Genealogy of Wuthering Heights

The genealogy of Wuthering Heights is particularly interesting for a multitude of reasons. The symmetry, lineage, and only child offspring make this family tree a particularly interesting one to analyze. There is also and interesting dynamic to the tree, with Heathcliff’s only child being born by the maiden name of Linton for his first name, and Heathcliff as his surname. Given the trials Heathcliff himself goes through in the novel, a reader can infer that Linton Heathcliff was not to be. And it isn’t, as he dies at the young age of seventeen.

Another particular interesting thing to note is the age that all the family in the story pass away at. Edgar Linton is the eldest of the second generation to die, at 39 years old. This is Followed by Heathcliff at 38 years old.

But what really keen’s my interest is the idea of how symmetrical the family tree is. Both the Lintons and the Earnshaws had only one child apiece. this Generation married off and this each couple from there each had only one child. Another interesting fact to note is that of all the third generation, Linton Heathcliff is the only one to die before the close of the novel. Another fact to support the idea that perhaps Linton Heathcliff just wasn’t longed for the world. And to add insult to injury, at the end Hareton ends up marrying Cathy two years following Cathy and Heathcliff’s marriage and his death.

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2 thoughts on “Genealogy of Wuthering Heights

  1. Great observation about Linton Heathcliff’s name. I don’t actually remember if there was a point in the novel where the reasons for choosing this name are explained, but I do find it very interesting that Heathcliff would use the surname of his nemesis (and wife, of course) as his son’s given name. To me this showed that the relationships of the now older characters would be significant in the lives of their children, which was obviously the case, but I think there is quite a bit of interpretive work to do on this decision of Bronte’s.

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  2. I had not really paid attention, but the amount of children over the generation is strange. There is only one child for the younger generations, and one of those kids is Heathcliff and Linton’s and shares those two names. I always found it a bit strange that Heathcliff, after he left, did not try and give himself a full name. Was he not able to because of his color and background? And if that was the case, then how did he acquire his wealth? He comes back to the W.H. with money and an air of confidence that would not normally be associate with slaves.

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