Catherine Earnshaw: Catherine Earnshaw was born at Wuthering Heights and was raised with her brother Hindley and Heathcliff, an orphan her father brought home. She is described as saucy and selfish. She falls in love with Heathcliff, but does not marry him because Hindley has degraded him after their father’s death. She instead marries Edgar Linton, a neighbor from Thrushcross Grange, because he is handsome and rich. She is quite passionate about Heathcliff though, and does not want to give him up. She becomes ill when Heathcliff and Edgar fight, and dies in childbirth.
Heathcliff: Heathcliff is the dark-haired, dark-skinned ‘gypsy’ that Mr. Earnshaw brought home. He loves Catherine, and leaves Wuthering Heights when he hears her say that she will marry Edgar Linton. He returns to get revenge on Hindley for his mistreatment of him, and much of the novel focuses on his evil doings and acts of revenge. He marries Isabella (Edgar’s sister) to make her miserable, and takes Hindley’s property and his son Hareton in order to degrade him. He makes Catherine and Edgar’s daughter Catherine marry his son, and uses them to gain the property of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. He makes everyone miserable until the end, when he gives up his plan of revenge and dies.
Ellen Dean: Ellen is the housekeeper at Wuthering Heights, and for a time also works at Thrushcross Grange. It is through her that most of the story is told, as she is relating it to Mr. Lockwood, the tenant at Thrushcross Grange.
Mr. Lockwood: Mr. Lockwood is the tenant at Thrushcross Grange. He narrates the story of the residents of Wuthering Heights as told to him by Ellen Dean. He also relates his own experiences with the characters.
Edgar Linton: Edgar is the master of Thrushcross Grange. He marries Catherine, and when she dies he finds happiness with their daughter Catherine. He wants her to stay away from Heathcliff, but he does not want her to be alone after his death, so he allows her to spend time with Linton, not realizing how ill and ill tempered he is. When he dies his property goes to Linton, and Linton wills it to Heathcliff.
Isabella Linton: Isabella is Edgar’s sister. She makes the mistake of falling in love with Heathcliff, not realizing how angry he is. He makes her life miserable, and eventually she escapes from him and moves away. She bears a son (Linton) and dies when he is twelve.
Hindley Earnshaw: Hindley is Catherine Earnshaw’s brother. Because he is jealous of his father’s attentions to Heathcliff, after his father’s death he makes Heathcliff into a servant. He later ends up mortgaging his property due to his gambling and drinking debts, and Heathcliff becomes master of Wuthering Heights.
Hareton Earnshaw: Hareton is Hindley’s son. He does not realize how much he should hate Heathcliff for taking his property and not allowing him to be educated. He is crude and mean, but in the end is being educated by Catherine Linton and turning into a gentleman.
Catherine Linton: Catherine is the daughter of Catherine and Edgar. She is sheltered, but she eventually meets Heathcliff and others at Wuthering Heights. She tries to help her sick cousin Linton, and realizes too late what a hateful man Heathcliff is. She is forced to marry Linton and becomes sad and mean because of her treatment at the Heights, but eventually she becomes friends with Hareton and in the end they are to be married.
Linton: Linton is the son of Isabella and Heathcliff. Isabella had him after she ran away from Heathcliff, and he is a sickly child. Heathcliff takes him after Isabella’s death, in order to use him to gain the property of his uncle Edgar. Linton is always sick and rather selfish. Towards the end of his life though, he does help Catherine, and he dies young.
Joseph: Joseph is a very old servant at Wuthering Heights. He is a self-righteous and cursing old man and will not help any of the people at the Heights.
Zillah: Zillah is the housekeeper at Wuthering Heights. When Ellen is working at Thrushcross Grange, she gets some of her information about what is going on at Wuthering Heights from her.