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Chapter 22 in Wuthering Heights: Summary

Instructor: Kerry Gray

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

After Cathy stops writing Linton and Edgar falls ill, Heathcliff visits Cathy in hopes that he can persuade her to come to Wuthering Heights to speak to Linton. In this lesson, we will learn more about chapter 22 of 'Wuthering Heights' by Emily Bronte.

Cathy and Linton's Relationship

At this point in the story, Cathy, the daughter of Catherine and Edgar, Linton, the son of Isabella and Heathcliff, and Hareton, the son of Hindley, have all suffered for the sins of their parents. The problems began when after the death of their father, Hindley forced his adopted brother, Heathcliff, to work as a servant at Wuthering Heights. After Hindley died, Heathcliff returned the favor by forcing Hareton to work as a servant. Heathcliff loved Catherine, but after she married Edgar, he sought revenge by marrying Edgar's sister, Isabella. After Isabella's death, Heathcliff took custody of their sickly son, Linton. Heathcliff encouraged a relationship between Cathy and Linton, but Edgar explained to Cathy why she can't be with Linton due to Edgar and Heathcliff's history. In chapter 22 of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Heathcliff pays a visit to Cathy to encourage her to visit Linton at Wuthering Heights.

Cathy Worries Her Father Will Die

What circumstances would persuade you to abandon the advice of someone you loved and respected? In chapter 22, Edgar becomes ill and is forced to stay inside throughout the winter. One day as young Cathy and Nelly are out walking, Cathy shares her fears that her father will die and that eventually, Nelly will also die and leave her alone. Cathy expresses her love for her father by saying, 'I love him better than myself, Ellen; and I know it by this: I pray every night that I may live after him; because I would rather be miserable than that he should be: that proves I love him better than myself.'

Heathcliff Claims Linton is Ill

At her father's request, Cathy and Nelly take daily walks so that Cathy can get exercise. One day, while Cathy picks fruit, her hat falls on the other side of the wall requiring her to climb down the wall to get it. However, getting back over the wall is much more difficult. Nelly begins trying out the keys in her pocket on the gate, but none of them fit. Just as Nelly is about to run back to the house to find a key, Heathcliff rides up.

When Cathy tries to turn him away, Heathcliff threatens to blackmail her by showing her father the letters Cathy wrote to Linton where they were 'making love in play.' Heathcliff claims that Linton is heartbroken and near death since Cathy stopped writing him. Nelly speaks up, accusing Heathcliff of lying about Linton's condition. Not wanting to leave Cathy alone with Heathcliff, Nelly breaks the lock with a rock.

Why would Heathcliff lie about his son's condition? Heathcliff swears that Linton is dying and asks for Catherine to go to Wuthering Heights to visit Linton. Heathcliff states that Linton '…pines for kindness, as well as love…' as Heathcliff, Hareton, and Joseph are impatient with him and not the most loving people. Nelly pulls Cathy back to the other side of the gate and rushes her to the house.

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