The first six chapters of the novel by Emily Bronte called “Withering Heights” are designed to present the reader with the set of characters dwelling in a mention called Wuthering Heights. The people living in Wuthering heights are very unusual and the relationships between them are non-typical. For an unfamiliar observer these characters seem mysterious and strange, their behavior does not help to categorize them into any groups based on principles such as outer resemblance, behavioral patterns.
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They do not look like a family, but they share one home. This fact makes the narrator and the visitor of Wuthering Heights, Mr. Lockwood experience curiosity and look for more information about the backgrounds of the mysterious people surrounding him.
The person that stands out the most is Mr. Heathcliff, whose appearance is rather memorable because “He is a dark- skinned gypsy in aspect, in dress and manners a gentleman” (Bronte, 1, par. 11). Heathcliff is a very locked up person, his feelings and emotions are often hard to recognize, and this is what makes his the most mysterious. The other people that live in Withering Heights are also quite cold and mainly silent or grumpy.
There is no warm atmosphere in that home. Lockwood attempts to guess the relations between the people of Wuthering Heights but does no succeed so he is forced to look for assistance. The old houskeeper Mrs. Dean tells Lockwood the actual story of the families of Wuthering Heights.
It turns out that Heathcliff’s cold and distant attitude is the result of him being an adopted child of Earnshaw family. His foster mother and siblings were not very fond of him. At the same time, his foster father, Mr. Earnshaw, who actually adopted him, always treated him with love and a great deal of favoritism, which made his step brother jealous.
However, over time he grows very close to his step sister Catherine. After Mr. Earnshaw’s death Catherine remains the only person that likes Heathcliff in the whole household. As these two young people grow up they become closer and closer. There seems to be a clear hint that Heathcliff starts to develop romantic feelings for this best friend.
After a strange dream Mr. Lockwood has in his bedroom, where the notices a name scribbled on the ledge. It says “Catherine Earnshaw”, “Catherine Heathcliff” and “Catherine Linton”. He also locates journals, and reading them notices that their author, obviously Catherine, used to be very fond of Heathcliff and spent a lot of time in his company during their childhood.
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That night Lockwood has a dream about a woman called Catherine Linton, visiting the house as a ghost. He shares this dream with Heathcliff and the suddenly observes a new side of the locked up gentleman. Heathcliff turns to be suffering a pain of heartbreak.
It is easy to understand that he is missing Catherine, who is dead, and who also was a wife of someone called Linton. Mrs. Dean’s story in the sixth chapter reveals that the neighboring mansion belonged to the Linton family. The occasional encounter between them and the dwellers of Wuthering heights happened when Catherine and Heathcliff out of curiosity decided to check their mansion because it looked beautifully and was nothing like their home. The accidental meeting becomes destiny for both Heathcliff and Catherine.
Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights. 2013. Web.