Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wuthering Heights Wednesday

Wuthering Heights Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Fizzy Thoughts. This week we're talking about Chapters 10-12 and spoilers will abound. Also posting about the book are:
Chapter 10
When last we saw her, Cathy had just married Edgar and moved to Thrushcross Grange to become the mistress of that house and Ellen has come along with her. For six months everyone is pretty happy--Edgar quickly learns to avoid making Cathy upset and she's on her best behavior. But then:
"It ended. Well, we must be for ourselves in the long run; the mild and generous are only more justly selfish than the domineering and it ended when circumstances caused each to feel that the one's interest was not the chief consideration in the other's thoughts."

Those circumstances? None other than the return of Heathcliff who is very much changed although he won't tell anyone where he's been or how he came to have money. Cathy is thrilled to have him back and pretty much acts a fool when he first comes to the house. Edgar? Not so thrilled to have Heathcliff back or about the way Cathy is acting.
"...Catherine, try to be glad, without being absurd! The whole household need not witness the sight of your welcoming a runaway servant as a brother."

Now there's a problem. Because Cathy sees Heathcliff as at least a brother, certainly an equal. But there is nothing that will convince Edgar that Heathcliff is anything more than a servant. Then Isabella develops a raging crush on Heathcliff. Cathy tries to talk Isabella out of throwing herself at Heathcliff.
"Pray, don't imagine that he conceals depths of benevolence and affection beneath a stern exterior! He's not a rough diamond - a pearl-containing oyster of a rustic; he's a fierce, pitiless, wolfish man."

But Isabella, spoiled teenager that she is won't listen and accuses Catherine of being jealous.

"But she uttered falsehoods, didn't she? Mr. Heathcliff is not a fiend; he has an honourable soul, and a true one, or how could he remember her?"

So Catherine decides to embarrass Isabella by talking about Isabella's infatuation right in front of Heathcliff. You can practically see him rubbing his hands together with an evil look as he begins plot how he can use this information.

Chapter 11
Heathcliff has been staying at Wuthering Heights since he's been back which is pretty surprising considering how much Hindley hated him. But Hindley's gone off the deep end and is more than willing to accept Heathcliff back since Heathcliff is paying him. When Ellen stops by, we begin to see that Heathcliff is having a terrible effect on little Hareton and helping Hindley dig himself an even bigger hole.

One day Heathcliff arrives at Thrushcross Grange and he and Catherine get into a huge fight. She's all "stay away from Isabella" and he's all "no I won't and mind your own business." Ellen thinks things are getting out of hand and goes to warn Edgar who heads off to the kitchen to take care of the problem. Too bad he's not up to the battle. Heathcliff really backs him down and makes him look like a coward but then ol' Edgar hauls off and whacks him in the throat. While Heathcliff is recovering, Edgar runs to get some servants to help him kick Heathcliff out.

At this point, Cathy loses it. She's mad at Ellen for dragging Edgar into the whole thing and insists she could have handled it. She's mad at Edgar for banning Heathcliff and threatens to break her own heart if Heathcliff can't come back. Once again Ellen steps in and basically tells Edgar "tsk, tsk, never mind her; she's just putting on an act." So when Catherine locks herself into her bedroom for a couple of days, no one seems to be too concerned.

Chapter 12
Finally on the third day, Catherine lets Ellen into her room. Surprise! In the past couple of days Catherine has done lost her mind. She's imagining things, her moods are changing by the second and she doesn't even seem to know where she's at some of the time. When Linton comes to the room he blames Ellen for giving him bad advice and sends her off to fetch what passes for a doctor, Mr. Kenneth. When she gets there, Kenneth tells her that word is out that Isabella and Heathcliff were seen leaving the area the night before. Ellen rushes back to tell Edgar but he just says that from now on Isabella is his sister in name only because she has disowned him.

My Thoughts
I'm much less cranky about Heathcliff's behavior at this point. The guy's been treated pretty badly in the past. But I'm completely with Edgar when he bans him from Thrushcross Grange. Seriously, the guy has designs on both Edgar's wife and sister. And Catherine? So over her. She's been bending everyone to her will all of this time and is surprised to find out that they don't all just love her.

"How strange! I thought, though everybody hated and despised each other, they could not avoid loving me."

I'm thinking the whole lot of them deserves to be whacked upside the head!

Several of you asked for pictures of my book so here they are.
I actually quite like the expression on Heathcliff's face but I have no idea why they would have made him a redhead! Next week I'll try to remember to take a picture of the drawing of Emily Bronte that's inside the book--the one that makes her look like she's smelled something awful.


  1. I hate Catherine. She goes and gets all prissy and betrays Heathcliff's love for her, marries Edgar even though she knows damn well she loves Heathcliff more, and then cheats on Edgar just as soon as she can. UGH!

    I love Heathcliff, what a great and interesting character. Though he's pretty damn rude and evil, he really was screwed over a lot and I love that he very carefully sets out to get revenge and just ruin everyone. Probably the best anti-hero ever.

  2. Is that Catherine looking all hoity-toity in the background? Like she's too good for Heathcliff and the cover?

  3. I'm with you. Whack 'em once for me, too!

  4. Yes, Catherine can be a bit of a pill, can't she?? I like that cover on your book, it looks like an older copy, but in great condition, I might add! My copy is a hardback dated from sometime in the 50's. It's a nice edition, but very plain.

  5. Here here! A whacking across the head would do all the characters a lot of good. The cover of your copy is very interesting. I never pictured Heathcliff a redhead either and not as clean cut, a little messy like the dog he is.

  6. WH has become my guilty pleasure. It's like watching day-time, trash TV.