Wuthering Heights Chapters 13 - 16 Summary

Mrs. Dean explains the details of Catherine's illness to Mr. Lockwood. Catherine was diagnosed with brain fever and was nursed back to health by her husband. She was at last, after two months of being confined to her bedroom, able to be brought downstairs by her husband. It was there she would remain for the rest of her convalescence. She was also pregnant and therefore had to be treated with extra care by those around her.

In this time, Isabella had contacted her brother to tell him of her marriage to Heathcliff. The two of them had been gone six weeks by the time the letter reached Edgar. She did ask if they could have some sort of relationship, but he would not respond to her. So she decided to write to the only person she thought would be empathic to her plight. She wrote Mrs. Dean a long letter telling her of the conditions at Wuthering Heights and how her new husband treated her.

Wuthering Heights was in total disrepair by this time, there was not a clean room or object in the whole house. Isabella was treated badly by the other occupants of the house. She even asked if Heathcliff was mad or the devil. She deeply regretted her impetuous marriage to Heathcliff.

Mrs. Dean told Edgar of the letter she received from Isabella. He refused to send her a note back, but he did allow Mrs. Dean to visit her at Wuthering Heights. She was astonished first by the state of the house and second by the appearance of Isabella, who had not curled her hair and was still wearing the dress she arrived in. Heathcliff was in the room with the two ladies, so Isabella did not feel she could ask for a note outright, because she feared his reaction. He, to her surprise, told her to ask for the note. It is then that Mrs. Dean had to tell her she had no note and Edgar had cut off all communication with her.

Heathcliff puts down Edgar for attending to Catherine not out of love, but instead out of a sense of duty. Isabella tries to defend her brother, only to be told by her husband that he thinks her brother is able to throw away those he loves. After all, he told his sister he loved her and now would not see her. Heathcliff also confirmed that he only married Isabella to gain power over Edgar. Isabella had nothing but hatred for her husband, and he was happy she felt that way.

Heathcliff made Mrs. Dean promise to carry a letter to Catherine asking to see her. Mrs. Dean at first refused, because of Edgar's orders and the effect of seeing Heathcliff could have on Catherine's health. Heathcliff told her he would hold her prisoner if she did not bring the note to Catherine. She finally agreed to bring the note. It was a decision she instantly regretted.

Mrs. Dean gave the note to Catherine on the following Sunday, after Edgar had left for church. She was afraid of Catherine's reaction to the note, which was actually very little reaction. She did not seem to understand what it was Heathcliff wanted. During this time Heathcliff came into the house and found Catherine in her bedroom. The two kissed and embraced for about five minutes, before he took time to really look at her. He was stunned by her appearance, which confirmed what Mrs. Dean had told him. Catherine was near death. The two of them had words, each of them accusing the other of betraying their love. He felt betrayed, because she had married Edgar and she felt he and Edgar had broken her heart. She blamed them both for her physical state. She also felt that maybe Heathcliff would be happier with her dead. After a while, they forgave each other and once again embraced.

Mrs. Dean realized the church service was over, which meant Edgar would soon be returning home. She urged Heathcliff to leave the house at once, but Catherine would not hear of him leaving. She held on to him, not letting him go for an instant. Soon Edgar heard the two talking and burst into the bedroom, but by this time Catherine had fainted. Heathcliff placed her still form into Edgar's arms and made his escape into the parlor. It took some time, but finally Edgar and Mrs. Dean were able to revive Catherine.

Heathcliff still was waiting in the parlor to hear word of Catherine's condition. He would only leave, after Mrs. Dean promised to give him some word of Catherine's condition the next day.

Catherine gave birth that night to a two months premature baby girl. The child was small and never knew her mother, because two hours after she was born Catherine died. A grief stricken Edgar slept with her body next to him on their bed.

Mrs. Dean, the next day, went to the garden to tell Heathcliff. He did not take the news well, he asked for Catherine to haunt him. He asked for her spirit to be uneasy, until he too was dead. She was buried in the kirkyard away from the Earnshaw and Linton burial grounds. The only people who attended her funeral were her husband, tenants, and servants.

These are the saddest chapters in the novel, so far, Heathcliff is mean and unfeeling to his new wife, Wuthering Heights has fallen into disrepair, and Catherine, after giving birth, has died. All of the characters are victims of their own desires and need for revenge. Isabella and Catherine especially, seem to have paid the greatest price for their poor decisions.

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