Chapters 27 and 28
Edgar’s health continues to fail, but Catherine still visits Linton by horse.
Heathcliff is now worried that Linton might die before Edgar does, so he
confronts Catherine asking how ill Edgar is.
Heathcliff then asks her to walk Linton back to Wuthering Heights, but she refuses, stating that her father has forbidden her to go to the farmhouse. Linton cries out in anguish and with Heathcliff threatening to lose his temper, Catherine consents to go to Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff imprisons Catherine and Nelly and he will not release them until the couple is married. Nelly is held in a locked room and Hareton acts as her jailer. After five days, Zillah tells Nelly that the whole village is gossiping about the missing women from the Grange, believing them to be lost in the marshes. Linton tells Nelly that Catherine is being held prisoner and, therefore, Nelly returns to the Grange.
Nelly advises Edgar that Catherine is safe and will be home shortly.
She sends servants to Wuthering Heights to bring Catherine home, but they are unsuccessful.
Edgar now sees the danger and sends for his lawyer in order to change his
Will. Before the lawyer arrives Catherine comes in.
She has escaped with Linton’s help. She goes to the dying Edgar who is deluded by thinking that his daughter is happily married. When the lawyer arrives, he takes charge of the Grange, dismissing all the servants with the exception of Nelly. He arranges for Edgar to be buried in the chapel, but Nelly knows that his Will clearly states that he wished to be buried next to Cathy.
Linton treats Catherine badly once she has been lured
to Wuthering Heights, his actions prompted by the overbearing Heathcliff. Catherine feels desperate after Linton reveals Heathcliff’s plans for her.
The reader sees how desperate Heathcliff is to have his plans succeed, for
he now commits a crime by kidnapping Catherine and Nelly. If these events had taken place anywhere other than on the moors, he would have faced the full wrath of the law, but due to the isolation of Wuthering
Heights, he feels that he is above the law. At this stage the reader hopes that Catherine will be a match for Heathcliff and somehow thwart his plans.
Although Nelly is unable to give an account of the wedding, Catherine and
Linton do indeed marry.
Nelly does show some compassion towards Edgar by not telling him the whole
truth, and he dies thinking that Catherine is happily married.
We also see a change in Linton who finally stands up to his overbearing
father by helping Catherine to escape.
We also now view Nelly’s role in this whole affair in a new perspective.
It is clear that Heathcliff regards her as an ally, or a plant, in the Thrushcross Grange household, and at this stage the reader has to determine the extent of Nelly’s involvement bearing in mind that when the lawyer arrives after Edgar’s death, he takes charge of the household and dismisses all the servants except for Nelly. Remember, Heathcliff has paid the lawyer who is quite willing to sacrifice one client for another.