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Wuthering Heights Chapter 13

Close analysis of chapter 13 WH

Hannah Chan

on 12 April 2014

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Transcript of Wuthering Heights Chapter 13

Think about the main events.
What actually happens?
Mainly in the form of a letter from Isabella to Nelly.

A Frame Narrative is used here.
We get Isabella's narrative briefly and this gives the reader a different view of Heathcliff.
'Is Mr Heathcliff a man? If so, is he mad? And if not, is he the devil?'
Heathcliff: A sense of mystery surrounds him
The Reader does not know of his origins or where he disappeared to earlier in the novel.

Contrast between language used by Isabella and Heathcliff.

Gothic Elements

Savagery vs Civilisation
The contrast between Isabella and Heathcliff
'Hellish Villain'
'Glaring like a Hungry Wolf'

Dream vs Reality
Blur between reality and dreams as Cathy thinks she can see WH from her window.

'Mrs Linton encountered and conquered the worst shock of what was denominated a brain fever.'

Cathy is near death, this could be foreshadowing her death.

Lets have a look with Assesment Objectives in mind
Key Focus of the Chapter?

Presentation of character
A sense of contrast between characters
Heathcliff: Savage
Isabella: Civilised

Isabella uses educated language, which suggests Civilisation.
'inhospitable hearth'


Joseph uses Yorkshire dialect, which is a major contrast to Isabella's use of speech.
'Hareton, thah, willut'

Wuthering Heights Ch.13
Cathy's brain fever worsens, but gets better under Edgar's care.
Isabella briefly takes over the narrative and writes a letter to Nelly pleading for her to help.
Isabella realises Heathcliff is mad, bad and dangerous.
AO3 continued:

Different Interpretations...

Let's take a Feminist and a Marxist view on Chapter 13.

Feminist View:
19th Century Female: were considered 'powerless'

In WH, Heathcliff mistreats Isabella
Even Joseph mistreats Isabella, even though he is a servant.
Isabella is kept in a state of terror
Marxist view:
Proletariat (Heathcliff) getting revenge on and mistreating the Bourgeoisie (Isabella)

Here we see a clash of social class.

One example is:
Isabella says
'I shall have my supper in another room... Have you no place called a parlour?'
Joseph replies
'Parlour!.. Nay we've noa parlours.'
He replies in a sneering manner as if he were mocking the Bourgeoisie lifestyle.


Within 19th Century texts, Women were highly associated with sickness and this was often linked to weakness.

In Chapter 13, Cathy becomes very sick with Brain fever. But with Edgar's help, she gets better.

Links to Feminist view, that the 'strong male' is needed to look after the 'weaker female'
A video showing the Presentation of Cathy, Isabella and Heathcliff
Full transcript