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Wuthering Heights | Chapter 26 | Summary



Catherine sets out on her horse to meet Linton halfway between Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, but Linton is so ill he only makes it a quarter of a mile away from his home. Catherine is concerned for Linton; he's grown thinner and paler than when she saw him last. He is withdrawn, confused, and snappish. He asks Catherine to lie to her father and say he is healthy, and to not provoke Heathcliff's anger against him. He begs Catherine to stay another half hour, and then falls asleep while she looks for berries with Mrs. Dean. Catherine, eager to leave his sour company, takes off on her horse as Heathcliff approaches.


Continuing the loose and flowing dramatic irony in the novel, the reader knows that Heathcliff is forcing Linton to meet with Catherine; Linton is too ill to love anyone, let alone play the part of a romantic lover, and Catherine is too inexperienced to fully realize it—although she does notice it seems like Linton is being compelled. Their love is the opposite of the consuming, jealous love between Heathcliff and Cathy. However, Catherine and Linton have more tenderness and understanding between them. As Catherine tries to force a romantic interaction, she becomes blind to Linton's illness. Linton explains the reasons for his behavior, a major departure from Heathcliff and Cathy's inability to communicate with each other in the past.

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