Wuthering Heights: Chapter 31 - Summary & Analysis

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      Having recovered from his illness. Lockwood rides to the Heights to tell Heathcliff, that he intends returning to London, as he has had enough of the country.

      To Lockwood, Catherine appears more sulky and less spirited than before. He drops Nelly's note to her surreptitiously but, clearly believing it is a note from Lockwood himself, she throws it off her lap and remarks upon it. Lockwood then informs her it is Nelly's note. Catherine tries to take it up again but Hareton snatches it saying he would give it to Heathcliff. However, when he sees her distress, Hareton returns the note. Catherine complains to Lockwood that she has neither books nor writing material and accuses Hareton of stealing some of her books. She also makes fun of his reading and pronunciation. Hareton then brings a bundle of books from his room and throws them in her lap. She however, continues to mock him and finally, in a fit of rage, he hurls them in the fire and smacks Catherine on her face.

      As Hareton leaves, Heathcliff comes in muttering that Hareton grew more like Catherine every day. He invites Lock wood to stay for dinner and dismisses Catherine to the kitchen with Joseph.

      Lockwood leaves Wuthering Heights with the wish that had he and Cathy fallen in love it would have turned into a fairy tale romance.

Critical Analysis

      Nothing of importance takes place in the Chapter and we are only given Lockwood's impressions of the various persons at the Heights. He sums up Catherine accurately as "she's a beauty, it is true, but not an angel". Catherine is haughty towards Hareton and Hareton is still crude in his behaviour. However, we are told that Hareton has been making efforts to improve himself.

      Here again, Heathcliff is seen to be haunted by Catherine, this time seeing her face in Hareton's as the young man, discontented and un-happy pushes his way out of the house.

      We have now moved in Nelly Dean's memory from 1771 to the present of the novel, 1802.

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