Characters / Wuthering Heights


Catherine Earnshaw-Linton

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Deconstructed - the love between Catherine and Heathcliff is passionate, but it is also clearly unhealthy and intensely destructive, leading to nothing but the ruin of the lovers and almost everyone around them.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Her famous "I am Heathcliff!" speech to Nellie Dean. Too bad Heathcliff leaves before he can hear it.
  • Brain Fever
  • Death by Despair
  • Death by Childbirth
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Moreso as her love for Heathcliff leads to Sanity Slippage.
  • Genki Girl: At least until the residents of Thrushcross Grange get hold of her.
  • Hysterical Woman: Driven to this towards the middle of the novel, going as far as searching for Heathcliff across the moors during a storm which causes her to catch a fever and die.
  • It's All About Me: Well, since Heathcliff is the only one she has any deep-seated interest for and she basically says she is him (and probably wants to identify entirely with him; see below), she may be a literal example. She is initially as abusive as her brother is towards Heathcliff, then manipulates Linton, doesn't care about the health of her brother, her sister-in-law, or poor Nelly, to whom she is very much a Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk.
  • Jerk Ass: Her selfish desire to try and have everything destroys two families across several generations. Worse, she knows what both what Heathcliff is capable of and what her actions are bringing about, but refuses to change.
  • The Lost Lenore
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Her love for Heathcliff is passionate but incredibly unhealthy and twisted, and eventually consumes her with insanity. Pauline Nestor's introduction to the novel argues that her desire for total identification with the object of her love ('I am Heathcliff!' rather than 'I love Heathcliff') represents a regression to childlike lack of identity, also shown by her failing to recognise her own reflection in a mirror just before she dies. Catherine's love is so insane that it basically destroys her entire identity and personality.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Her desire to have her cake and eat it (marrying Edgar for money and status while keeping Heathcliff on the side) ultimately leads to her own death and Heathcliff's descent into madness and need for revenge.
  • The Ophelia
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: In contrast with the blonde and delicate Lintons, the Earnshaws are described as being dark haired and robust.
  • She's All Grown Up
  • Spoiled Bratnote 
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Heathcliff.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: the tomboy to Isabella's girly girl.

Hindley Earnshaw

Catherine's older brother and after his father's death, the owner of Wuthering Heights.

  • The Alcoholic
    • Alcoholic Parent: Due to his drinking, he barely notice his son and was about to accidentally kill him.
  • Aloof Older Brother: He and Catherine are not particularly close.
  • Asshole Victim: If you subscribe to the theory that Hindley is murdered by Heathcliff.
  • Dramatic Irony: Heathcliff's later treatment of his son Hareton mirrors the way Hindley himself treats Heathcliff when his father dies and he inherits the estate.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Hindley's death occurs off-page but is assumed to be a result of his drunkenness. Only Heathcliff is said to be with him when he dies and it is implied that he gambles away ownership of Wuthering Heights to the latter during this period.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After his wife's death in childbirth. Its also strongly implied that Heathcliff encourages this.
  • Happily Married: To Frances until she dies.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: For some readers, the manner of his death.
  • Inadequate Inheritor
  • Jerkass: His treatment of Heathcliff is largely what shapes the latter into the cruel and bitter person of the second half of the novel.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!
  • Sibling Rivalry: Hindley hates Heathcliff because his father preferred Heathcliff to him.
  • The Unfavorite

Edgar Linton

Isabella Linton-Heathcliff

Nellie Dean

Mr. Lockwood

  • Butt Monkey
  • Character Development: He's pretty much the only character in the book to actually learn something from the events of the past.
  • First-Person Peripheral Narrator: Mr. Lockwood acts as the narrator for the first part of the book, even though he is not the main character.
  • Genre Savvy: He seems to anticipate Cathy and Hareton's later relationship.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Played with; he's inclined to think of Heathcliff as a "capital fellow" because he wants his landlord to be antisocial and reclusive. After hearing Nellie's full story, he seems to have a highly critical opinion of Heathcliff, but he doesn't do anything about it as he owes him six-month's rent.
    • Tellingly, he also has a very high (and accurate) opinion of Hareton Earnshaw, when everyone else considers him an uncultured lout, because he notices Hareton being torn between loyalty to Heathcliff and Cathy.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Combined with an early Horrible Judge of Character—he thinks Heathcliff is a "fine gentleman" at first!
  • Only One Name
  • Only Sane Man: To an extent. Though he seems to be very much an intended meta-Butt Monkey.
  • Refusal of the Call: Nellie tries to set him up as young Cathy's savior, but he's smart enough to know a romance between the two of them wouldn't work.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Upon learning the full extent of Heathcliff's amorality, he curtly decides to leave.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality

Cathy Linton Heathcliff Earnshaw

Linton Heathcliff

Hareton Earnshaw