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Wuthering Heights | Quotes

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1.

Guests are so exceedingly rare in this house that I and my dogs, I am willing to own, hardly know how to receive them.


Heathcliff, Chapter 1

Heathcliff is referring to his dogs, but unbeknownst to Mr. Lockwood in this moment, Heathcliff has treated the children in his care, Hareton and Catherine, similarly—he both owns them and discourages their education, domestication, or highborn manners, foreshadowing how the children will behave as nastily as the dogs when Mr. Lockwood meets them.

2.

Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.


Mrs. Dean, Chapter 7

Mrs. Dean's advice to Heathcliff carries a main message in the novel and reveals the core of the theme of Pride versus Humility.

3.

Wish and learn to ... change the fiends to confident, innocent angels, suspecting and doubting nothing, and always seeing friends where they are sure of foes.


Mrs. Dean, Chapter 7

Speaking of Heathcliff's eyes, Mrs. Dean delivers sage advice to the still receptive and redeemable young Heathcliff, who is at a crossroads between developing into an angel or devil, a good or evil person.

4.

Here! and here! ... In my soul and in my heart, I'm convinced I'm wrong!


Cathy, Chapter 9

Cathy shares her intuition with young Mrs. Dean after accepting Edgar's marriage proposal. Cathy's presentiment, visions, and intuition will increase as the plot twists and turns from this point forward.

5.

My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it ... as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath ... Nelly, I am Heathcliff!


Cathy, Chapter 9

Cathy discerns between her temporal love for Edgar and her eternal love for Heathcliff; comparing Heathcliff to an eternal rock has religious associations, and in some ways, Cathy and Heathcliff's love has a religious quality to it. She feels as he feels, and, in her perception, they share one being.

6.

I'll go make peace with Edgar instantly. Good-night! I'm an angel!


Cathy, Chapter 10

Cathy is so happy when Heathcliff returns that she reconciles with God and promises to be good, and, in this instance, makes up with her husband after a fight. The motif of angels and devils supports the theme of good versus evil throughout Wuthering Heights.

7.

You fight against that devil for love as long as you may: when the time comes, not all the angels in heaven shall save him.


Hindley, Chapter 13

Hindley wants to kill Heathcliff, but it will take away his chance to leave his son an inheritance. The "devil" is both Heathcliff and an impulse stopping Hindley from killing Heathcliff. This play on words emphasizes how much Hindley has gone over to the dark side; he is referring to a good impulse—not to kill—as a "devil."

8.

It is not in him to be loved like me: how can she love in him what he has not?


Heathcliff, Chapter 14

Heathcliff mirrors Cathy's earlier confession of love, cementing the idea in the novel of the two being of one soul, meant only for each other.

9.

He has no claim on my charity. I gave him my heart, and he took and pinched it to death, and flung it back to me.


Isabella, Chapter 17

Isabella's "delusional love" contrasts with Cathy's "eternal" love connection with Heathcliff. This is Isabella's moment of clarity, as she struggles to free herself from false love.

10.

Treachery and violence are spears pointed at both ends; they wound those who resort to them worse than their enemies.


Isabella, Chapter 17

Through Isabella's rejecting an opportunity for revenge, a core message about violence is delivered to the reader, as her character contrasts with Heathcliff and Hindley, and she is the one character who escapes Wuthering Heights.

11.

One hoped, and the other despaired: they chose their own loss, and were righteously doomed to enjoy them.


Mrs. Dean, Chapter 17

Comparing Hindley to Edgar, Mrs. Dean "moralizes" on how Edgar's faith contrasts to Hindley's despair. She makes an important distinction in mentioning each man chose his path to redemption or destruction.

12.

And we'll see if one tree won't grow as crooked as another, with the same wind to twist it.


Heathcliff, Chapter 17

The battering of the wuthering wind on trees symbolizes the effect of a violent or negative environment on individuals, as Heathcliff intentionally seeks to lower Hareton from his birthright as a gentleman into the position of an uneducated servant.

13.

One is gold put to the use of paving-stones, and the other is tin polished to ape a service of silver.


Heathcliff, Chapter 21

The contrast between Hareton and Linton's innate character traits reinforces a core message about erroneous class distinctions. "Service of silver" signifies the tea service performed daily by servants for unworthy masters.

14.

He'll undertake to torture any number of cats, if their teeth be drawn and their claws pared.


Heathcliff, Chapter 27

Heathcliff strikes on the true nature of his son, Linton, whom Catherine has erroneously made her hero. Brontë establishes Linton as an antihero like his father in this chapter.

15.

However miserable you make us, we shall still have the revenge of thinking that your cruelty arises from your greater misery.


Catherine, Chapter 29

Catherine has just told Heathcliff she is glad to have a better nature than Linton because she can use it to forgive his bad nature. Her use of the word revenge here actually extends the positive connotation of her earlier words. Using verbal irony, she is both sympathizing with Heathcliff and comforting herself with the knowledge he is miserable and lonely.

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