Poor young Linton, he did not get much sympathy. Even the author did not seem to like him much. Yet the description of his illness was as bleak as anything. He was a PITA and had numerous personality faults. However, can you imagine what it is to be like to be a teenager, who instead of being able to look forward to adulthood, independence, marriage and a family, knows he is going to die soon? Horrifically, this must have been a situation in which a lot of young people found themselves back then. Presumably Linton was suffering from tuberculosis. Emily Brontė watched her two oldest sisters die of the disease, and she herself died of the disease only a year or two after her book was published. No doubt, Emily Brontė was suffering from the same symptoms she was describing in Linton while writing her book, or at least anticipated that she would suffer them soon. It is strange therefore that she is so harsh on Linton. Nelly, who is usually a sympathetic character, does not feel much pity for him. Joesph ignores his complaints of cold while sitting in front of a roaring fire, eating oatcakes, in another room. Hareton will not hit him, and on one occasion carries him to his room, but abuses him frequently and otherwise has little sympathy for him. Heathcliff, needless to say, is pitiless to him. It seems Heathcliff is prepared to hit a dying lad, who is his own son. The only person who shows any kindness is young Cathy, who probably has the biggest heart of anyone in the book. Perhaps it is part of Emily Brontė's inversion of the normal hero or heroine's personality attributes. EB persuades you to empathize with heroes who are entirely selfish, although they are charismatic, willful and strong. In contrast, I suppose in most 19th century literature you would be expected to sympathize with a character who was very sick, disabled or dying, but not Linton Heathcliff.