Wuthering Heights Family Tree

Instructor: Kaitlin Oglesby

Kaitlin has a BA in political science and extensive experience working in the business world as Director of Marketing and Business Development at a financial advice firm.

Think your family is a lot to handle? Try the families of 'Wuthering Heights'. In this lesson, we'll take a look at the Lintons and the Earnshaws, and then we'll see where Heathcliff fits in.

Wuthering Heights Family Tree

As much as anything else, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is a story about the multitude of connections that can exist between two families. With the exception of the narrator, Mr. Lockwood, practically everyone else is intimately attached to either the Lintons or the Earnshaws. Ultimately, Lockwood will elect to leave the region in no small part because of the drama between the two families. In this lesson, we'll take a look at the Lintons, the Earnshaws, the resulting marriages between them, and the children that could claim both families.

The Lintons

While not the main family in Wuthering Heights, the Lintons are of vital importance to the story. After all, their ancestral home of Thrushcross Grange is where Mr. Lockwood plans on spending several months, and it is one of the sites that Heathcliff will eventually inherit. Mr. and Mrs. Linton are well-respected members of the local community. After all, Mr. Linton is a local judge. They have two children, Isabella and Edgar.

The Earnshaws

The Earnshaws, meanwhile, are the primary family that Wuthering Heights follows. Mr. Earnshaw is a man of some means, but is overall quite welcoming and not suspicious. Meanwhile, Mrs. Earnshaw is less quick to warm, especially of Heathcliff. Mr. and Mrs. Earnshaw have two children, Hindley and Catherine. Hindley has a streak of hatred for Heathcliff, while Catherine loves him dearly.

Heathcliff, while not officially an Earnshaw, acts as one in many ways. It was Mr. Earnshaw who saved him from being an orphan and who acts like a father figure to Heathcliff. Still, Hindley never lets the young Heathcliff forget his lower status in life. Ultimately, Heathcliff almost kills Hindley.

Heathcliff's relationship with Catherine, on the other hand, is central to the plot. The two are in love, but due to the social norms of the day, there is no chance for them to marry. Hearing Catherine say that is enough to drive Heathcliff away from both the family and his own sanity.

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