Wuthering Heights: Chapter 30 - Summary & Analysis

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      Nelly is now no longer in direct contact with Cathy. The story is now taken up by Zillah, the housekeeper at Wuthering Heights. She meets Nelly on the moor and tells her of the happenings at the Heights. On ously ill. She is given no help in nursing Linton. One evening, Catherine begs Heathcliff to send for a Doctor as Linton is dying. However, Heathcliff replies that he is not prepared to spend anything to save the worthless life of Linton. Within a short time, Linton dies leaving everything to his father. Catherine is now destitute, penniless and totally at the mercy of Heathcliff.

      Catherine stays in her room for a fortnight after Linton's death, hardly eating anything. Then one Sunday afternoon, the cold weather forces her to come downstairs. Hareton tries his best to please her and be civil to her, but she rebuffs him. She is haughty, cold and unfriendly towards the whole household.
Watching her end, Hareton one day ventures to touch her curls, but she turns on him furiously and tells him that she despises him.

      At this point, the story which Nelly has been narrating to Lockwood comes to an end. Lockwood has now recovered from his illness and is able to move about. He decides to ride over to Wuthering Heights to inform Heathcliff that he would be spending the next six months in London.

Critical Analysis

      Heathcliff's unnatural attitude as a parent is revealed here. So warped is he by his hate and proposed plan of revenge, that he has no affection to spare even for his dying son. He seems totally callous and irredeemable in his refusal to spend any money for Linton's cure.

      Nelly is concerned about Catherine's situation, but can do little to help.

      Hareton appears in a better light here, in his attempt to befriend Catherine. Zillah's efforts to make Hareton presentable for Catherine parallel events in Chapter 7 when Nelly helps Heathcliff to tidy himself up for the Christmas party at the Heights just after the elder Catherine's return from Thrushcross Grange.

      Nelly's story comes to an end here, her conversation with Zillah having taken place about six weeks earlier, just before Lockwood arrived at the Grange. He takes over the narration in the last paragraph.

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