Chapter 22


Narrator: Nelly. 

It is autumn, and Edgar is ill and housebound. Cathy is fed up so Nelly takes her walking. Heathcliff rides up and tells her that Linton is dying of a broken heart because he cannot see her. Heathcliff will be away for a week, so Nelly and Cathy set out to Wuthering Heights the next day.


We see Heathcliff’s ability to manipulate people again here. Cathy is rightly worried about her father’s health.

Michaelmas: 29 September, the feast of Saint Michael.

A little flower: Cathy’s refusal to pick the flower shows her care for nature and, therefore, for other people. Nelly’s comments also associate Cathy with the flower, symbolising her sadness and fragility at this point.

Starved: feeling cold.

Sackless: feeble.

Canty: lively and happy.

We neared a door: again, a locked door (or gate) is significant. Nelly is able to break the lock, thus rescuing Cathy, but we doubt whether she will be able to continue protecting her from Heathcliff, especially as Cathy believes him and Nelly ‘hadn’t the skill’ to persuade her otherwise.

Slough of Despond: a symbol of despair. In Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, the hero must pass across this treacherous bog.

under the sod: a euphemism for dead, buried under the turf

Investigating Chapter 22

  • What use does Brontë make of the ‘little flower’ that Nelly and Cathy see on their walk?
    • What could it symbolise?
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