Wuthering Heights: Chapter 28 - Summary & Analysis

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      After five days of imprisonment, Nelly is set free by the housekeeper — Zillah, who tells her that the whole village thinks she has been drowned in the marsh. Nelly rushes downstairs, where she sees Linton sucking sugar candy. She asks for Catherine and he arrogantly tells her that she is now his wife. Linton is her jailer and apart from Heathcliff, he alone knows where the key to her apartment is hidden.

      Heathcliff has led Linton to believe that Catherine hates him and wants him (Linton) to die so that she could have all his money. Linton spitefully tells Nelly that steps have been taken that she should not get any of his money. On the contrary, he is pleased that all her possessions are now his.

      Nelly learns too, that Catherine has fought to keep her locket which contained miniature portraits of her parents. Heathcliff interferes in the quarrel—he keeps one of the portraits and crushes the other with his foot.

      When Nelly realizes that she is unable to free Catherine, she returns to Thrushcross Grange where she finds Edgar Linton very close to death. Four men are sent to the Heights to rescue Cathy but they come back without her and say that Catherine was too ill to leave her room. However, the very next moment there is a knock on the door and Cathy comes in, having escaped through the window of her mother's old bedroom, the very window beside which a few months later, Lockwood experiences his nightmare. Catherine is just in time to see her father die peacefully.

      At dinner time Mr. Green the lawyer arrives and takes charge of everything. He is in Heathcliff's pay and takes his orders from him. Catherine is allowed to stay at the Grange only till the hour of the burial.

Critical Analysis

      The plot here advances and Catherine is married to young Linton — a successful step forward in Heathcliff's plan of revenge. The other development is that Edgar Linton dies. Of his generation, now only Heathcliff and Nelly herself remain.

      The three members of the younger generation bear a strange legacy. Cathy is the child of the union between the households of Linton and. Earnshaw, but is dispossessed of the Linton lands and wealth; Hareton is the direct descendant of the Earnshaw family, but he is dispossessed of Wuthering Heights. Linton Heathcliff produced through the union of Heathcliff with the Linton family is the child of hate. He is now married to Cathy and owns the whole of the Linton and Earnshaw inheritance.

      Characters are also revealed in this chapter. Nelly's loyalty is evident in her courageous defense of Catherine against Heathcliff. Heathcliff appears more diabolic than ever in his rage and violence against Catherine who has not in any way harmed him ever. It is despicable too, the way he has terrorized his own son Linton to ill-treat Catherine. Linton appears in a cowardly light. Unable to stand up to his cruel father, he aids and abets Heathcliff in fulfilling his plan of revenge.

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