Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wuthering Heights Wednesday: Week 6

It's week 6 of the Wuthering Heights Wednesday read-along hosted by Jill at Fizzy Thoughts. We're covering chapters 16 - 18, or Volume 2 chapters 2 - 4, depending on your edition. The Grim Reaper has been busy this week, so let's get right to the action...

  • Catherine gives birth to a baby girl (also named Catherine) and then dies.
  • Heathcliff , overcome with grief, invokes Cathy's ghost to haunt him.
  • Hindley attempts to enlist Isabella's help in killing Heathcliff; she won't agree to violence, but a scene ensues (complete with knife-throwing) that leaves Hindley close to death.
  • Isabella seizes the opportunity to escape, runs to Thrushcross Grange, collects a few things, and leaves - forever.
  • Isabella goes to London, bears a son, names him Linton (to ensure Heathcliff's hatred), and begins a correspondence with Edgar.
  • Edgar becomes a hermit, living a life of seclusion at Thrushcross Grange.
  • Hindley dies... drunk.
  • Due to Hindley's debt, Hareton is left a servant to Heathcliff, who holds the mortgage to Wuthering Heights - the guest has become the master.
Twelve years pass...
  • Young Cathy, not allowed to leave the grounds of Thrushcross Grange, grows to be a joy (unlike her mother), but does have a "propensity to be saucy".
  • Edgar, summoned to Isabella's deathbed, leaves Thrushcross Grange.
  • Taking advantage of Daddy's absence, Cathy leaves the grounds, ends up at Wuthering Heights, believes Hareton to be a servant, and is appalled/upset to learn he is her cousin.
  • Mrs. Dean is furious with Cathy, but the two agree not to tell Edgar of her adventure.

Heathcliff to Cathy's ghost:
"And I pray one prayer - I repeat it till my tongue stiffens -Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you - haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always - take any form - drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! O God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!" (page 165)
"...but what misery laid on Heathcliff could content me, unless I have a hand in it? I'd rather he suffered less, if I might cause his sufferings and he might know that I was the cause.... On only one condition could I hope to forgive him. It is, if I may take an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; for every wrench of agony return a wrench: reduce him to my level. As he was the first to injure, make him the first to implore pardon... But it is utterly impossible I can ever be revenged, and therefore I cannot forgive him." (page 177)
"Oh, if God would but give me strength to strangle him [Heathcliff] in my last agony, I'd go to hell with joy." (page 177-178)
Heathcliff to Hareton:
"Now, my bonny lad, you are mine! And we'll see if one tree won't grow as crooked as another, with the same wind to twist it!" (page 183)
My thoughts

My goodness, these people are bent on revenge!

Cathy, Hindley, Isabella... all dead in three short chapters. Will Edgar continue to hang on?

No wonder some editions have divided the book into two volumes. It certainly feels like we're moving on. A new cast of characters is moving to the forefront - young Cathy, Hareton, maybe young Linton.

Will Heathcliff wreak havoc in the lives of this new generation, too?

Will (old) Cathy's ghost begin to haunt him?

Reading along:


  1. There is definitely angst aplenty here! Love the way you tell it, JoAnn.

  2. Naw, I think Heathcliff will mellow as he gets older and become a kind, beneficent gentleman whose eyes twinkle and who always has a bit of candy in his pockets for the young 'uns.

  3. Darlene - Thanks, I'm having a lot of fun with this!

    Amy - Yeah, that's what I was thinking... ;-)

  4. For what it's worth, the original publication was in two volumes. Three, actually - volume 3 was Anne Brontë's Agnes Gray.

  5. The entire story (thus far) is very soap opera-ish.

    I fear for poor Linton. He seems too weak to survive in that shark tank.

  6. This will be my fifth attempt at commenting. Blogger is being a pain today.

    It is all go at Wuthering Heights, isn't it? They are falling like flies sprayed with fly spray!

  7. Yay! Blogger comments are working again.

  8. This is the perfect example of history repeating itself! Of vicious cycles! Of dysfunction breeding dysfunction!

  9. Don't you think Heathcliff can't be all THAT distraught, or he would kill himself?!!!

  10. Judging from those quotes, I quite like the writing. You're all going to convince me to read this again, I see :P

  11. This post reminds me of why I disliked this book, even though I expected to love it. It's so ridiculous! It's like a farce that doesn't know it's a farce.

  12. Their need for revenge twisted and warped them...especially Heathcliff!!

  13. Amatear Reader- Really? I had no idea. I'm going to add Agnes Gray to my list.

    Ti - I agree...poor Linton is probably doomed.

    Vivienne - Thanks for your persistence! Don't know what's going on with Blogger today. We sure got rid of a lot of characters this week - lol!

    Sandy - Exactly!! Dysfunction breeds dysfunction.

    Rhapsodyinbooks - Very true... that would end a lot of misery!

    Nymeth - I'm really enjoying the writing... wish you were reading with us!

    EL Fay - I think one of the reasons I'm enjoying this so much is because many ARE treating it like a farce. Much funnier that way...

    Staci - Oh, that Heathcliff! Can't wait to see how he ends up...

  14. I hate to say it, but I don't think Linton stands a chance. There's too much potential for Heathcliff to take revenge on.

  15. Whitney - I'm afraid you're right! I think Heathcliff is going to have a field day with poor Linton...

  16. With my luck, Joseph will outlive them all and the book will end with him talking away in a language I can't understand!

  17. Softdrink - Oh, no! Hadn't thought of that scenario... horrors!!

  18. Such DRAMA! I'm seriously thinking I need to just get the DVD of this. I am enjoying all these weekly readalongs. :)

  19. Hey! first time here. Nice to land on a fellow booklovers blog!

    I'm inviting you to this new Book Reviews blog. You should consider joining our blog as a reviewer.

    Book Reviews is a forum for all of us who believe that books can change us for the better. You can write about any book that you enjoyed reading and motivate people around you to read it. By this, we can help spread the joyous habit of reading, in our own little way.

    You can repost all your book reviews at Book Reviews, both old and new!

    If your enthusiastic about this, drop me a mail at and i'll send you an invite


  20. Care - I'l definitely be watching a movie version (or two) when I'm done!

    Booklover - I'll stop by and take a look.

  21. I just read a comment you left over at Rob's about Nelly's narration and taking it for gospel(I'm all caught up and am excitedly trying to read everyone's thoughts). I've been thinking about this a lot and hope to mull some of these things over in my next post, but what struck me in these chapters is that it's finally noted that Nelly is the same age as Hindley (actually am not sure if this was noted before). I think her age alone makes her a little unreliable.


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