Wuthering Heights
Emily Brontë
Contributed by Karim Chandra
Chapter 4

Upon reaching Thrushcross Grange, Mr. Lockwood wanted to know more about Wuthering Heights. Mrs. Dean who happened to have lived in Wuthering Heights for over 18 years was the best-placed person to educate Mr. Lockwood in the past concerning Heathcliff and Cathy. The narration indicates that Mr. Earnshaw on his way back from a trip in Liverpool came across a homeless orphan boy that he decided to take with him home away from the streets. The gifts he had carried for Cathy and Hindley either got lost or spoilt on the way. Mr. Earnshaw reached his home tired exhausted and named the boy Heathcliff after his dead son. His wife and children (Hindley and Cathy) were not pleased with their father. Mrs. Earnshaw called the boy "gypsy brat" indicating prejudice. Mr. Earnshaw compared Heathcliff as a ‘gift from God.' His children thought otherwise. There was a time that Mr. Earnshaw purchased two horses for the two boys. Heathcliff picked the most attractive horse. When his horse got injured, he claimed Hindley's horse was creating lousy blood and curses between them. Heathcliff had started indicating selfish behavior. Mrs. Dean took care of the three children when they were under attack by measles. Heathcliff appreciated the tenderness shown when he was unwell. The interaction between Heathcliff and Hindley was always violent and abusive.


The narrator is Mrs. Dean also called Ellen. Two families the Earnshaw and the Lintons introduced including two different neighborhoods the Wuthering Heights and The Thrushcross Granges. The themes of good and evil, as well as love and obsession interplay. The introduction of an orphan boy with dark hair and skinny stature changes perceptions and introduces the reader to concepts of degradation, social classes and how the environment can influence changes in people. One wonders how the story would have been without the boy from Liverpool in the narrative. The narrative introduces a primary character with no background and no known history. Resistance, resentment, and rejection start with the simple action of Mr. Earnshaw.

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