Wuthering Heights Read-Along Week #3

Read-Along hosted by Maggie at An American in France

Chapters 18 – 26

Twelve years pass, for housekeeper Ellen (Nelly), a delightful time as, with Cathy’s death, the passionate drama has disappeared and she is only left to look after Catherine, the daughter of Edgar Linton and Cathy.  Within the realm of Thrushcross Grange, Catherine grows up very sheltered and protected.  In spite of being a caring and gregarious child, she exhibits her mother’s reckless willfulness and waits until her father’s has left to visit his dying sister, Isabella before sneaking away from home.  Inadvertently, she finds herself at Wuthering Heights where she meets Hareton, her cousin, the son of Cathy’s brother Hindley.  Shocked at this display of headstrong behaviour, Ellen drags Catherine home, yet imbedded in Catherine’s head is the idea of returning to meet the uncle whom she has never met.  Edgar returns home after Isabella’s funeral, bringing her boy, Linton, whom Catherine pets and cosets, yet Heathcliff will not allow him to remain and, reluctantly Edgar instructs Ellen to deliver the sickly boy to Wuthering Heights.  Years later Catherine and Ellen encounter Heathcliff on a walk and he encourages them to visit.  Catherine and young Linton get along well, in spite of his peevish nature, yet it is apparent that Heathcliff’s desire is for them to marry so his heir will become heir to Thrushcross Grange.   There is foreshadowing as to the deaths of both Edgar Linton and his nephew Linton.

Yorkshire Autumn
Photo courtesy of Tejvan Pettinger
(source Flickr) Creative Commons License

Did this novel get darker during these chapters or does the black, wicked oppressiveness of Heathcliff’s corruption cast a shroud over the whole novel, leaving nothing but negative obscurity?  Will Catherine and Linton marry or will he even survive that long?  We pretty much know what will physically happen to her after her father’s death, but how will her new circumstances affect her character?  Yet the question that is screaming at me is:  Is there any hope in this novel?  Everyone, from the first character to the last, all seem pawns in Heathcliff’s lust for vengeance and what is most annoying is that everyone conveniently seems to play into his hands.  He drains the life from anyone he comes into contact with, yet with receiving life, only seems to move further from it.  I can’t imagine how this is going to end ……. well, I can imagine it, but I don’t want to think about it.

Read-along posts:  Chapters 1-9 / Chapters 10-17 / Chapters 18-26 / Chapters 27-34 / FINAL REVIEW


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