Foreshadowing is a very common literary device used in classic literature. It gives a yearning of what may come ahead and an intriguing tie from the present to the past and vice versa. To foreshadow is "to shadow or characterize beforehand" (Webster's Dictionary). Wuthering Heights as a whole serves as a large-scale example of this foreshadowing effect and it contains many other examples within it.
In the first half of the book, Emily Bronte gives the account of the foundational characters, the first generation. The account is given in a diverse way, it is stated as from the eyes of an outside observer with an inside scoop named Nelly Dean. Nelly had lived in both Thrushcross range and Wuthering Heights and had a first hand account of all that had happened in their inhabitants' life. The actions and decisions of the first generation were also very eminent in their descendants; they both had their share in heartache and disaster. Though the same mistakes were not made they suffered just the same. The fact that Heathcliff never rectified his relationship with Catherine and all the others he hurt the hurt carried on down the family line.
The repetition of events was revealed in everything that occurred. The way that the first generation was treated was how they treated the next. For example Heathcliff's deprivation of Hareton repeats Hindley's deprivation of Healthcliff. Even the first Catherine shows this, she mocked Joseph's earnest evangelical zeal and soon so did her offspring. It is even said that Heathcliff trying to "open" Catherine's grave was repeated. All things were "predicted" and eminent of reoccurring in the future. The foreshadowing device was also used yet another time, to explain the basis of the whole story.
In the time of Heathcliff and Catherine's journey through turmoil many things were said. Often when you are in a fit of rage or a time of passion you say things and some are meant and others are not....