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Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - Barron's Booknotes
Table of Contents

CHAPTER 6

Hindley comes home for his father's funeral with a wife,
Frances, who delights in everything she sees except the
preparations for the burial. Frances is afraid of dying.

NOTE: You know from movies the difference between the terms
surprise and suspense. When a bomb goes off, you're
surprised; when you know a bomb has been planted, but you
don't know when it will explode, you're kept in suspense.

Ellen builds suspense by hinting at the future without letting
you know for certain what will happen. She tells you, for
instance, that she didn't know what Frances' shortness of
breath and coughing meant. You know, however, and are left
asking yourself, when will she die?



Emily Bronte gets you to turn the page by teasing you with
glimpses into the future. You are always being given partial
explanations, and you read on, hungry for the full story. Before
you learn of Cathy and Heathcliff's early history, for example,
you are given a quick look into Cathy's diary. And long before
it happens, you know Mr. Earnshaw will die, and Hindley will
become a tyrant.

When Frances expresses a dislike for Heathcliff, Hindley
recalls his old hatred, and turns the boy into a laborer on the
farm. Cathy teaches Heathcliff what she can as the two wander
together over the moors.

One day Heathcliff returns alone after dark. Where is Cathy?
Heathcliff explains to Ellen that he and Cathy peeked into the
windows of Thrushcross Grange, and saw a beautiful room
with crimson furniture, a pure white ceiling, and a silver and
glass chandelier. It should have been heaven, but instead the
Linton children-Edgar and Isabella-were fighting over a little
dog. When the children heard a noise at the window, they
cowered and cried for their parents.

NOTE: Now is a good time to compare the children, while
there is still a "window" between them. Heathcliff and Cathy
are wild, self-willed, strong, rebellious, and brave. Their
passionate friendship excludes all others. Edgar and Isabella,
who are safe inside a splendid house, are peevish, spoiled, and
cowardly. At this point, choosing between the two sides is not
hard. But as soon as Cathy is bitten by the Lintons' dog, and
the Lintons welcome her and scorn Heathcliff, the distinctions
begin to blur.

Because of the bite, which bleeds profusely, Cathy stays inside
and Heathcliff returns alone to his place outside the window.
Cathy, he sees, is very happy, "kindling a spark of spirit in the
vacant eyes of the Lintons."

Because of this adventure, Hindley forbids Heathcliff to talk to
Cathy, and his wife flatters Cathy into becoming a lady.

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