Wuthering Heights | Study Guide

Emily Brontë

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Course Hero. "Wuthering Heights Study Guide." Course Hero. 29 Sep. 2016. Web. 16 July 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Wuthering-Heights/>.

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Course Hero. (2016, September 29). Wuthering Heights Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved July 16, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Wuthering-Heights/

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Course Hero. "Wuthering Heights Study Guide." September 29, 2016. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Wuthering-Heights/.

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Course Hero, "Wuthering Heights Study Guide," September 29, 2016, accessed July 16, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Wuthering-Heights/.

Wuthering Heights | Chapter 32 | Summary

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Summary

A hunting trip brings Mr. Lockwood near Gimmerton, so he decides to visit Wuthering Heights and pay the rest of his bill for renting Thrushcross Grange. He arrives at Thrushcross Grange first. A servant he does not recognize answers the door. "Are you the housekeeper?" he asks. She replies, "Eea, Aw keep the hause," and she tells him "Mistress" Dean works at Wuthering Heights now. The servant is frantic because Mr. Lockwood arrived unannounced, so he is unable to ask her any more questions.

When he arrives at Wuthering Heights, the gate is unlocked, so Mr. Lockwood has an opportunity to eavesdrop on a conversation between Hareton and Catherine in the kitchen. Catherine is teaching Hareton to read, and giving him slaps and kisses as rewards or reprimands, which makes Mr. Lockwood bitterly jealous, since Catherine is so beautiful.

Once inside, Mrs. Dean says Mr. Lockwood will have to pay his rent to Catherine. Or, he can settle with Mrs. Dean, since she helps Catherine with the household finances now. Mr. Lockwood is confused. Mrs. Dean explains that he must not have heard; Heathcliff died three months earlier. As Mrs. Dean explains how he died, she first explains how Catherine and Hareton became friends "by both their minds tending to the same point." Mrs. Dean says she is glad Mr. Lockwood did not try to win Catherine's heart. The "crown of all her wishes" is that Catherine and Hareton will marry.

Analysis

This chapter is connected to the underlying meaning in the novel's title. Mrs. Dean, Catherine, and Hareton have withstood the wuthering atmosphere and Heathcliff's stormy violence and revenge. Also, the chapter contains a nod to the servant's role in the lives of the privileged when Mr. Lockwood asks the new servant, "Are you the housekeeper?" and her response—I keep the house—implies she does so much more than dust and sweep. The reader has learned through observing Mrs. Dean that a servant can love, protect, and serve with the fierce loyalty of a family member, and servants wield a significant amount of power over their masters' happiness and fate.

The motif of locked doors, walls, and windows signifying boundaries and social isolation as characters search for where they belong, comes to its resolution: all the doors, windows, and gates are unlocked. The dynamic between Catherine and Hareton is significant in this context; they have crossed the boundaries between them, symbolized by Catherine's blond ringlets intermingling with Hareton's brown locks. Catherine and Hareton have made peace through books. Earlier in the novel, the question of which is more valuable, physical strength and humility or intellectual power is presented. Catherine and Hareton balance the two when Catherine drops her false pride over being more educated than Hareton. This resolves the past (when Hindley took Heathcliff's opportunity for education away). Hindley was the true villain all along, and his cruelty set in motion a cycle of unhappiness. The present generation has righted the wrongs of the past generation by rising above pride. Happiness, love, and peace are rewards for their openness and humanity toward one another.

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