Wuthering Heights Chapter 18 Summary

Instructor: Dori Starnes

Dori has taught college and high school English courses, and has Masters degrees in both literature and education.

The daughter of Edgar and Catherine, Cathy has grown up smart and beautiful. But she longs to see what is outside Thrushcross Grange, and when opportunity presents itself, Cathy escapes from her house and heads to Wuthering Heights.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights, is Emily Bronte's only novel, published a year before she died. The novel tells the story of the Linton and Earnshaw families and centers around the character of Heathcliff. This lesson focuses on the summary of Chapter 18 of Wuthering Heights.

Before Chapter 18

Nelly, who was a servant at the Earnshaw's ancestral home of Wuthering Heights in her youth, tells the man living in Thrushcross Grange, Lockwood, the story of these two families. It all started with the adoption of the gypsy-like Heathcliff, who fell in love with Catherine Earnshaw but earned the hatred of her older brother Hindley.

Wuthering Heights is on the moors of England.
Wuthering Heights is on the moors of England.

Heathcliff becomes a wealthy man. When his true love married Edgar Linton, Heathcliff married Edgar's sister Isabella out of spite. He treats her badly, and when Catherine dies in childbirth, leaving behind a daughter Cathy, the pregnant Isabella leaves Heathcliff. Isabella gives birth to a son, whom she names Linton. Hindley dies soon after, leaving behind a son, Hareton but Heathcliff inherits Wuthering Heights.

Cathy dreamed of leaving Thurshcross Grange.
Cathy dreamed of leaving Thurshcross Grange.

Cathy at 13

Cathy is now thirteen years old, a girl who is smart and pretty but also very willful. Her father dotes on her and won't allow her to leave Thrushcross Manor. He doesn't want her to run into Heathcliff. The two families have no dealings with each other.

Cathy has one wish: to visit what she calls a fairy cave. This cave is out on the moor, near a place called Penistone Crags. Edgar refuses to let her go there, because she would have to pass Wuthering Heights.

A Letter from London

But one day, Edgar gets a letter from his sister Isabella in London, who is dying. She begs Edgar to come and take Linton to Thrushcross Grange so he won't be part of Heathcliff's life. Edgar leaves to see his sister, leaving Nelly in charge of Cathy.

Nelly tries to entertain Cathy, and even lets her play outside on her own. Nelly suspects Cathy would run away though, and makes sure the gate is locked all the time. But one day, Cathy's pony jumps over the fence and she heads right for Penistone Crags. Of course, on the way there she sees Wuthering Heights and stops there, where she meets Hareton Earnshaw.

Wuthering Heights Revisited

Cathy and Hareton are fast friends, and they spend the day playing near the fairy caves out on the moors. Nelly finally manages to find them, and she insists that Cathy come home this minute. Cathy doesn't listen. She tells Nelly that it is Hareton's house, and Nelly tells her that it is not. Cathy's behavior toward Hareton changes instantly.

Cathy and Hareton play on the moors.
Cathy and Hareton play on the moors.

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