where Heathcliff will join her. This is another example of the unorthodox view of death which Emily Brontë suggests in the novel.

Gimmerton chapel bells…: the two houses are contrasted again in this paragraph. (See Structure > The dual locations of Wuthering Heights.)

Oh, Cathy! Oh, my life! how can I bear it?: Brontë balances the negative view of Heathcliff from Isabella’s perspective (Chapter 14) with Heathcliff’s real passion and distress here.

heaven would be a land of exile to her: Nelly makes a conventional judgement about what she perceives as Catherine’s ‘vindictiveness’, which seems inadequate compared to the depth of what the lovers are expressing.

Teased: the word had a stronger meaning than it does nowadays.

Foamed like a mad dog: vivid animal comparison which creates a bizarre, Gothic image.

Because misery and degradation, and death, and nothing that God or Satan could inflict would have parted us: Heathcliff’s words are like a pagan echo of the apostle Paul’s description of the union of God and believer in the New Testament:

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (KJB)

(Romans 8:38-9)

diabolical deed … We are all done for - master, mistress, and servant.: Nelly’s criticism of Heathcliff is partly inspired by her own fear at being caught.

Far better that she should be dead: a rather harsh-sounding comment from Nelly; it perhaps reflects the constant presence of death at the time.

Investigating Chapter 15

  • Read the description of Catherine in the third paragraph of the chapter.
  • What do you think Bronte’s intention is here?
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