Chapter 25


Narrator: Nelly (plus a conversation with Lockwood). 

We have now reached only about a year before Lockwood’s arrival in Chapter One. Cathy is aged 17. Edgar asks about Linton and also speaks of his own death. He seems to think that Cathy would be better off marrying Linton than no-one, and now encourages them to communicate and meet. When Linton writes to Cathy, Heathcliff censors the letters. No-one knows how ill Linton is, except Heathcliff - who therefore wants to hurry the marriage.


Though Heathcliff is largely in the background at this time, we see the effects of his cruelty. At the end of the chapter, Nelly includes one of her clearest expressions of opinion on his behaviour. 

These things happened last winter: The story Nelly is telling is getting close to the time when Lockwood arrived. As always, Brontë is clear about times and dates.

The green mound of her mother’s grave: Edgar shows almost Heathcliff-like behaviour as he mourns for Catherine. This shows clearly that he genuinely loved her, even though it was a different love from Heathcliff’s. He yearns to be with her, but also wants to protect Cathy; this care for another contrasts with Heathcliff’s attitudes.

his cheek was often flushed, and his eyes were bright: Edgar demonstrates the same symptoms of tuberculosis as Frances did, indicating to the reader his likely demise.

resign her to God, and lay her in the earth: Edgar holds the Christian belief that God is in charge of the giving and taking of human life and that physical life on earth is brief compared to the eternal life of the soul with God. His desire is to ‘release’ Cathy back into God’s care, rather than leave her vulnerable and alone on earth.

Investigating Chapter 25

  • Does Lockwood’s admiration for Cathy make him more or less convincing as a character?
  • Draw a spider diagram (mind map) to show the relationships between the main characters at this point.
Related material
Scan and go

Scan on your mobile for direct link.