Wuthering Heights: Chapter 26 - Summary & Analysis

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      When Cathy goes to meet Linton on the moors, accompanied by Nelly as decided, they are shocked to see Linton in a very sick state. He is pale and ill, hardly capable of conversation. He is clearly not really pleased to see them, though he is terrified at the possibility that they will go away early. He tries to assure them that he is well.

      Whilst talking he drops asleep and awakes with a start. He begins to weep when he overhears Nelly telling Catherine that Linton's health has greatly deteriorated. Catherine is disappointed with the entire visit and especially with Linton and prepares to leave. Just then Heathcliff is seen approaching and Linton clings to Catherine's arms and begs her not to leave him. Catherine assures him she will meet him on the following Thursday and leaves in Nelly's company.

      Back at the Grange, Catherine feels a vague sense of foreboding regarding Linton's poor physical state.

Critical Analysis

      It is obvious in this chapter that Linton is living in terror of his father. From his actions, it seems he desires Cathy's company only because if he does not, Heathcliff will punish him. He takes great pains to assure them of his good health. Obviously, it is again under Heathcliff's instructions. For, if the serious state of Linton's health is known, Edgar and even Cathy herself may never consent to the marriage and Heathcliff would thus be unsuccessful in getting the property of Edgar Linton.

      Heathcliff appears more sinister than ever dominating and mentally torturing his own sick son. The image is all the more horrifying because Heathcliff's method of controlling his son is left unstated.

      Here, as so often in the novel, the weather matches the movement of the plot. The weather is sultry and reflects the cloud hanging over Linton's life.

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