Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights
by Emily Brontë

Heathcliff Timeline and Summary

  • Heathcliff meets his new tenant, Mr. Lockwood, who has come to rent Thrushcross Grange.
  • Heathcliff almost has a nervous breakdown in the oak-paneled bed, yearning for Catherine's ghost to return.
  • Flashback to childhood: Mr. Earnshaw brings Heathcliff from Liverpool to live at Wuthering Heights. A filthy street urchin, Heathcliff is treated very poorly by his new brother and sister.
  • Heathcliff and Cathy end up bonding and become even greater allies after Mr. Earnshaw dies. They experience some idyllic childhood moments on the moors.
  • Heathcliff and Catherine sneak down to Thrushcross Grange to spy on Edgar and Isabella Linton. When Catherine is bitten by a dog, she stays at the Grange for five weeks to recuperate. The separation is anguish for Heathcliff.
  • Hindley begins treating Heathcliff like a servant. Deprived of an education and treated brutally, Heathcliff is left bitter and uncivilized.
  • Heathcliff vows revenge against Hindley.
  • Despite himself, Heathcliff rescues Hareton, Hindley's son, from certain death.
  • Heathcliff overhears Catherine tell Nelly that it would degrade her to marry him.
  • He splits for three years.
  • Heathcliff returns with money and some respectability, though no one knows where he has been. The army? America? He moves into the Heights in an attempt to drive Hindley to his grave.
  • Isabella falls in love with Heathcliff and, being opportunistic, he plays along. They elope – but not before he hangs her dog by the neck.
  • The Heathcliffs return and move into Wuthering Heights. Though Isabella quickly realizes he's just not that into her, she is now in his "custody," a.k.a. his prisoner.
  • Heathcliff visits an ailing Catherine. Torture. Accusations of blame. Expressions of love and a desire for death in each other's arms.
  • Catherine dies and Heathcliff begs her to haunt him. He puts a lock of his hair into a locket hanging around her neck.
  • Hindley attempts to kill Heathcliff, but Isabella stops him. She runs away soon after.
  • Hindley finally dies, and Heathcliff becomes master of the Heights.
  • Heathcliff meets his son, Linton Heathcliff, now thirteen years old.
  • Heathcliff introduces Cathy (the late Catherine's daughter) to Linton, setting into motion his plot to acquire Thrushcross Grange.
  • Heathcliff keeps Nelly and Cathy captive at the Heights, forcing Cathy to marry Linton Heathcliff, who dies soon after.
  • Heathcliff begins to feel "a strange change approaching," loses his will to revenge himself on Hindley's son, Hareton, and stops eating. He begins taking a lot of midnight strolls on the moors.
  • Nelly finds Heathcliff's corpse in the oak-paneled bed. His eyes won't shut and his mouth is fixed in a sneer.
  • Following his wishes, Heathcliff is buried next to Catherine, who is buried next to Edgar.

Next Page: Catherine Earnshaw Linton Timeline

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