Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wuthering Heights, Chapters 1-3

My friends think I'm into classic literature when they see Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte on the coffee table. But then I have to confess to them that it's my first time with the book. Yes, I'm a novice "Height-er."

In my 50 plus years I've managed to avoid Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. On the surface this, "most original tale of thwarted desire and heartbreak in the English language," never appealed to me.

Jill at Fizzy Thoughts is hosting a read-along for the book and inspired me to give it a try. My task is to read three chapters each week and write a report on Wednesdays. The read-along began last week so I'm already behind. I plan another post in the next week to catch up.

The text I'm using is Barnes and Noble Classics with an introduction by Daphne Merkin. It has footnotes for every chapter and a translation of the Yorkshire dialect spoken by some of the characters.

Chapters One to Three: My Summary and View

Guess who's coming to dinner? To Heathcliff's dismay it's his new tenant, Lockwood (and our narrator)To make matters worse, Lockwood cannot return to his home some four miles away due to snow. (This is 1801 and there's no GPS to guide him back).

Heathcliff would rather turn him loose on the Yorkshire moors to fend for himself. Instead he reluctantly gives Lockwood a room at Wuthering Heights but strange things happen. After reading a 25 year old diary in his room belonging to Catherine Earnshaw, a ghost appears in the night and Lockwood's screams wake up the house. 

Heathcliff barges in and when Lockwood announces the ghost's name as Catherine Linton (how many Catherine's are there?) it stirs up strong emotions and grief in Heathcliff that Lockwood cannot explain. (I think there's a good story here).

It hasn't been a fun evening for Lockwood. He can't figure out how people are related to each other at Wuthering Heights and they aren't very interested in helping him. Plus, he suffered a dog attack.

There's a young lady who is Heathcliff's daughter-in-law and a young man named Hareton Earnshaw (same last name as the person who owned the diary). Rounding out the "happy" household" is an older man named Joseph.

The diary sheds some light on Heathcliff as a young man. Sounds like he didn't fit in. I'm not surprised considering his dark and gloomy demeanor.

Have you ever started Wuthering Heights and stopped? I'm wondering if I'm really going to like the book.


  1. I'm reading WH for the first time, too, and it is much darker than I'd imagined! In the second section, we meet a few more characters and their relationships to each other start to become clearer...
    Glad you're reading along!

  2. Yay for Wuthering Heights! and for you for reading it! I'll look forward to your posts.

  3. I read Wuthering Heights for the first time when I was a very emo teenage girl, and I loved it! But I gotta tell you, I think it's best for someone who is either emo or a teenage girl. If you think you have a semi-dark, pessimistic soul then you'll enjoy it. If you're one of those happy-go-lucky people, then you won't.

  4. I haven't read it. One of these days I'll get to it. Good for you for giving it a shot.

  5. I'm happy go lucky and I'm enjoying it! I'm not taking it very seriously, though. :-D

    The fact that you have translations for Joseph and his Yorkshire speak is going to come in VERY handy in a few chapters. That's the only part of the book I've struggled with so far.

    I'm glad you're reading along with us!!


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