Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wuthering Heights Wednesday - Final Post - Finally!

I started late...and finished late. But I finally got through Wuthering Heights! It's the third time I've read it now and I'm still not sure I wonder why it's so universally lauded.

Here's what happened since my last post--the quickie wrap up.

Chapters 16 - 18

Catherine, Edgar and Linton's daughter is born and Cathy dies in childbirth. Both Edgar and Heathcliff are devastated. Isabella finally escapes from Heathcliff af. She goes on to London where she has Heathcliff's son, Linton, "an ailing, peevish creature." Hindley ends up drinking himself to death and then it comes out that he had mortgaged everything he owned to Heathcliff. Twelve years pass (it really is just like a soap opera--Bronte had to skip ahead to get the children grown up enough to make them interesting). Young Catherine is spoiled and confined on the grounds of The Grange. Isabella becomes ill and while Edgar is away tending to her last days, Catherine finally escapes the grounds, comes across Wuthering Heights and meets Hareton. She's appalled to find out he's her cousin.

Chapters 19-21

Edgar returns with a frail Linton. Word gets to Heathcliff immediately and he demands his son be brought to him so the next day Nelly takes him to Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff says he'll take good care of Linton because he want his heir to rule Thrushcross Grange. But Nelly soon learns that a lack of sympathy has made Linton selfish & disagreeable. On Catherine's 16th birthday she finally meets Heathcliff and he brings her to Wuthering Heights where she's excited to be reacquainted with Linton. Despite her father's protests, Catherine and Linton start sending each other love letters...until Nelly finds out and burns the letters.

Chapters 22-24

Edgar and Nelly both get sick so Catherine takes advantage of no one watching her and sneaks off to see Linton every day. When Nelly finds out (again!) she tells Edgar and he forbids (again!) any more visits.

Chapters 25-27

Edgar writes to Linton who convinces Edgar that he and Catherine should be allowed to meet each other outdoors on the outer edges of the grounds of The Grange. But on the second visit Linton and Heathcliff trick Nelly and Catherine into entering Wuthering Heights where they are held hostage and Catherine is forced to marry Linton.

Chapters 28-30

Edgar dies, Heathcliff continues to hold Catherine at Wuthering Heights and he begins seeing visions of Cathy. Mrs. Dean (Nelly) finishes the story she's been telling Mr. Lockwood by telling him what she's learned of Catherine's life.

Chapters 31-34

Mr. Lockwood visits Wuthering Heights and sees that Catherine treats Hareton terribly. The next week he returns to London and doesn't return to the area for eight months. When he returns, he's startled to see that Catherine and Hareton are now very fond of each other and he's been much civilized. Nelly is now working at Wuthering Heights and tells Mr. Lockwood that two weeks after he left, she was called to the Heights and once there Catherine's demeanor improved and she began being nice to Hareton. They will soon be married. Just a few month earlier, Heathcliff also died after he became more and more obsessed with Catherine, ventured out on the moors in the rain, not sleeping and not eating. Good riddance.

Oh, yeah, and, obviously somewhere in those last few chapters Linton died but for some reason I didn't make a note of it. Probably because he was so worthless.

My thoughts

Yep--still don't get it. Not that it isn't well written. Except for the characters with the same or similar names. Or those whose names entirely change. You do get a visceral feeling for the characters but if you read this and end up liking any of them, I'll be very surprised. It really isn't as much a love story as a story of revenge. I never did grow to understand what made Heathcliff tick--talk about holding a grudge!

So I suffered through this, again, as part of Wuthering Heights Wednesday, hosted by Softdrink at Fizzy Thoughts and also for the Gilmore Girls Challenge and the Brontes Challenge. Now on to see if I don't like Anne Bronte better than Emily.


  1. This was one book that I am glad I read, but did not like. I thought all the characters were crazy, and I have to agree with you that this was more of a story of revenge versus a love story. I am sorry that you had such a hard time with it, but I can totally understand your reaction!

  2. I had to laugh at your reaction to Wuthering Heights! I quite sympathize as there are some nasty elements. My daughter bought surprise tickets for us to see a new production of Wuthering Heights
    performed by the Northern Ballet Company a month or two back, which slightly redeemed my least favourite Bronte novel. Some of the music was menacing and the character acting of drinking and bullying was graphic.
    The Yorkshire Moors can be very
    isolating and creepy with sudden changes in the weather etc.
    I can sort of understand how the lifestyle of the Brontes influenced their writing.

  3. Good for you for persevering! Now you can join the celebration with everyone else that Cathy and Heathcliff are both finally dead! LOL

  4. I'm glad to have finally read this one, but it sure won't go down as one of my favorites. For me, the read-along experience was the best part!

  5. I think you'll like Anne Bronte better - her writing is easier to read, and her stories are a WHOLE lot more positive.

    I'm sorry you didn't like WH. I really liked it, because I found Heathcliff's rage and insanity really interesting - he was my favorite character!

    This makes me wonder what in the world Emily had against women...she doesn't have a single decent woman character in the whole book - MAYBE Nelly, but she was such a secondary one.

  6. I was surprised by how easy it actually was to read, but also by how horrid the story (and the characters!) were.

  7. Ha! I didn't realize this was your third time reading it! And you still put yourself through it knowing you didn't like it times 1 and 2? :)

    I haven't read anything by Anne Bronte but one day I will. I really liked Jane Eyre and wouldn't mind reading that one again some day.

  8. Yes this book has always bothered me too. I wouldn't say I like, although for some reason I have read it several times... I've never ever understood why people "fall in love" with Heathcliff! (maybe the pursuit for this understanding is why I keep re-reading...) All the characters seem like such despicable people that I could never feel much sympathy when they died... And yet the are still somehow interesting. It's nice to hear that other readers felt that way too!