The story takes place from the late 1700's to the early 1800's. Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange are located in Yorkshire, England.
Catherine and Heathcliff are the story's protagonists, and Hindley Earnshaw is the story's antagonist.
Mr. Earnshaw's daughter and Hindley's sister. She is also Heathcliff's foster sister and love interest. She marries Edgar Linton and has a daughter, also named Catherine. Catherine is beautiful and charming, but she is never as civilized as she pretends to be. In her heart she is always a wild girl playing on the moors with Heathcliff. She regards it as her right to be loved by all, and has an unruly temper. Heathcliff usually calls her Cathy; Edgar usually calls her Catherine.
The only son of Mr. and Mrs. Earnshaw, and Catherine's older brother. He is a bullying, discontented boy who grows up to be a violent alcoholic when his beloved wife, Frances, dies. He hates Heathcliff because he felt supplanted in his father's affections by the other boy, and Heathcliff hates him even more in return.
A foundling taken in by Mr. Earnshaw and raised with his children. Of unknown descent, he represents wild and natural forces which often seem amoral and dangerous for society. His almost inhuman devotion to Catherine is the moving force in his life, seconded by his vindictive hatred for all those who stand between him and his beloved. He is cruel but magnificent in his consistency, and the reader can never forget that at the heart of the grown man lies the abandoned, hungry child of the streets of Liverpool.