Course Hero. "Wuthering Heights Study Guide." Course Hero. 29 Sep. 2016. Web. 20 Sep. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Wuthering-Heights/>.
Course Hero. (2016, September 29). Wuthering Heights Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved September 20, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Wuthering-Heights/
(Course Hero, 2016)
Course Hero. "Wuthering Heights Study Guide." September 29, 2016. Accessed September 20, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Wuthering-Heights/.
Course Hero, "Wuthering Heights Study Guide," September 29, 2016, accessed September 20, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Wuthering-Heights/.
In the present, Mrs. Dean encourages Mr. Lockwood to consider a romance with Catherine. Then she rewinds the story to a little less than a year ago when Edgar's death is imminent. Linton has been writing letters pressuring Edgar to allow him to marry Catherine. Edgar considers the marriage, and Mrs. Dean reassures him with the idea that Catherine will be rewarded in the marriage because she does her duty. He has set aside a yearly income for Catherine, but the only way for her to live permanently at Thrushcross Grange is through marriage with Linton, the male heir. Edgar agrees to let Mrs. Dean accompany Catherine weekly to see Linton out on the moors.
Mr. Lockwood's romantic interest in Catherine is intended to throw the reader off the trail, as the novel toys, again, with the reader's expectation for a conventional happy ending.
A core message for the theme of good versus evil comes from Mrs. Dean's comment: "People who do their duty are always finally rewarded." This connects to well-known religious ideas of the time about the virtue of being a humble servant, alluded to throughout Wuthering Heights.
What the readers know, but the characters do not, is that all because of Edgar's insistence on Thrushcross Grange going to a male heir—even though Edgar could make a clause in the will and leave it to his daughter—Heathcliff is leveraging a race between Linton and Edgar's death and Linton and Catherine's marriage.