Wuthering Heights


Key Quotes

1. “Honest people don’t hide their deeds.”—This line comes in chapter 10. It is spoken by Nelly to Isabella, who does not like to hear Catherine speak poorly of Heathcliff. Isabella believes that Heathcliff has a good soul because he has remembered Catherine after all this time and still shows himself to be devoted to her. Catherine scoffs at Isabella’s ignorance; the former thinks that the latter is naïve not to see Heathcliff’s brooding scorn. Catherine seems to think herself justified in loving Heathcliff despite his faults, but does not think that Isabella can do the same. This may be because Catherine knows that she is the idol of Heathcliff’s heart.

Nelly tries to persuade Isabella that Heathcliff is not honest, since his whereabouts and intentions are shrouded in mystery. This is partly true and partly false. Heathcliff does often deceive, yet he also often confesses the truth, either to Catherine or to Nelly or to his victims. The fact is that Nelly’s blanket statement does not entirely apply to Heathcliff—which is what Isabella sees, and which is why the argument is unsuccessful. Heathcliff is both dishonest at times and honest at others. Like Catherine, he is a divided soul, torn between loving the object of his affection and destroying the objects of his ire. The problem is that Catherine, though she is the object of his affection, is also sometimes the object of his ire.

2. “Thou art the Man!”—Lockwood cries this as he points to the minister in his dream in chapter three. The minister has just delivered a sermon on all of the possible sins that humanity might commit, all of which may be pardoned—except the last. He declares that the last type of sinner cannot be pardoned, yet before he can say who represents this type, Lockwood beats him to it by saying that he, the minister, represents this type. The type of sinner that cannot find pardon is the type that does not pardon others. As the ancient prayer goes: “Forgive us our...

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Essays About Wuthering Heights