Date of publication: 2017-08-27 14:16
Two years on and Catherine has become close friends with Edgar, growing more distant from Heathcliff. One day in August, while Hindley is absent, Edgar comes to visit Catherine. She has an argument with Ellen which then spreads to Edgar who tries to leave. Catherine stops him and, before long, they declare themselves lovers.
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The ghost story presents a phenomenon older sometimes far older than its earthly witnesses, who come back from their encounter with just a few garbled hints concerning an entity that appears to follow rules we don't understand. Measured against the ghost's enduring existence, our own lives seem brief and uncertain. The questions it forces on us are eternal.
Emily Brontë knew this. Two of the few facts we know about this very private individual are that she adored ghost stories and that her father shared with her the ghost stories he had learned from his father, a great storyteller from a culture that to this day cultivates storytelling as an art form.
Cathy's paneled bed is a unique and private space: "a large oak case, with squares cut out near the top resembling coach windows.. In fact, it formed a little closet.." (Brontë, 75) It is in this enclosure that Cathy and Heathcliff sleep together during the happiest years of their lives, before Hindley and the Lintons intrude to separate them.
They leave the moors and make their way to the formal ball at the wealthy Lintons, where they climb the wall and then look in upon the dancing couples at a window sill. Cathy is entranced and enamored by the sight of the beautifully-costumed, whirling couples waltzing together, admiring their respectable and elegant places in life:
It is significant that Hareton and Cathy II alone of all the victors in the book offer their rivals a compromise. Upon their marriage, they intend to move to Thrushcross Grange, and that will leave Wuthering Heights free "for the use of such ghosts as choose to inhabit it." (Brontë, 765) At last, with almost all of the combatants in this claustrophobic struggle sidelined in death, there are prizes enough to go around.
However, in the second generation, we begin to see the names blend as various roles from the first generation have become crystallized: Cathy's daughter does in fact end up with this blended name, but in reverse: Catherine Linton Heathcliff Earnshaw. And witness poor Linton Heathcliff, who is forced to carry his unlucky family tree around with him as a mode of address. With such a rigid expression of hatred and misfortune forming his name, he has no room to develop any life of his own. It is hardly surprising that the pitiful creature expires the minute his puppet master of a father is done with him.