Chapter 13 - 15 Summary
The bullet points worked well last week. They helped me sum up the main plot points and organize my thoughts... think I'll use them the rest of the book. Last week, we left off with Isabella running off with Heathcliff, and Catherine on the verge of death (or so we thought!).
- Catherine's life is no longer in danger, but she will suffer "permanent alienation of intellect".
- Mrs. Dean receives a letter from Isabella detailing her disillusionment with Heathcliff (did I mention the part about him 'hanging up' her little dog?), the horrible state of affairs at Wuthering Heights, and begging for a visit the following day.
- Mrs. Dean travels, without a letter from Edgar, to Wuthering Heights where she is shocked at the dirty conditions and Isabella's "careless" appearance. (Heathcliff looks surprisingly handsome and gentlemanly by contrast.)
- Heathcliff is plotting his revenge on Edgar through Isabella.
- Heathcliff manages to extract a promise from Nelly (who believes him mad) to arrange a visit with Catherine.
- Heathclif and Catherine have an emotion-filled (understatement!) reunion.
- Catherine swoons again.
- Edgar enters the room and is enraged to find Heathcliff.
- Heathcliff urges Edgar to tend to Catherine first, which he does; Heathcliff slips away into the garden.
Isabella on Heathcliff:
"Is Mr. Heathcliff a man? If so, is he mad? And if not, is he a devil?" (page 135)"I do hate him - I am wretched - I have been a fool!" (page 144)
Heathcliff on Isabella:
"Now was it not the depth of absurdity - of genuine idiocy, for that pitiful, slavish, mean-minded brach to dream that I could love her? Tell your master, Nelly, that I never, in all my life, met with such an abject thing as she is." (page 150)
Cathy and Heathcliff's "scene":
H: "Oh, Cathy! Oh, my life! how can I bear it?"C: "You and Edgar have broken my heart, Heathcliff! ...You have killed me - and thriven on it, I think. How strong you are! How many years do you mean to live after I am gone? ... I wish I could hold you 'till we were both dead! I shouldn't care what you suffered. I care nothing for your sufferings. Why shouldn't you suffer? I do! ..."H: "Don't torture me till I'm as mad as yourself.... Are you possessed with a devil to talk in that manner to me when you are dying?... You know you lie to say I have killed you: and, Catherine, you know that I could as soon forget you as my existence! Is it not sufficient for your infernal selfishness, that while you are at peace I shall writhe in the torments of hell?" (pages 156-158)
Can I say once again how messed up these people are? Heathcliff's cruelty is utterly amazing. Can readers really find him attractive or romantic?
Chapter 15, or Catherine and Heathcliff's scene, was positively spell-binding! But, can this be what makes this book a legendary romance in some readers eyes?
We end this week's section with Cathy swooning once again. When is she going to die already?? We know it happens...
Final word: Romantic? Not really, but oh, how captivating! On to chapter 16 ...
JoAnn (Lakeside Musing)