Some believe that difficult and painful experiences open the door to personal growth. If this is the case, Cathy’s short marriage to Linton should have caused her to grow a great deal from the happy and innocent girl she had formerly been. Instead, it appears to make her venomous and permanently angry. However, one might make the argument that the humbling she undergoes is necessary because, without it, she never would have bothered to see the good in Hareton. Is the time Cathy spends caring for Linton a complete loss, or does she learn anything valuable from it? This is related to the question of whether Wuthering Heights is a Christian novel: in Christian theology, suffering is usually considered ennobling. See the analysis of the next chapter for a discussion of the role of education and books in Cathy and Hareton’s relationship.
Cathy: Heathcliff. Is he here?
Ellen: Oh yes, he came back one night last week with great talk of lying in a lake of fire without you. How he had to see you to live. He's unbearable. I wonder where he could be, the scoundrel. Heathcliff? Heathcliff?
Heathcliff: Why did you stay so long in that house?
Cathy: Didn't expect to find you here?
Heathcliff: Why did you stay so long?
Cathy: Why? Because I was having a wonderful time. A delightful, fascinating, wonderful time. Among human beings. Go and wash your face and hands Heathcliff. And comb your hair so that I needn't be ashamed of you in front of a guest. (Edgar walks into the room and stands next to Cathy)
Ellen: Heathcliff! What are you doing in this part of the house? Go and look after Mr. Linton's horses.
Heathcliff: Let him look after his own.
Cathy: Heathcliff! (She is restrained by Edgar)
Edgar: I've already done so.
Cathy (to Heathcliff): Apologize to Mr. Linton at once. (Heathcliff walks out of the room without a word)