Wuthering Heights: Chapter 22 - Summary & Analysis

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      Summer passes and in autumn Edgar catches a severe cold which affects his lungs and he is confined indoors. Cathy is sad and lonely. One day when Cathy climbs on the wall to gather some rosehips, her hat falls on the other side and she jumps down to get it but cannot climb back again. Nelly is about to run and get the key to the lock on the nearby gate, when Heathcliff approaches on a horse. He tell Cathy that Linton is dying of love for her and only she could save him. Heathcliff declares that he will be away from home for a week, begs Cathy to visit Linton and rides away. Cathy is so upset at this news that Nelly agrees to go with her to the Heights to see Linton.

Critical Analysis

      Heathcliff is single minded in his pursuit of revenge. He shows a good understanding of the mind of any young impressionable girl like Catherine and influences her by appealing to her kindness and to her sensitivity. He speaks of Linton's love for Cathy in forceful terms and say, "He pines for kindness, as well as love; and a kind word from you would be his best medicine" Cathy is of course, taken in by Heathcliff's seemingly sincere request.

      Noteworthy is also the fact that again a locked door leads to a crisis. Cathy is locked out of the gardens of the Grange and is at Heathcliff s mercy. Here Heathcliff merely talks and influences Cathy but it is this incident which ultimately leads to her imprisonment at the Heights.

      Nelly, we see ends up repeatedly betraying Edgar's trust in her. She had earlier helped the older Catherine and Heathcliff to deceive Edgar and now she does the same for the younger Cathy. She constantly keeps from Edgar, the things which he ought to know.

      Catherine's affectionate nature is revealed. She is greatly disturbed by her father's illness and she says, "And I'll never - never - oh, never, while I have my senses, do any act or say a word to vex him. I love him better than myself'.

      Yet she is led by her affectionate nature to believe Heathcliff's words and goes against her father's wish in deciding to meet Linton.

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