Wuthering Heights Chapters 21 - 24 Summary

On Catherine's sixteenth birthday, she received permission from her father for her and Mrs. Dean to walk to the edge of the moors. Catherine had tricked her father though, she had made plans to walk to the edge of Heathcliff's land to see the grouse nests. She was caught trespassing by Heathcliff himself, which worried Mrs. Dean, because she did not know how he would respond to the intrusion.

Surprisingly, he invited them to join him and Hareton at Wuthering Heights, to rest before the long walk back to Thrushcross Grange. Mrs. Dean did not want to go, and tried to forbid Catherine from visiting the house. Catherine went despite Mrs. Dean's warnings. There Heathcliff reintroduced Catherine and Linton, because the two of them barely remembered each other from their previous meeting. Heathcliff had a plan, which consisted of his son and Catherine marrying. In this way Catherine would be bound by marriage to Wuthering Heights and Heathcliff's demands. He knew this would cause grief for Edgar, because the thought of his only child living in Heathcliff's house would be intolerable.

The plan was for the two teenagers to fall in love, but Catherine told her father of her visit to Wuthering Heights. He told her of his falling out with Heathcliff and demanded she never visit the house again. She went around her father's wishes by sending notes to Linton, which were delivered by the milk boy. Mrs. Dean found the notes and put a stop to the correspondence.

That autumn Edgar caught a cold which settled into his lungs. He was bedridden for much of the winter, causing great concern for Catherine. She feared losing her father and Mrs. Dean, because of the early loss of her Aunt Isabella.

On a walk with Mrs. Dean, Catherine's hat fell off her head and into the road, which was on the other side of a stone wall. Catherine, who was sitting on the stone wall, jumped down to retrieve the hat, but found she could not climb up the wall to return to Mrs. Dean. The gate, which led through the wall, was locked and could not be opened. As Mrs. Dean was about to return to the house to get a key, she heard a person on horseback coming towards Catherine. The horse rider was Heathcliff; he told Catherine of the sad state Linton was in since she had stopped writing him. Heathcliff told her his son was going to die unless she went to see him. At this point, Mrs. Dean told Catherine to disregard what Heathcliff was telling her. Heathcliff was angry with Mrs. Dean, but told Catherine he spoke the truth. He also said, he would be gone for a week and during this time she should be able to visit Linton without arousing her father's ire.

After trying to talk some sense into the girl, Mrs. Dean agreed to accompany her to Wuthering Heights. She hoped by seeing Linton, Catherine would understand that Heathcliff was lying about the boy's physical state.

Mrs. Dean and Catherine found Linton alone in an inner room in the house. He was cross, because he had been asking for coals to be added to the fire and Joseph had been ignoring his requests. He was satisfied when Mrs. Dean added the coals to the fire.

Linton told Catherine of the lovely life he imagined they would have together as husband and wife. Catherine would rather had have him as her brother than her husband. Her reasoning was men come to hate their wives, but not their sisters. The two of them argued about whose father had the correct version of the disagreement between the two men. Catherine felt Heathcliff must have been an evil man, because her aunt was forced to leave him. Whereas, Linton told Catherine of the love her mother had for Heathcliff. This was all too much for Catherine to bear and she gave the chair Linton was sitting in an angry push. Linton used the supposed pain caused by the push to play upon Catherine's sympathies. He went into a coughing fit and told her she had caused him great pain. She felt bad, and agreed to continue seeing him. Mrs. Dean told her she must under no circumstance see the boy again.

Mrs. Dean became ill and was laid up for three weeks. During this time Catherine had to take care of both Mrs. Dean and her father, which Mrs. Dean thought would keep her away from Linton. She did notice that each night Catherine had high color on her cheeks, which she attributed to Catherine being near the fireplace.

Mrs. Dean became suspicious of Catherine, after observing her being anxious to have Mrs. Dean go to bed early. When Mrs. Dean would not go to bed early, then Catherine would feign an illness and go to her room. Mrs. Dean caught her one night sneaking back into the house, which forced Catherine to admit she had been spending most of her evenings visiting Linton. The two of them considered themselves in love.

Catherine was rude to Hareton and called him a dunce. This caused him to become angry with both her and Linton. He threw them out of the room they were visiting in and this caused a fight between both of them and Hareton. During this argument Linton became very ill and Catherine had to leave. They eventually made up, but Catherine asked Mrs. Dean not to tell her father about her visits to Linton. Mrs. Dean immediately told Edgar about the visits, which he put an end to. He allowed her to write Linton and would allow Linton to visit Catherine at her home.

These chapters describe how Heathcliff manipulates Catherine into becoming involved with Linton. He wants her to marry Linton and live at Wuthering Heights, which, for him, will in part avenge his loss of Catherine Earnshaw.

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