E MILY BRONTE ’ S W UTHERING HEIGHTS Time line of the characters
L IST O F M INOR C HARACTERS 1 st generation: Mr.Earnshaw Mrs.Earnshaw Mr.Linton Mrs.Linton
M R.E ARNSHAW The father of Hindley and Catherine, adopted father of Heathcliff. Dies October 1777. A strict and grave man with no sense of humour. Nevertheless he is a kindly man who takes pity on Heathcliff when he is found alone and starving in the streets of Liverpool and adopts him as his own son. Unfortunately, he favours Heathcliff above his true son, Hindley, creating enmities which would have long-lasting consequences. It is a puzzle why he prefers Heathcliff as Ellen says: "I wondered often what my master saw to admire so much in the sullen boy; who never, to my recollection, repaid his indulgence by any sign of gratitude. He was not insolent to his benefactor, he was simply insensible; though knowing perfectly the hold he had on his heart, and conscious he had only to speak and all the house would be obliged to bend to his wishes."
M RS.E ARNSHAW The mother of Hindley and Catherine. Dies May 1773, less than two years after Heathcliff's arrival. She is not very happy at her husband bringing Heathcliff back from Liverpool (although this may be due to the costs and difficulty of another mouth rather than any hostility).
M R. & M RS. L INTON Mr. Linton : The father of Edgar and Isabella. Dies August 1780. The magistrate and owner of Thrushcross Grange before Edgar. Although he looks down on the Earnshaws and Heathcliff, he is essentially kindly and looks after Catherine when she is caught by the dogs at the Grange. He dies from the same fever as his wife. Mrs. Linton : The mother of Edgar and Isabella. First name Mary. Wears spectacles. Died August 1780 Like her husband, a kindly person who helps transform Catherine from a rough, wild child to a young lady. She has a dislike of Heathcliff. She brings Catherine to the Grange when the former catches a fever and contracts it herself, dying from it as a result.
L IST O F S UPPORTING C HARACTERS 2nd generation: Frances Hindley Earnshaw Edgar Linton Isabella Linton
FRANCES Frances is a woman that Hindley met while at college, married and brought back to Wuthering Heights. She is childish and physically weak, and dies soon after giving birth to Hareton. Notes: Frances may well have been a servant at Hindley's college as he does not mention her on any of his visits home. It is likely then that he did not marry her until late during his college stay, probably in early 1777 before he returned for the funeral. She is not a very mature person suggesting that she was not very old. She was presumably younger than Hindley (born no earlier than 1757) and must have been 16 at marriage (born no later than 1761). Frances played by different actors from 1970-2009
QUOTES (About 1777, aged about 17) Frances pulled [Heathcliff's] hair heartily, and then went and seated herself on her husband’s knee, and there they were, like two babies, kissing and talking nonsense by the hour... (1778, aged about 18) But the doctor says missis [Frances] must go: he says she’s been in a consumption these many months. I heard him tell Mr. Hindley: and now she has nothing to keep her, and she'll be dead before winter. (1778, aged about 18) And besides [Hindley], you should have known better than to choose such a rush of a lass!
Q UOTES (1777, aged about 17)...he brought a wife with him. What she was, and where she was born, he never informed us: probably, she had neither money nor name to recommend her, or he would scarcely have kept the union from his father. (1777, aged about 17) Every object she saw, the moment she crossed the threshold, appeared to delight her; and every circumstance that took place about her...I thought she was half silly, from her behaviour while that went on: she ran into her chamber, and made me come with her, though I should have been dressing the children: and there she sat shivering and clasping her hands, and asking repeatedly ‘Are they gone yet?’ Then she began describing with hysterical emotion the effect it produced on her to see black; and started, and trembled, and, at last, fell a-weeping—and when I asked what was the matter, answered, she didn’t know; but she felt so afraid of dying! I imagined her as little likely to die as myself. She was rather thin, but young, and fresh- complexioned, and her eyes sparkled as bright as diamonds. I did remark, to be sure, that mounting the stairs made her breathe very quick; that the least sudden noise set her all in a quiver, and that she coughed troublesomely sometimes: but I knew nothing of what these symptoms portended, and had no impulse to sympathise with her.
H INDLEY EARNSHAW Hindley is Catherine's elder brother. He hates Heathcliff from the start because of his father's preference for him and treats him badly. When his wife dies, he descends into gambling and drunkenness. Heathcliff gains his revenge by buying Wuthering Heights from him.. Hindley played by different actors from 1939-2009
Q UOTES (1771, aged 14) The former was a boy of fourteen, but when he drew out what had been a fiddle, crushed to morsels in the great-coat, he blubbered aloud... (1777, aged 20) He had grown sparer, and lost his colour, and spoke and dressed quite differently... (1778 onwards, aged 21) He neither wept nor prayed; he cursed and defied: execrated God and man, and gave himself up to reckless dissipation. The servants could not bear his tyrannical and evil conduct long... (1783, aged 26) '[Heathcliff] means to offer liberal payment for permission to lodge at the Heights; and doubtless [Hindley's] covetousness will prompt him to accept the terms: he was always greedy; though what he grasps with one hand he flings away with the other. (1784, aged 26)...it was opened by a tall, gaunt man, without neckerchief, and otherwise extremely slovenly; his features were lost in masses of shaggy hair that hung on his shoulders; and his eyes, too, were like a ghostly Catherine's with all their beauty annihilated. (1784, aged 26) Hindley has exactly [Catherine's] eyes.
E DGAR LINTON Catherine's husband. His breeding and wealth attracted Catherine though Heathcliff was her true love. He is a spoiled cowardly man although tender and loving to Catherine and his daughter. He is a contrast to Heathcliff both physically and spiritually. Edgar played by different actors from 1939-2009
Q UOTES (1777, aged 15) Edgar stood on the hearth weeping silently, and in the middle of the table sat a little dog, shaking its paw and yelping; which, from their mutual accusations, we understood they had nearly pulled in two between them. (1777, aged 15) But, Nelly, if I knocked [Edgar] down twenty times, that wouldn't make him less handsome or me [Heathcliff] more so. I wish I had light hair and a fair skin, and was dressed and behaved as well, and had a chance of being as rich as he will be! And cried for mamma at every turn,' I added, 'and trembled if a country lad heaved his fist against you, and sat at home all day for a shower of rain. (1777, aged 15) In other words, I must wish for Edgar Linton's great blue eyes and even forehead,' he replied. (1780, aged 18) He had a sweet, low manner of speaking, and pronounced his words as you [Lockwood] do: that's less gruff than we talk here, and softer.
Q UOTES (About 1783, aged 20/21) [Description of his portrait] I discerned a soft-featured face, exceedingly resembling the young lady at the Heights, but more pensive and amiable in expression. It formed a sweet picture. The long light hair curled slightly on the temples; the eyes were large and serious; the figure almost too graceful. (Around 1783, aged 20/21) I observed that Mr. Edgar had a deep-rooted fear of ruffling [Catherine's] humour. He concealed it from her; but if ever he heard me answer sharply, or saw any other servant grow cloudy at some imperious order of hers, he would show his trouble by a frown of displeasure that never darkened on his own account. (1784, aged 21)...whereupon Mr. Edgar was taken with a nervous trembling, and his countenance grew deadly pale. For his life he could not avert that excess of emotion: mingled anguish and humiliation overcame him completely. He leant on the back of a chair, and covered his face. (1784, aged 21) It was named Catherine; but [Edgar] never called it the name in full, as he had never called the first Catherine short: probably because Heathcliff had a habit of doing so. The little one was always Cathy: it formed to him a distinction from the mother, and yet a connection with her; and his attachment sprang from its relation to her, far more than from its being his own.
ISABELLA LINTON Isabella is Edgar's younger sister. A weak and spoiled girl, she becomes infatuated by Heathcliff, seeing him as a romantic hero. He despises her and uses her purely as a tool in his revenge. She is a contrast both physically and spiritually to Catherine. Isabella played by different actors from 1939-2009
Q UOTES (1777, probably aged 12 despite Heathcliff's statement) Isabella—I believe she is eleven, a year younger than Cathy—lay screaming at the farther end of the room, shrieking as if witches were running red- hot needles into her. (1783, aged 18) I [Catherine] never feel hurt at the brightness of Isabella's yellow hair and the whiteness of her skin, at her dainty elegance, and the fondness all the family exhibit for her. (1783, aged 18) She was at that time a charming young lady of eighteen; infantile in manners, though possessed of keen wit, keen feelings, and a keen temper, too, if irritated. (1783, aged 18 ) 'You'd hear of odd things if I lived alone with that mawkish, waxen face [Isabella's]: the most ordinary would be painting on its white the colours of the rainbow, and turning the blue eyes black, every day or two: they detestably resemble Linton's.'
Q UOTES (1784, aged 18) '[Isabella] abandoned them under a delusion,' [Heathcliff] answered; 'picturing in me a hero of romance, and expecting unlimited indulgences from my chivalrous devotion. I can hardly regard her in the light of a rational creature, so obstinately has she persisted in forming a fabulous notion of my character and acting on the false impressions she cherished. But, at last, I think she begins to know me: I don't perceive the silly smiles and grimaces that provoked me at first; and the senseless incapability of discerning that I was in earnest when I gave her my opinion of her infatuation and herself. It was a marvellous effort of perspicacity to discover that I did not love her. I believed, at one time, no lessons could teach her that!...Are you sure you hate me? If I let you alone for half a day, won't you come sighing and wheedling to me again?' (1784, aged 18) I [Heathcliff] never, in all my life, met with such an abject thing as she is. She even disgraces the name of Linton; and I've sometimes relented, from pure lack of invention, in my experiments on what she could endure, and still creep shamefully cringing back! (1797, aged 31) Her family were of a delicate constitution: she and Edgar both lacked the ruddy health that you will generally meet in these parts. What her last illness was, I am not certain: I conjecture, they died of the same thing, a kind of fever, slow at its commencement, but incurable, and rapidly consuming life towards the close.