Tori Kachel

I have finished the section of Wuthering Heights (1-9).

To be honest, I am amazed at the style of the book. I knew before I had began to read it that it was very scandalous for the time, but I wasn’t quite sure why. I had to do a sort of double take when Cathy’s ghost burst her hand through the window, and Mr. Lockwood began to saw off its hand on the broken window. It wasn’t the drama that surprised me so much as that the style continued to be as dry as humanly possible, even while describing such a gory scene. The contrast of the severity of the style and the explicitness of the material was a bit shocking and also, in my opinion, rather amusing to read.  I have seen more than that one example of this, some of the other that come to mind are when Cathy is attacked by the Linton’s watch dogs, and when the Linton children nearly dismember a puppy because they were fighting over it. 

I am over all very enthralled with this book right now, and much more so than I thought I would be. I love the contrast of the graphic material with the dry style of the century, and I love the anti-hero element in Heathcliff. 

My favorite part, thus far, is the part directly after Edgar Linton proposes to Cathy, and she begs Nelly to tell her if she made the right choice in accepting him. Cathy then begins to go on about her love for Heathcliff, saying something along the lines of ‘whatever souls are made of, his and mine are the same.’ She says that her love for Edgar is like the seasons, in how it will change and be beautiful but fading.  She then goes on to say that her love for Heathcliff is like the rocks below, not always beautiful, but much more eternal. She says her and Edgar’s souls are as opposite as ‘fire and frost’ but that she and Heathcliff’s souls are made of the same thing. 

I think that this is a beautiful passage, Cathy going on about what souls are made of, and speaking as if her love for both of them was inevitable. 

I noticed that Cathy and Edgar wait three years to get married.

This stood out significantly to me. Because of the moral standards of the time, it was quite a scandal to sleep together before marriage. Therefore, most people were married very, very soon after becoming engaged. To me, this incredibly extended waiting period says a lot about both Edgar and Cathy. It shows, to me, that Edgar really does love Cathy, because instead of moving on and marrying a girl more willing to wed sooner, he waits for Cathy. Likewise, this says a lot about Cathy’s feelings for Heathcliff. Her waiting out in the rain for him, and then waiting three more years for him to return before finally giving in any marrying Edgar. 

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Sara S.

Tori,

I didn’t know that this book was quite scandalous for the time. Now that you point that out though, I can see why. Like you said, the style of the work was pretty dry, which I caught onto, but most of these gory details you explain I’m not catching. I think, like I said in my post, the diction is somewhat more complex than I’m used to, but once I start reading more I should get the hang of it.

And I completely agree with you. I loved the part where Cathy admitted to her and Heathcliff’s soul being one in the same. I didn’t comment on it because I didn’t want to be the only one who was moved by that passage, but it’s hard not to be: like you said, it’s beautiful.

I also thought waiting three years to get married was quite awhile, but then I thought, well if Cathy loves Heathcliff so much than obviously should would want to put off her marriage to a man she does not love. Going off this, I also think that Cathy is settling in marriage, rather than actually trying to make her relationship work with Heathcliff. Obviously she wants to marry Edgar for his money and prestige, but if she had these feelings all along for Heathcliff why did she not express them before? And in a more unhurtful way?

-Sara

Sara S.

My last post was about three-fourths of the way through the section and some more things came to mind to comment about.

Once again, Mrs. Dean’s story is very intriguing. I also liked how Mr. Lockwood cut in and we were able to get his perception of all the facts. The ending of her story was a surprise to me. I had a feeling Catherine and Heathcliff loved each other, but I didn’t think he would run away because of her feelings. I thought he would have reacted differently. Do you think his reaction was understandable? Also, where do you think Heathcliff ran off to?

Most of these chapters were more descriptive so it’s hard really to add onto any themes or motifs at the moment, but some parts connected to Foster’s How to Read Literature. Several times in this section, the characters would dine or have tea together, which show acts of communion, even though these engagements were briefly described.

Every time in the book that these scenes happened, most of the characters show a dislike of the others, but it also portrayed how they all had something to share, like Foster states in his novel. In this case, I think that the characters share more of a history and secrets with each other. I think this because, obviously the history and past of the characters was revealed, but they were all thrown together to share their hidden secrets, which in Wuthering Heights’ case, could be the secret ghost that haunts the house, and the story that comes with this supernatural being.

Overall, this section was very enlightening into the lives of the main characters and I think this was important because as the story goes on, I believe that they will get more complex and difficult to figure out.

Sara S.

Starting off this book, I was slightly put-off because the synopsis sounded a lot better than what the novel actually started off as, but continuing reading I realized it picked up quite a bit.

The beginning of the book was also slightly confusing to me. I think the ghost part really threw me off. Was the ghost actually real or was Mr. Lockwood dreaming? The complexity of the diction was a bit hard to understand.

I really liked when Mrs. Dean started to tell her story about Catherine and Heathcliff. Her imagery throughout these parts was so vivid I actually felt like I was there. It also cleared up several parts and how the characters are all related to each other.

Starting off, some themes I noticed were more Gothic themes of the supernatural, like the ghost that appears. I would predict that this will continue throughout because it seemed like this ghost hung around regularly and haunts Wuthering Heights. As well as this, the tone and setting play into the Gothic elements because both the mood and setting is pretty dreary. It’s either raining, snowing, or cloudy, hinting that the setting is dark and ominous, which match the characters that live at Wuthering Heights.

I’m going to finish the rest of the reading, so for now that’s all I have to say.

Reading Calendar

Chapters 1-9 due November 30

Chapters 10-19 due December 14

Chapters 20-29 due December 28

Chapters 30-34 due January 11

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