Wednesday, July 14, 2010
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.