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Wuthering Heights Chapter 10 Summary

Instructor: David Boyles

David has a Master's in English literature and is completing a Ph.D. He has taught college English for 6 years.

In Chapter 10 of 'Wuthering Heights,' Heathcliff returns after three years to get revenge on Hindley. And Isabella Linton, now Catherine's sister-in-law, develops a major crush on him.

The Return

Chapter 10 of Wuthering Heights skips ahead to describe Heathcliff's return to Wuthering Heights. He has made himself over and looks like an intelligent gentleman, but he is still set on revenge against Hindley. While we use the term gentleman today to refer to any man with good manners, at this time, it had a specific meaning that denoted that someone came from an upper-class background. Heathcliff, the Gypsy orphan raised by the upper-class Earnshaws, has always been an outsider but is now trying to fit in, at least long enough to take his revenge.

Isabella also develops a major crush on Heathcliff, to Catherine's horror, but Heathcliff doesn't seem interested in becoming part of the Linton family. Although the inheritance that comes along with it is appealing to him.

Heathcliff Comes Back

As Chapter 10 opens, Lockwood has come back to the story, complaining about his illness but eager to hear more of the story from Nelly. He speculates about how Heathcliff acquired his money and took his revenge, but Nelly says she doesn't know how he got his money or his gentlemanly bearing.

Nelly says that for the first six months of Catherine's marriage to Edgar, everything was fine. Catherine cares for Edgar, and Catherine and Isabella get along well, so everything is happy at Thrushcross Grange. But then Heathcliff comes back.

Edgar is reluctant to let Heathcliff into his parlor, insisting the kitchen is more appropriate for Heathcliff's kind. But Edgar does let him into the parlor because Catherine is so excited to see Heathcliff. Heathcliff has changed in the three years he has been away. He is tall and athletic and has the look of intelligence.

However, he has not forgotten his plan for revenge on Hindley. He is planning to stay at Wuthering Heights and look for the time to take his revenge. He has, in fact, already been at Wuthering Heights, playing cards with Hindley, who has turned into a full-on drunk. Hindley is happy to have Heathcliff around to pay him rent and play cards with him.

While staying at Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff starts coming around Thrushcross Grange regularly, and Isabella develops a crush on him. Catherine makes fun of Isabella for this, calling Heathcliff a wild creature who only wants Isabella for the Linton fortune.

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