The passage, being at the very end of the novel, follows directly Heathcliff's death and stages the final events of Wuthering Heights. Prior to it, Nelly Dean gives her brief account of Heathcliff's death and funeral. Then, we are presented with her conversation with Lockwood who, in turn, puts an end to the story. Starting with Lockwood's narrative, which integrates that of Ellen Dean and extends over the more or less short narratives of five other characters, mirroring its beginning, the story comes to its end. The text of the final paragraphs can be taken as emblematic of the reader's relation to the whole story in the sense that the interpretation of the events depends entirely on the individual discernment of every reader. The ending of the novel poses many a problem for the reader. Unequivocal interpretation of it, and of the whole text for that matter, is not possible.
[...] And if all this means that the movement of the first part of the book is not totally reversed but carries on in a form which cannot be embraced by the reasoned scruitinies of Nelly and Lockwood, then the ending of the novel means at least two (if we ignore the multitude of minor suppositions that come to mind) things at once that Catherine and Heathcliff are at peace because of the union between Cathy and Hareton or because they can only be united in death, or on the other hand, that the ghosts of Cathy and Heathcliff are to forever (if we admit that Cathy and Hareton are not merely reiterations of the same turbulent self). [...]
[...] Thus, we may choose to believe without hesitation that Catherine and Heathcliff are either real ghosts, haunting the region, or something of a ghost-like memory that is to be transmitted for generations, consciously or not, to the members of the closed communities of the Heights and the Grange. They are, therefore, never to rest in peace and this seems much more appealing to the reader than a simple sound dismissal of the supernatural. But above all, Catherine and Heathcliff's ghosts are symbols. [...]
[...] Although she is credited with more common sense than any of the rest, she is also the recipient of one of the most mysterious dream-visions in the book, happening soon after Heathcliff's return, when she finds herself at a point mid-way between the Grange and the Heights. The vision or dream, or apparition, or whatever it is demonstrates her patent superstitiousness and is extraordinarily palpable. In her apt description, it appears fresh as reality”. This incident remains one of the “loose ends” of the narrative for we fail to arrive to any conclusion about its nature but we cannot ignore it when judging the total effect of the novel's ending and Nelly's final remarks. [...]
[...] The scene of their coming back to Wuthering Heights together seems to stand as the positive double of Heathcliff's sad and solitary return to the Heights after leaving Catherine in the care of the Lintons at the beginning of the novel. Because of all this, the ending seems to convey the idea that Catherine and Heathcliff are indeed in peace for their love is furthered in the love of the second generation. This is now possible not only because of reciprocal toleration but also because of the absence of the natural barrier of incest which underscored the relationship of the first generation. [...]
[...] It is vital to the creation of the necessary impression of solitary godlessness, persistent wickedness and eternal damnation: decay had made progress, even in seven months: many a window showed black gaps deprived of glass; and slates jutted off, here and there, beyond the right line of the roof, to be gradually worked off in the coming autumn storms.” Almost in contradiction with this, we cannot fail to notice that the ending of Wuthering Heights takes a direction which slightly deviates from the Gothic proper. [...]
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