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Wuthering Heights Chapter 15 Summary

Instructor: Kerry Gray

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

In chapter 15 of 'Wuthering Heights' by Emily Bronte, Nelly delivers Heathcliff's letter to Catherine just before Heathcliff arrives to see her. In this lesson, we will find out what happens when Edgar returns home from church to find Heathcliff and Catherine together.

Heathcliff Gives Nelly a Letter

At this point in the story, Lockwood, who has rented Thrushcross Grange from Heathcliff, is learning about the history of his landlord Heathcliff, who lives at Wuthering Heights, from his servant, Nelly. Heathcliff was brought to Wuthering Heights as a child because he did not have a family. Heathcliff grows close to his new sister, Catherine, but his new brother who takes over the property after the death of their father is jealous of Heathcliff and tries to keep Heathcliff and Catherine apart. Catherine feels pressure to marry Edgar Linton, from Thrushcross Grange, even though she loves Heathcliff. Out of revenge, Heathcliff marries Edgar's sister, Isabella, and treats her miserably. Catherine becomes mentally ill and is near death when Heathcliff forces Nelly to deliver a letter to Catherine. In chapter fifteen of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, we find out what happens when Catherine receives the letter.

Nelly Delivers the Letter

If you were Nelly, would you give Catherine the letter? When Nelly returns to the Grange, she knows that Heathcliff is watching, but she is unable to deliver his letter to Catherine until four days later while Edgar is at church. After Catherine reads the letter, Nelly asks for a response to give to Heathcliff who is waiting in the garden. Before Catherine has the opportunity to respond, Heathcliff has made his way into their house and found Catherine. As soon as he sees her, he grabs and kisses her.

Heathcliff is Angry with Catherine

Does Catherine want to be with Heathcliff? Heathcliff struggles to look at Catherine who appears to be dying. Catherine claims that both Edgar and Heathcliff have killed her by breaking her heart. She is angry that they both act pitiful when it was their own fault. Spitefully, she asks what he will do once she is dead. When Heathcliff asks why she wants to torture him with these words after she is gone, she replies, 'I'm not wishing you greater torment than I have, Heathcliff. I only wish us never to be parted: and should a word of mine distress you hereafter, think I feel the same distress underground, and for my own sake, forgive me!'

Catherine flings herself at Heathcliff and he catches her, sitting with her on a chair. Nelly worries that she may have fainted, but Heathcliff will not allow Nelly to come near. Holding and caressing her, Heathcliff says, 'WHY did you betray your own heart, Cathy? I have not one word of comfort. You deserve this. You have killed yourself.'

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