Wuthering Heights
Emily Brontë
Contributed by Karim Chandra
Chapter 5

Earnshaw suffered ill-health. The question why Earnshaw had the preference for the orphaned boy extrapolated from the behavior of his children Cathy and Hindley. They were problem children always contradicting their father. The orphan boy was loyal though self-fish. Heathcliff may have changed if he was treated better by his adopted family. Cathy and Hindley took advantage of the situation to mock him due to his preference of Heathcliff. Hindley scorned the father over Heathcliff. The curate advised that Hindley should be sent to college to create peace at home. Joseph, a servant, manipulates master Earnshaw to gain control over the estate by claiming the children were irresponsible. Joseph used biblical sermons to try gain influence. Earnshaw children hated the forced Christianity.

Cathy was a master manipulator she used her closeness to Heathcliff by influencing his favored position from Mr. Earnshaw.  Cathy claimed that Heathcliff did all her bidding, while he concentrated on fathers bidding when it suited him." Cathy delighted in provoking the dad.  The father rejected and cursed her. Earnshaw pronounced, “I cannot love thee thou’rt worse than thy brother.” Wuthering heights appear to be a place of evil, where people take advantage of others. Hindley turned Heathcliff to a servant, Heathcliff also turned Hindley's son into a servant.


The chapter introduces some themes like pride and humility, favoritism and hate, servant and master relationships and well as dealing with rejection. Coping with rejection gives people with two option revenge (judgmental) or pity (forgiveness). Good and evil are always in competition and individuals have to make personal choices. This chapter shows two different sets of people and what they believe. Heathcliff, Cathy, Hindley belong to one group which is the mean and violent while, Isabella, Mrs. Dean, and Catherine represents the good in society. Mrs. Dean and Catherine remain the moral fiber of society. Despite all the cruel treatment, Catherine remains optimistic choosing good over evil. Isabella also had a chance to kill Heathcliff by collaborating with Hindley; Isabella decided to accept good over evil and treat people well. The treatment regarding mocking Mr. Earnshaw shows immaturity and lack of respect on the part of Cathy. Cathy's father dies unhappy with both Cathy and Hindley who ended up having miserable lives.

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