Wuthering Heights :: Week Two

Welcome to the Wuthering Heights read-a-long! We’re reading this book through September and October. You can see the reading schedule and guidelines on the Starting Post Page.

Week Two: Read to Chapter X


Still loving the book; I really am impressed with how easy it is to read (save for Joseph’s dialogue, which I’m happy for the translation in my edition). I have SO much flagged for this week’s reading (partly because it was so long, and partly because I can’t stop flagging things in this story).

By the ending of this week’s reading, I’ve almost forgotten how absolutely terrible Cathy’s father was. Almost. Though I wasn’t sad that he died – Brontë created a touching scene, with the children finding out and being so upset about it. What a poignant moment for us to learn how very close Cathy and Heathcliff had become: “…but they were calmer, and did not need me to console them. The little souls were comforting each other with better thoughts than I could have hit on: no parson in the world ever pictured heaven so beautifully as they did, in their innocent talk…” (44). And after that, example after example of them getting closer and building their relationship.

It broke my heart when Cathy went to stay with the Linton’s; I felt so lonely for Heathcliff (and almost jealous of Cathy, for him). But when I stopped to think of it, I realized how tantalizing being taken in by people who acted loving and warm to her would have been,  knowing what alternative awaited her back at Wuthering Heights. I was so angry with how she treated Heathcliff when she got back. And then later – her engagement to Edgar Linton. Do we believe her reasoning? I was so upset at first, but found myself believing her… am I being gullible? I do believe that she is shallow, and I do believe that she wants very much to leave Wuthering Heights, but I also believe that she loves Heathcliff — how could she say what she ends up saying about him (quoted below) without feeling a most passionate love for him? I also believe that she thinks she will actually help him by having the resources of being a Linton. However, I thought she had ruined everything with her terrible tantrum. Edgar Linton is a weak man, and a bad match for Cathy. The fact that he could not either stand up to her or walk away from her does not convince me of her charm, it convinces me that they are destined for failure. Catherine surely needs someone who can handle her, who – at this point – we are to believe is Heathcliff, since he has a similar stormy and strong-willed temperament. I must remind myself how rare it was to have a female character written with such a volatile and stubborn disposition, and how most everyone reading it originally probably thought Linton was exactly what Cathy needed to whip her into being a lady. Am I off base?

And then, of course, we come to some of the most famous passages of the book. The parts that I read and re-read. This is the stuff that Twilight was based off of (it really was inspired by this book, by the way). I could feel, during these passages, the memories of my first love –  the kind that is completely desperate for the other person. Brontë does such an amazing job of creating those immensely passionate feelings and putting them into words. I adore her in this chapter.

“…so (Heathcliff) shall never know how I love him: and that, not because he’s handsome, Nelly, but because he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same; and Linton’s is as different as a moonbeam from lightening, or frost from fire” (80).

“My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff’s miseries, and I watched and felt from the beginning: my great thought un living is himself. If all else perished and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn into a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it. My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being” (82). 

Ahhhhhhhh! Oh. My. God. That is the stuff. That is some good writing. Can’t you feel it?! Wow. Literally breathless even after reading it multiple times. One of the most romantic selections of all time from literature.

We leave with Heathcliff being gone for three years and Cathy and Edgar getting married. Interesting that a.) Heathcliff still doesn’t know how Cathy feels about him (he left before the good part, remember?)… so obviously something will happen with that, and b.) That Brontë decided to kill off Linton’s parents because of Cathy (she passed on the fever to them) – that was purposeful, I would think.

Who’s Reading Along:

** Please don’t forget to come to this blog each Friday and share your thoughts in the comments section of the weekly Wuthering Heights discussion (see below for more information).**

Patty @ A tale of three cities
Mary Ann
Meg @ A Bookish Affair
Sarah D
Kimberly Parker
Susan E
Ian Cann (@thebeercolonel)
Heather R (@dolleygurl)
Ashley J.
Nancy H
Adam Stone
Ruby Scarlett
SpyrosChrysikopoulos (@chryssiko)
Melissa Caldwell

Friendly Reminders:

  • If you are participating and I don’t have you on this list, please let me know in the comments section. I did not include people who said ‘maybe’ so if you have changed your mind and are definitely reading along with us, let me know so I can add you. Also, if you are not going to be able to join us anymore please let me know and I will take you off the list. 
  • Comments from the previous week’s reading will be closing Thursday afternoon (before the next discussion takes place on Friday). If you would like to be part of the discussion, please remember to comment before then. 
  • Each week, on Friday, share your thoughts about the previous week’s reading. If you are stuck on what to comment about, you can respond to my post or others’ comments. Regardless, you MUST check in each week (two weeks without a response and you will be taken off of the list — see below for details on why). You may have only one “off week” (which may not be the last week of reading for obvious reasons) and still be kept on the list, but you must let me know in the comment section by saying something like, “I’m catching up,” or “I’m still reading.” ***for all week’s discussions please refrain from posting ahead, even if you have read ahead, as to not spoil the book for others***
  • If you are a blogger you may post a link to your blog if you are posting about each of the each week’s reading. If I, or other readers, have extra time we will gladly try to visit your blog; however, you must make sure to share your thoughts here on this blogand be part of the main conversation or your comment will not be counted.
  • If you go for two weeks without commenting in my weekly update comments section, I will assume you are no longer participating and will take you off of the list (*NEW GUIDELINE*, in order to get back onthe list, you need to a.) Have missed no more than two weeks of discussion, b.) Let me know you would like to be on the list again, and c.) consistently be part of the discussion for the next two weeks after requesting to be put back on the list.). This is in no way to be discouraging, but helps to keep the read-a-long organized (and helps me remember who’s completed what read-a-long…there (ahem) might be something fun for different levels of participants at the end of the year! Thanks!

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69 thoughts on “Wuthering Heights :: Week Two

  1. Although I have to admit, rather sheepishly, that I am behind in reading I am loving this story! This weekend I aim to catch up completely so I can fully invest in these discussions!

    I do have to flip to the back of my book every time Joseph opens his mouth, but other than that I’m surprised (like you) at how easy to read this is! I will come back as I finish and contribute more solid replies, I just wanted to let you know I was still here! lol

    • I am extremely busy right now, so it is hard to get to the book, but once I do, I do not want to stop. It is very compelling reading.

  2. I am finding this book a bit heavy going to be honest, and a little bit too gloomy for its own good but I am going to persevere with it as it is a book that I have considered reading for many, many years and feel that I really ought to give it a fair chance, so that is what I am trying to do.

    I do have to say one thing though if you didn’t know if it written by a woman you could have been forgiven for thinking that it was written by a man instead. It is very different to Jane Eyre, which is the only other Bronte book that I have read..

    • Yes, definitely heavy and gloomy. It’s gothic – so it won’t lighten up… we can expect that. She certainly wrote differently than most women of her generation (and those before her), so agreed – back then it would have been easy to believe this was by a man. She helped break the mold!

      • “It’s gothic, so it won’t lighten up.” I keep asking myself how much Bronte is taking herself seriously on that aspect. It does feel “too gloomy for its own good”, like you know when you overdo something… I guess that’s the whole point of “Gothic”, but I have to hide a little smile time and again.

  3. Cathy is going with her own reasoning in marrying Edgar Linton, instead of listening to her heart, so I think she’s doomed for misery and unhappiness.  She was even warned in a dream that she would be “extremely miserable ” in heaven.  And I think heaven in the dream represents Thrushcross Grange.

    And don’t you just love this passage, too?

    ” I’ve dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas: they’ve gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind. ”

    I really like Heathcliff…he just seems like one of those people who have been hurt so much and has developed a hard exterior to protect themselves, but inside they have a very soft heart.

  4. Oh. Oh my. So. Many. Feelings. Ahhhhh…where to start??

    I didn’t make very many notes this week because I got too absorbed in the story! But I did make a note to comment on the treatment of Heathcliff by the Earnshaws. So sad! I feel like I can forgive his every shortcoming just for this. It really hurts my heart, as a mother, to witness such wicked behavior directed at a child.

    On pg. 97 of my Nook version…this quote by Hindley stood out to me as being so cruel: “Heathcliff, you may come forward….You may come and wish Miss Catherine welcome, like the other servants.” I think that draws a pretty clear line in the sand as to where Heathcliff stands in this household. Can you imagine his confusion as a child?? To be raised as a favorite by the first Mr. Earnshaw (which probably made the abuse by the others easier to bear) only to be cast into a servant’s role after his death? I really don’t think that I will ever be able to hate his character, no matter what he does. I am so sympathetic to him!

    In the same time frame, Bronte spends a few pages illustrating Heathcliff’s dirtiness, and makes it clear that he prefers himself to be dirty. Why do you think that is? Why should h e want to be dirty? I think it is his way of setting himself apart from the squeaky-clean Earnshaws, the only way he knows how. Oh, how I felt such pity for him when I read that.

    The romantic passages at the end…how beautiful. It gave me chills! Really brilliant writing. I teared up when I read it and I teared up while reading Wallace’s quotes…again. Like she said, it doesn’t get old, no matter how many times you read it. I’ll definitely be keeping those words and that feeling in mind as my own third wedding anniversary approaches.

    What an awesome reading week! I can’t wait to read all of your responses.

    • I also feel very sympathetic for Heathcliff, and I think his liking to be dirty may correlate to how he feels about himself in general, at this point.

    • I was also very sympathetic toward Heathcliff, and I still am. No child should be subjected to that treatment. While it doesn’t justify his abuse, I think it’s important to consider how Hindley feels as a child–which is what has made his hatred of Heathcliff grow. His father brought in a strange kid and obviously favored him. To have a parent favor a child that isn’t their own is a horrible feeling, I’m sure, and Hindley probably felt as though keeping Heathcliff down, so to speak, was the only way to keep the attention of his father. Even though his father might not have been aware of all of the abuse, it was a weapon to keep Heathcliff away when Hindley wanted.

    • It’s impossible not to feel badly for Heathcliffe. He manages to overcome his rejection, sees that he must be somewhat understanding, cleans himself up and vows to do better, but is still rejected. He cannot know that Cathy cares about him as her actions seem to show otherwise. Even in the conversation between Cathy and Ellen, he hears only the negative parts – that she will marry Linton not him, then leaves. When Cathy goes on to say how she wants to have money of her own to help him, he is no longer where he can hear her. It’s sad to think of him leaving and heading off feeling so alone and so rejected.

  5. I’m still not on the list, CourtneyK (@the_games_afoot).
    I’m so annoyed and disgusted by the older brother, he’s such a jerk! LOL It sounds so trivial to say.
    I feel the same about Cathy leaving to say with the other family, but yeah, she’s superficial. I feel for her, but at the same time I wanted to shout “Suck it up!”

    • Hi Courtney! I don’t see you on the sign ups or the first week’s discussion, but I can certainly add you if you will be joining us!

      Yes… the older brother is terrible. I can’t help but feel sorry for him as well (he was so poorly treated by his father), but he’s hard to feel too sympathetic towards since he is so horrible to everyone but his late wife.

      • No problem! Thanks!
        I do like that this whole story appears to be Third Party, experienced and told by outsiders as they saw events. Nelly peppers her versions of things with the voice or tone of a gossipy Aunt. I like how she tries to be impartial, at least to appear as such, but her personal bias comes out and adds more depth, for me.

      • “he’s hard to feel too sympathetic towards since he is so horrible to everyone but his late wife.” Agreed. And it makes me want to know more about Frances (I think it’s her name, but I might be wrong) and how she and Hindley met, and why their relationship was the way it was. Am I alone in this?

  6. Just a few brief thoughts as I’m currently on vacation, but apart from Heathcliff and Nellie what a bunch of founders, cads ands curs they all are. Even Cathy as you said is too shallow to really deserve Heathcliff.

    Also yes, considering the age of the novel, it is extraordinarily readable and I found it zipped along (apart from when Joseph was speaking)

  7. I found this week’s reading so engrossing and troubling that I’m having a hard time putting my thoughts into words. When I try, I find my thoughts fragmented, but I came up with two things that are consistent in my jumbled world: the culpability of Mr. Earnshaw and the intensity of emotions. So here goes…

    If I select a character I dislike from this week’s reading, it is Mr. Earnshaw. He rescues Heathcliff from the streets, and I wonder why? (It was discussed last week that [without proof] Heathcliff was Mr. Earnshaw’s child.) He favors Heathcliff over Hindley and Cathy, and again, I ask why? Is Heathcliff the child of someone he deeply loves, or does Mr. Earnshaw feel guilty about something? When Cathy is being “still,” Mr. Earnshaw says, “‘Why canst thou not always be a good lass, Cathy?’ And she turned her face up to his, and laughed, and answered, ‘Why cannot you always be a good man, father?’” Why does this adult create hostility in his children by blatantly showing favoritism? Can’t he see what he is doing and how he is hurting his children?

    Throughout this week’s reading, I kept thinking about the intensity of the emotions expressed. Cathy deeply loves Heathcliff. “My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff’s miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning: my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be…I am Heathcliff.” Her love for Heathcliff is so intense, she’ll never be totally happy without him…and yet, she says can’t marry him. I agree, Wallace, this scene is wonderfully well written.

    As a result of being terribly mistreated and abused by Hindley after Mr. Earnshaw dies, Heathcliff vows revenge. And this seems to permeate his total being. Again, it’s the intensity of emotions that stands out. We don’t know the specific outcome, and Bronte doesn’t try to pretend it will be “rosy.”

    Once again going with the intensity theme, Hindley, who is mean and angry from the get go, becomes even meaner and angrier after his wife dies. How do people live with that much hate? And yet, with the dark themes and all, I can’t wait to continue reading.

    • I’ve also heard that there might be some of this novel that is a bit autobiographical (though I haven’t done much research into that), and Brontë’s own brother was a favored child turned alcoholic — he actually died from it. I can’t help but wonder if, in the end, he was the inspiration for Hindley.

      • Wallace, I’ve read that too! Branwell Bronte, by the end of his life, was an alcoholic, opium addicted, extremely angry wretch. His father did favor him and the whole family thought he would go forth to do great things (I imagine because he was the only boy child). Hindley seems more of a brute without Branwell’s artistic and poetic nature, but I can see where poor Emily got her knowledge of that sort of raging behavior.

  8. I’m really enjoying reading this, and am especially glad to be reading with a group!

    Oh, Cathy…I’m really starting to dislike her. She is a nasty spolied brat, and doesn’t deserve Linton or Heathcliff. In fact, in thinking about it, for different reasons, I don’t really like any of the characters. Linton is weak, our narrator is both arrogant and nosy (let’s remembered he invited himself to WH, barged in and then complained the entire time he was there), Hindley and Joesph are miserable creatures.

    What a departure from any novel of the time.

    • I agree, I’m not particularly fond of any of the characters. I don’t dislike Nelly, she seems to have learned from the experiences and grown; however, she is the only one with the benefit of hindsight, so that puts her on a different playing field, so to speak.

      While Cathy isn’t my favorite, I get her. The fear of marrying Heathcliff and being stuck at Wuthering Heights is not just a fear for herself–she doesn’t want him stuck there, either. I believe her when she says that she wants to use Edgar’s resources to make a better life for Heathcliff. The fact that she believes her new husband will accept her true love under his roof, and will let her use his money to improve his position, shows Cathy’s naivety regrading marriage. Like Adam said, she’s damned if she does and she’s damned if she doesn’t. None of the options before Cathy offer a happy future.

  9. Like others, I’m loving the reading of this, but find I’m a bit overwhelmed by all the emotions and not sure what I think in some cases. I love the language, the vocabulary, the easy way the complex sentences flow! How impoverished modern English seems beside this…
    Cathy is terribly immature. I don’t blame her, she’s had an absence of any female role model, but she just acts from whatever is her last fleeting emotion without any depth in it. I don’t like her, but I can understand her. But while I find the great romantic lines quoted above very moving, I find them a bit unbelievable on Cathy’s lips. She’s too immature for this, and doesn’t give the impression of having reflected on life in general.
    On a tangent: has anyone tried to pronounce “Thrushcross Grange” alound? It’s a real tongue-twister!

    • I agree completely about Cathy not being mature enough for the moving speech she gives about love. I actually had to reassess my opinion of her at that point and go back and see if I had missed something. She has, up until that scene, been characterized as a careless child. When she makes this speech, she sounds like an intelligent woman (not to say she’s not intelligent, that just hasn’t been the highlight of her characterization). If she’s growing, which characters should do, she’s growing mighty quickly.

      I was also amazed that she so readily poured her heart out to Nelly. In my mind, Nelly is not the kind of person who can hide her emotions (as we can see from her biased interjections into a story that she is trying to tell as straightforwardly as possible). Since she didn’t like Cathy, I have a hard time believing that Cathy didn’t know it (unless she really is that self-absorbed). And no one wants to talk about their first love to a person who, frankly, doesn’t care all that much.

    • Although I hate how Heathcliffe is treated, I do feel some empathy for Cathy, too. These children have not really had much love or guidance. I think she doesn’t see any real way to make things better. Perhaps she justifies her choice of Edgar, which will bring her some much needed security and love, by believing that she is not really rejecting Heathcliffe, but trying to make things better for him, too. She wouldn’t be the first person to rationalize a difficult decision, especially one from which she would benefit. And then she is really young, too…. no?

    • Eibhlin, your comment is the one I agree with the most so far! Cathy is way too immature still. I wonder whether it’s just part of the character. Also, I don’t remember when her mother disappeared — I’m sure I’ve missed it: when Frances was first referred as Mrs. Earnshaw, I was confused and thought at first Bronte meant Catherine’s mother :-)

  10. In all honesty, I felt that this week’s reading was much better than last weeks. Part of this was due to the fact that I read it yesterday and so my thoughts are fairly fresh and also because I read it in one reading session rather than spread out over several days.

    Overall, I felt that I was really engrossed with the storyline and felt very tempted to continue on in the book, but I didn’t. I can honestly see where Cathy was coming from in marrying Linton, because many women fall into that trap and sometimes don’t realize what they have done until much later in life. And I can understand Nelly’s concern for Cathy because she really wants what is best for Cathy and for her to see that she is marrying Linton for what are basically selfish and superficial reasons. The section really shows Cathy as one of those people that grow up with a silver spoon in their mouths and want things when they want them and don’t really care about the consequences.

    Curious as to where the story goes.

  11. What a giant ball of dysfunction we have here :) As Nancy said, none of the characters are quite likable, and what a departure from the novels of the time. Heathcliff may be an orphan, but he is no David Copperfield. ;)

    Cathy. I felt such a sense of betrayal when she became “ladylike” in her gowns and was afraid to get a speck of dirt on her after her time staying at the Earnshaws (which means I must feel great sympathy for Heathcliff despite not wholly liking him).

    I see them as twin souls, natural souls, ripped apart by civilization. In the natural world of the moors, they can run about like little animals happy in their own way (not good, nature is not good but “red in tooth and claw” as another Victorian, Tennyson, writes). I see Thrushcross Grange as Civilization, and Wuthering Heights as Nature. Even Cathy’s explanation of why she thinks she needs to marry Linton gives the reasons of the civilized world of rules and money, not the natural world of affection. Heaven and Hell, as joon*ann suggested, is a really interesting way to look at it too – Bronte was heavily influenced by Milton and it is said that Wuthering Heights is her rewriting of Paradise Lost.

  12. Thank you, Wallace. This read-a-long is a wonderful experience. Reading at a slow pace is such a wonderful way to read a classic (thinking I’m going to reread Jane Eyre like this after we’re done) and I’m discovering that re-reading books is something I definitely want to start doing!

    I, too, was touched by the scene with Heathcliff and Cathy after her father died. Even though Cathy is shallow and cruel, I do believe she loves Heathcliff. I thought Jackiemania’s interpretation above of Cathy and Heathcliff’s relationship was very revealing and spot on.

    I agree, Wallace, that at the time it was written that people would have believed that Linton would have been best for Cathy. Cathy convinces herself that this is best for her and Heathcliff.

    “My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! ” I just love this and had forgotten that WH had inspired Twilight. Thank you, Wallace, for the quotes.

    I love Joon Ann’s interpretation of Thrushcross Grange being heaven in Cathy’s dream.

    I am very anxious to find out what is to happen next!! Heathcliff has been gone for three years and Cathy becoming Mrs. Hinton….oh, I can’t wait!!

  13. Some of my favorite passages in any novel are these ones quoted above (although oh no, I had no idea about Twilight… ick) Poor Heathcliff, dirty and alone, abandoned by Cathy; no wonder he’s a bit of a handful. I go back and forth on my feelings for Cathy – spoiled brat yes, but then wanting to make the best out of her possible situations (marrying Linton, but if only to have Heathcliff’s star rise)… I’m torn. I try and imagine what it would be like growing up in her household, and I don’t know how cultured I would have turned out to be. Heathcliff and Cathy are just direct representation of the wildness of the moors to me. Ahhh I love this book!

  14. I have to say, I had a hard time getting into this one during last week’s reading. It starts off rather slowly, but MAN when it gets going it really gets going, doesn’t it? I can hardly put it down now, and it’s just as good (or better) as I remembered it to be.

    Those quotes of Cathy’s about Heathcliff are like a knife in the gut. THAT is the reason I fell in love with this book in high school. Cathy and Heathcliff are star-crossed soul-mates, I think. It’s crystal clear that they are meant to be together, but at the same time, if they ever do get together, I think it will ruin the magic. ACK. So freaking brilliant.

  15. I’m loving the book so far, but one thing is really bothering me. Cathy was six years old when her father brought Heathcliff into their home. Although they were treated differently, they were raised almost as siblings (at least, until Mr. Earnshaw died). Given how young they were, and that they were raised together, this is just too close to incest. Yes it’s a beautiful story, and very romantic, and I know they aren’t related by blood, but still, it’s too close for comfort.

    Incest aside, I’m loving the writing. As mentioned before, I’m enjoying how easy it is to read despite the time period in which it was written.

    The question of nature versus nurture that was posed last week was on my mind as I started reading this week and the following passage really stood out to me: “It was a disadvantage to the lad, for the kinder among us did not wish to fret the master,so we humoured his partiality; and that humouring was rich nourishment to the child’s pride and black tempers” (p. 45). So while Heathcliff is, by nature, manipulative and proud, the environment in which he was raised amplified these characteristics. I can’t help but see him as a kind of Caliban.

    Finally, as a lover of books, I couldn’t help but fall in love with this passage, as well: “I have read more than you would fancy, Mr. Lockwood. You could not open a book in this library that I have not looked into, and got something out of also; unless it be that range of Greek and Latin, and that of French–and those I know one from another, it is as much as you can expect of a poor man’s daughter” (p. 71).

  16. I’ve come to realise that reading a book at different stages of one’s life shines light to different passages – which is in itself a great advantage and provides for renewed interest: in my previous readings, I had not marked so many sentences that, for me at least, show the depth of character (or lack thereof) in this book: Catherine is definitely not my favourite this time around. She is really what I would nowadays call a fake – maybe even a reality starlet (I’m harsh, I know, but I’m way too tired to be nice!). Not only does she get attracted to luxuries and beautiful ephemeral things, but she manages to drive away herself: “My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff!”. This is so far the strongest feeling I’ve heard spoken of and that totally moved me, only to have it countered by: “It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him”. But, both are really one and the same person: even Heathcliff remains tough and cold: “Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves”. This is Nelly speaking, and she sure knew the future of both these characters…
    One other point that really baffled me what the death of Hindley’s wife, when the doctor informs Hindley that his wife will not survive for long: ” it can’t be helped. And beside, you should have known bettter than to choose such a rush of a lass!”. What???

    • The doctor sounds like someone who just blurts out what he’s thinking with no filters. Im guessing Hindley’s wife died of consumption. Is the doctor the one Hindley dumps in the bog when he’s been drinking….

  17. I’m a bit behind with this week’s reading, so I’m not going to read the comments just yet – I don’t want any spoilers ;) So far, I’ve loved what I’ve read. I’m enjoying Mrs. Dean’s storytelling and learning all about Heathcliff and Cathy as children. I’m itching to find out when Heathcliff’s malevolent nature reveals itself. And, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed in Cathy for seeming to forget about Heathcliff all those weeks she was away at the Lintons. Anyhow, must get back to my reading. Can’t wait to see what everyone has written once I’m done with chapter ten!

  18. Life in Wuthering Heights seems like life in a combat zone. I don’t really like any of the characters, except Mrs Dean and the little boy, but I am enjoying reading about all of them, even the terrible quoter of scripture, Joseph. The harshness of their personalities and setting seem to go together. I don’t like Cathy but see her as a victim of her time/society — she had no options but to go from being dependent on one man (her brother) to another (whoever she married). I feel sorry for Heathcliff who has had a hard life and been hurt by Cathy, but I can’t like him when he regrets his instinctive save of the little boy because it means he missed an opportunity of hurting Hindley. But how alive and full of passionate feeling they all seem next to the Lintons or our narrator.

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  20. I really enjoyed this week’s reading. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love reading with a read-along. Before I opened this book for the read-along, I would have been totally intimidated. I’m glad to have a reason to open this book. I continue to be surprised at how readable the book is. I definitely got lost in the story this week, well, except for any time Joseph speaks…

    I like that we’re getting a clearer picture of what did and did not happen between Cathy and Heathcliff. I’m wondering if some of the treatment that Heathcliff faces when he was a child doesn’t factor in to the way he is as an adult. I definitely want to find out more about that!

  21. I am so surprised at how much I am enjoying this book!!! I’m a little late to the discussion this week, but I don’t think anyone discussed HIndley’s drunken rage. That scene made such an impact on me…almost more than Cathy’s profession of love for Heathcliff. It must have been an awful environment for everyone to live in…Mrs. Dean hiding Hareton in the cupboard…and then when Hindley dangled him over the banister and Heathcliff caught him…great writing that had me on the edge of my seat!!!!

    I wish we knew more about Hindley’s relationship with his wife because I’m curious over whether he was truly grieving her or if he was just a vengeful alcoholic…

    • Well, it seemed to me that Hindley behaved differently with his wife than with anyone else. I think his grief is true. And yes, I would love to know more about their story.

  22. I have to say that I really don’t like Hindley. Granted his father didn’t care about hiim, and he was a rejected child, but his anger and resentment seem to be totally out of bounds. However, I think that this may be more my 21st century feeling than what others would have felt in Bronte’s time.

    I did find the scene where Ellen is being threatened by the inebriated Hindley to have a certain amount of humor. I had to laugh when Ellen, with Hindley’s knife between her teeth, notes that she was “…never much afraid of his vagaries,” or when she responds to his assault by saying, “But I don’t like the carving-knife, Mr Hindley…. it has been cutting red herrings. I’d rather be shot, if you please.” What a great line — she seems to be unpreturbed by the danger and comments not on her precarious situation but on her preference for meeting death by a more palatable (forgive the pun, please) method!

    For me, the dream portends disaster and the storm confirms it. Heathcliffe is gone, Cathy falls sick and her sickness brings death to others (the elder Lintons), and perhaps to Heathcliffe as well — as least a death of his dream of being with Cathy. The storm rages and so do the fortunes of the two families. Will there be calm after the storm? Perhaps not. Can’t wait to find out, though.

  23. Coming late to the discussion, I went though the comments and added here and there. But there are still two things that I feel the need to say.

    1. What an incapable parent Mr Earnshaw was! We discussed nature vs. nurture for Heathcliff, but really, even if he were the best child on earth, he came to the wrong family. Look at Earnshaw’s results as a father:
    -Hindley is a violent with a passion for power and an alcoholic
    -Catherine is an immature, as well as a snob and a spoiled brat
    -Heathcliff is almost the best of all: at least he tries to stay true to himself!

    2. I know no one will like me for saying this, but Caterine’s “love” and all the scene where she declares her love during her conversation with Ellen made me angry. Really. Almost one week after reading it, I’m still all worked up.
    I mean, this is not love. This is the romantic transfiguration of a dream, and this kind of description is what makes people believe this is love. But it’s not, can’t you see? She loves Linton for the wrong reasons, but she loves Heathcliff for reasons that are even more wrong! And by the way, if the part “My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I’m well aware,” was true, she still would have a possibility. But it’s not, and she won’t.
    And the thought that this novel is now marketed to young girls looking for romanticism after the Twilight wave (have you seen them, the editions of this and of Romeo and Juliet with a Twilight stamp on them?) makes me sad that these girls will grow up believing this is true love.
    (I know I’m not very clear, but that’s the best I can do for now, sorry.)

    Oh, but let me add that I’m enjoying re-reading this book. I was probably one of the romantic girls myself when I first read it! :-)

  24. Last week, after posting a couple of comments on others’ comments, I settled down to post my own take on the reading. When I hit submit, I got a message that it was closed for comments! And honestly, I don’t even remember exactly what all I wrote on, except a good bit about Lockwood as a narrator through which this story is heard. I’ll save most of those comments for as we go along. This week, I just want to say what a smart woman our Ellen presents. Her comments about her reading (it was previously mentioned and quoted by someone else), the conversation she has with Catherine on love and how she tries to get her to see that she doesn’t really LOVE Edgar. Bronte makes a great point in that the servant is educated and acts more civilized than the owners of Wuthering Heights. Another unexpected point is that the religious man – Joseph- is actually wicked and cruel, the opposite of what he should be as a good upstanding man of the gospel. The master is supposed to be scary and violent when he is drunk, yet The scene with Ellen and Earnshaw with the knife is really just funny. Perhaps a commentary on Bronte’s part also about the idea of women as writers? she is a woman writing and using a man’s name as a pseudonym.

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