Chapters 33 and 34
The next day, Hareton and Catherine side against
Heathcliff and he threatens to strike Catherine, but is able to control himself.
More and more, Heathcliff sees Cathy in Hareton, and he reveals to Nelly that he has no desire to finish his revenge. He is being constantly reminded of Cathy, both inside and outside of Wuthering Heights. He hardly eats at all and a few days later he stays out all night, presumably on the moors. When he returns, he acts in an unusually friendly way, although he continues to reject all food. Nelly wants him to send for the Minister, but he just laughs and reminds her regarding his burial wishes. The doctor arrives to see him, but Heathcliff refuses.
That night Heathcliff dies. Nobody mourns his passing except for
He is buried according to his wishes, but the superstitious villagers swear
that he and another roam the moors.
Despite all that has gone on between them, Catherine
and Hareton have become friends. This gives them the strength to stand up to Heathcliff, but he is now only a shadow of his former self. He is being driven mad and now seeks solitude on the moors.
Inside Wuthering Heights he sees reminders of Cathy, in Catherine’s eyes and forehead and more so in Hareton’s general demeanor. He also starts conversing with Cathy’s ghost and one must assume that this brought some relief to Heathcliff, for after his return from a night on the moors, he is strangely cheerful. Perhaps he finally realizes that he will be reunited with Cathy. He does not for one moment think that he will be reunited with her in heaven because he refuses to allow Nelly to call for a Priest. He hopes to be reunited with her on the moors, the only place they were happy together.
The reader can take away the satisfaction of knowing that the surviving
members of the second generation will find happiness at last. Catherine and Hareton now only appear to have their parents’ redeeming features, for Catherine feels guilt over her taunting of Hareton, while
Hareton is willing to forgive Heathcliff and mourn his passing. It is fitting that Hareton will now inherit Wuthering Heights, sharing the name that is carved over the entrance to the farmhouse.
Again we have the strange duality; just as Cathy took no food prior to her
death, the same is happening with Heathcliff. He feels the loss of Cathy even more, especially when he realizes that there is love growing between Catherine and Hareton.
He no longer needs nourishment from food. The only thing that can feed his demented soul is nourishment from the supernatural world, which he longs to enter.
The fiend that was Heathcliff has now been reduced to a sorrowful shell of a
The moral of the tale is that love will conquer hate in the end.