Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wuthering Heights Pt. 1

So when I started reading Wuthering Heights I was completely confused and did not know what was going on. I kept pushing through and began to get interested once Nelly Dean began discussing the history of Catherine and Heathcliff to Mr. Lockwood. There are a few quotes within the first part of the book that stood out to me. The first one is on page 29 and it says, “He got on the bed, wrenched open the lattice, bursting, as he pulled at it, into an uncontrollable passion of tears. ‘Come in! come in!’ he sobbed. ‘Cathy, do come.  Oh, do once more! Oh! My heart’s darling! Hear me this time, Catherine, at last!’” This is Heathcliff’s cry to Catherine. At this time in the novel I did not know the relationship that was held between these two characters, but then after the background was told by Nelly I began to understand the very unhealthy relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine. I referred to their relationship as unhealthy because of the fact that they were so in love yet they liked to hurt each other so much. And it was not like they did not know the hurt they were causing, they did! So far the impression that I get from both Heathcliff and Catherine is that they are selfish. They are selfish towards each other and to the people around them. For example on page Catherine says, “’Oh, I will die,’ she exclaimed, ‘since no one cares anything about me. I wish I had not taken that.’ Then a good while after I heard her murmur, ‘No, I’ll not die—he’d be glad––he does not love me at all—he would never miss me!’” I also feel like through out the story Nelly has been put in the middle of everything and has to be the peacemaker. She gets turned to for answers from every single character. I think this could be to show how much people in these days relied on their caretakers/servants. I also think that maybe this is to show how much Nelly cared about everyone and she just wanted them to be happy, make smart decisions, and live in peace. For example when Catherine was thinking about starving herself to death she wanted Nelly to persuade Mr. Linton that she was really going to do it so she could get sympathy from him, and in response Nelly says, “‘No, you forget, Mrs. Linton,’ I suggested, ‘that you have eaten some food with a relish this evening, and to-morrow you will perceive its good effects (pg. 120).’” By Nelly saying this to Catherine I think she means that Catherine is being foolish for wanting to starve herself for attention and sympathy and saying that by eating she will feel better and not act like she has been acting. So far I think that this novel contains a whole lot of drama and love triangles. I also think that Heathcliff and Catherine are both very childish for how they are acting and they are foolishly hurting people around them that really do love them.


  1. After reading your post about Catherine and Healthcliff being self-fish, I can totally see that characteristic in them, they also boast in the area of self-pity. I feel like so far the first half of the book was two pity parties. Catherine’s in regards to the fact that she cannot be with Heathcliff because of the image that would give off. Heathcliff’s in regards to the fact that he is not viewed as “good enough” his whole life. I feel bad for Nelly having to be around this all the time. Nelly can point things out to Catherine, but in the end Catherine is going to make her own decisions and if I was Nelly I would stop offering my opinion. An example would be that of when she told Edgar she would marry him. Nelly told her that good looks and money can disappear, but that fell on deaf ears with Catherine. Also, why was Catherine asking Nelly’s advice after she had already made the commitment to Edgar? It is like the saying goes you only ask for advice when you already know the answer. Catherine knew she should not say yes to Edgar, but did, so why ask Nelly? She was looking for Nelly to affirm her, but she did not do as Catherine wished.

  2. It seems to me that Catherine is constantly searching for attention. All of her most erratic actions seemingly done with someone else in mind. She threatens to starve herself, but it seems only because Edgar will hear of said starvation and come up to her, not because she genuinely feels like starving herself. I agree with UWMPALMER04 in that it does seem like the first half of the book is just a compilation of pity parties hosted by Nelly. Catherine asks Nelly's advice, but it seems she only does so when she already has her mind set and just wants someone to tell her she's doing the right thing.

    The main example of this is on her marriage to Edgar. Catherine asks Nelly if she's doing the right thing by marrying Edgar. When Nelly starts questioning her decision Catherine gets upset and defensive. It seems if she actually wanted advice she'd have asked before answering Edgar, not after. As it stands she only seems to want someone to tell her she's a good person, which Nelly doesn't do. And if I were Nelly I wouldn't do either. I can't believe Nelly still puts up with her.