Catherine Linton and Hareton Quotes in Wuthering Heights

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In ''Wuthering Heights'' by Emily Bronte, Cathy and Hareton are cousins from a highly dysfunctional and incestuous family. In this lesson, we will examine their relationship through quotes in the story.


In the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Cathy Linton and Hareton Earnshaw are part of the second generation of residents at Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. To understand their story, it is important to know about their parents. Cathy's mother is Catherine Earnshaw. Hareton's father is Hindley Earnshaw.

Catherine and Hindley Earnshaw are siblings that first lived at Wuthering Heights with their parents. One day, Mr. Earnshaw brought home an orphan boy he found on the streets named Heathcliff and announced that Heathcliff would now be their brother. As Catherine and Heathcliff grew up, they became very close and fell in love, but Hindley never warmed to Heathcliff and treated him as a servant once their father passed.

Although Catherine loved Heathcliff, she chose to marry Edgar Linton because Edgar could introduce her to a higher social class and provide for her financially. Cathy Linton is the daughter of Catherine and Edgar Linton. Hareton Earnshaw is the son of Hindley Earnshaw and Isabella Linton. Hareton has been raised by Heathcliff and treated as a servant since his father died. Heathcliff also has a son, Linton, who has lived with him since Linton's mother, Isabella, who is also Edgar's sister, passed away. Let's find out more about Cathy and Hareton's relationship in this novel.

Cathy Meets Hareton

Cathy is first introduced to Hareton when she travels to Wuthering Heights to visit her cousin, Linton. When she sees Hareton, she assumes he is a stable boy and begins to order him around. When he refuses to follow her orders, she becomes agitated. She says to her servant, Nelly, ' dare he speak so to me? Mustn't he be made to do as I ask him? You wicked creature, I shall tell papa what you said.'

When Nelly tries to explain that Hareton is one of her cousins, Cathy doesn't believe it. 'He my cousin!' Cathy cries, with a scornful laugh.

Cathy and Linton Make Fun of Hareton

Still not believing, Cathy asks Heathcliff. When Heathcliff affirms that Hareton is in fact her cousin, 'The uncivil little thing stood on tiptoe, and whispered a sentence in Heathcliff's ear. He laughed; Hareton darkened: I perceived he was very sensitive to suspected slights, and had obviously a dim notion of his inferiority.' Heathcliff then tells Hareton to show his cousin around the exterior of Wuthering Heights.

Later when visiting with Linton, Cathy asks about Hareton's intelligence and his Yorkshire dialect in Hareton's presence. Linton proceeds with mocking him saying, 'My cousin fancies you are an idiot. There you experience the consequence of scorning 'booklarning,' as you would say. Have you noticed, Catherine, his frightful Yorkshire pronunciation?' Linton and Cathy take great pleasure in getting him to talk so they can laugh at him. Hareton argues back that he would fight Linton if Linton wasn't such a girl. Hareton '…was conscious of being insulted, and embarrassed how to resent it.'

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