Wuthering Heights | Study Guide

Emily Brontë

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Course Hero. "Wuthering Heights Study Guide." September 29, 2016. Accessed November 18, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Wuthering-Heights/.


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Wuthering Heights | Chapter 20 | Summary



Linton is very unhappy the next morning when he finds out he has to live at Wuthering Heights. Isabella never spoke of Heathcliff, so Linton has no idea he even had a father. Mrs. Dean lies to him about Heathcliff and Wuthering Heights to coax him to get dressed and ride across the moor.

Joseph and Heathcliff greet Linton when he arrives. Heathcliff is disappointed his son looks like a puling chicken brought up on snails and sour milk, who doesn't resemble Heathcliff at all, but he promises Mrs. Dean he will be kind to Linton. Heathcliff admits he plans to own Thrushcross Grange one day, since Linton is the heir. He also plans to continue his revenge by making Hareton serve Linton. Linton will be brought up as a proper gentleman, and Heathcliff has even hired a tutor for Linton.


In this chapter, Joseph and Heathcliff provide a few rare instances of humor in the novel.

Everything about Linton (his demeanor, upper-class manners, and physical appearance) associates him with the weaker but more civilized inhabitants of Thrushcross Grange. Linton obviously does not belong at Wuthering Heights, and his situation is an example of the doubling that occurs throughout the second half of the novel. In this chapter, history repeats (always with a twist) the event of Heathcliff's being brought from Liverpool to live at Wuthering Heights. Now it's his son, but conversely, Linton is the exact opposite of Heathcliff in every way.

To carry suspense through the novel, Heathcliff tells Mrs. Dean (and the reader) exactly how he will continue his revenge on Hindley and Edgar by using Linton and Hareton.

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