Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wuthering Heights Wednesday: Week 3

It's week 3 of our Wuthering Heights Wednesday read-along hosted by Jill at Fizzy Thoughts. We are about 90 pages in, and it was really hard to stop reading at the end of this week's segment! It's not too late to join in...

Chapter 7 - 9 Summary

It's five weeks later and Catherine finally returns to Wuthering Heights, just in time for Christmas. Her appearance is dramatically altered and she appears quite the lady! Heathcliff has also changed, but not for the better. While working hard for Hindley, he has become dirty and neglected. He cleans up nicely for Christmas, but a slight altercation that leaves Edgar Linton with applesauce all over his face gets Heathcliff banished to his room. Cathy sneaks away to visit Heathcliff. Heathcliff vows revenge on Hindley.

Now it's 1778...
Hindley's wife dies of consumption after giving birth to a son, Hareton. Things get even worse at Wuthering Heights - Hindley has become a ruthless tyrant, Cathy becomes more arrogant (she even slaps Mrs. Dean), and Heathcliff seems to be turning into a monster.

Edgar Linton asks Cathy to marry him. She accepts, but confides her doubt to Mrs. Dean. Heathcliff overhears only part of this conversation and takes off to the moors. Cathy goes searching for him, but ends up with a cold and fever instead. She is again off to recover at Thrushcross Grange, but passes her illness on to Mr. and Mrs. Linton. They both die in short order.

Cathy and Edgar marry. Mrs. Dean joins them at Thrushcross Grange. Heathcliff is still MIA.


Cathy to Mrs. Dean (Heathcliff overhears the first phrase before disappearing):
It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he 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....

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 to myself, but as my own being. So don't talk of our separation again: it is impracticable... (page 81 - 83)

My thoughts

Wow, wow, wow! This is powerful stuff: Cathy loves Heathcliff - Cathy is Heathcliff. But where is Heathcliff?

Before beginning this book, I had no idea Cathy was such a piece of work. What does Heathcliff see in her? Although it has taken a bit of self-control, I'm sticking to the schedule... more than ready to continue with chapter 10.

Wuthering Heights Wednesday participants:


  1. "Before beginning this book, I had no idea Cathy was such a piece of work. What does Heathcliff see in her?"

    Finally someone shares my thoughts! I think Cathy is one of the most annoying characters in literature and her obsession with Heathcliff (and likewise his with her) is so unhealthy and over-the-top that I really don't like 'Wuthering Heights', not caring that it's such a big classic.

  2. This is probably the 6th or 7th time I've read this, and I still love it. And still have trouble holding back from reading ahead!

    I think I love Cathy and Heathcliff precisely because they are the polar opposite of what romantic leads are supposed to be.

  3. You are all successfully convincing me to read this book again :P I didn't like the characters back when I read it and I think I wouldn't now either, but I suspect I might like the book regardless.

  4. Cathy really is horrible isn't she? But then so is her brother. I can't wait to see Heathcliff ruin him.

  5. *laughs*
    I know exactly what you mean! Cathy is one of the most unlikeable characters I've ever come across - I'd say she was the antithesis of Heathcliff. (Maybe that's partly the attraction?) The only way I can explain his attraction to her is that she was his only friend from childhood. But for her, I've always thought she was more interested in the power of having him love her than anything else. She just doesn't seem capable of really loving someone.

    btw, your header: it looks just like Musoka! ("Cottage Country" a la The Blue Castle!) Gorgeous! You must be north-east United States? I'm not familiar with the country which is why I ask.

  6. Cathy is just a mess, isn't she? In fact, they are ALL a mess. They deserve each other.

  7. Susi - I'm waiting to see if Cathy will show any signs of redeeming qualities before this novel ends... not holding my breath though.

    Amy - LOL... even after that many readings, you still want to rush ahead! I know I'd have trouble reading Pride & Prejudice (one of my favorites) on a schedule, too.

    Nymeth - I've never needed to like the characters in order to like a book, and that comes in handy with a novel like WH!

    Vivienne - You've got a point... that family is just horrible! I'm looking forward to finding out just how Heathcliff ruins Hindley.

    Shannon - Like I said to Nymeth, I'd have a real problem here if I needed to like characters in order to like a book! You're right, I am in the northeastern US - in New York State... about a 4 hour drive from New York City.

    Sandy - LOL... they do seem to deserve each other. Why am I enjoying this so much??

  8. I can't believe Cathy can be so poetic about her love for Heathcliff, yet so callous as to walk away from it.

  9. I was just saying on Jill's blog that it amazes me that Cathy has the love of two men with how miserable she is. I liked that quote you used as well although I only used a small part of it. Poor Heathcliff hearing only the bad part of that conversation. I'm really interested to see what will happen when he shows up again.

  10. I think it's so fitting that Cathy kills off two people with her illness but comes out of it herself. A precursor of things to come?!!!

  11. I think they're both brats!! LOL!!!

  12. I agree with Staci, Cathy is a brat!

  13. Softdrink - Cathy is just awful... what is it that she really wants, anyway??

    Darlene - I really don't like Cathy at all! That passage is my favorite of the book... so far.

    Rhapsodyinbook - We'll see... I really want to just finish the book, but I'm really enjoying the read-along!

    Staci and Darlene - I absolutely agree. LOL!

  14. I wish I could like this book - but I can't bear any of the characters!!! I don't know what Cathy sees in Heathcliff or what he sees in her!!! Give me Jane Eyre over this lot any day!

  15. Bookssnob - WH has really caught me by surprise! I wasn't expecting to like it this much, but I think the read-along experience is definitely helping. I've read Jane Eyre just once and was only lukewarm about it... will give it another read one of these days.

  16. I just joined you guys and am so excited! Although I've only read the first three chapters and won't catch up until next week.

    This book is a piece of work, huh? So much drama! Worse than a soap opera almost. :) but I still love it. Can't wait to catch up to you guys.

  17. Trish - Yay!! I'm so glad you're joining in the fun! There isn't a single likable character to be found here, yet I'm loving the book.


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