WARNING!!! CONTAINS SPOLIERS!!
For discussion of the first 15 chapters see here.
1. What is your opinion of Linton? Do you feel any sympathy towards him?
He just come across as pathetic! Weak, moany and irritating. I suppose I can give a tiny bit of sympathy to him, as I don’t wish physical or mental abuse on anyone. I’m glad that nothing good happened to him in the end, as he did nothing to earn it. I’m not sure I wished death on him, but it didn’t really bother me when he did die!
2. Why is Cathy so vulnerable to Linton’s appeal for pity, when she is otherwise strong-willed and independent?
I never thought of Cathy as particularly strong willed or independent. If she was so independent, why did she do just about everything she was told, and stay in the Grange? An independent person would have left home, and made a nice life for her self elsewhere.
I don’t think Linton had any appeal for her, he just happened to be the only person around at the time.
3. Do you think that Nelly ever recognizes the part she has played in everything that has happened?
I don’t think she has a clue! I think that she isn’t the brightest of sparks, and would probably deny everything, even if confronted with the evidence!
4. Why do you think Heathcliff finally lets go of his animosity and his obsession with revenge at the end of the story? Do you feel any sympathy for him?
I think he just gives up. He realises that it hasn’t been worth it, and nothing he has fought for has made him happy. So he wishes himself dead, so he can return to Catherine – as Sandy points out, they all wish themselves dead – weird!! It would be much more realistic if they committed suicide.
5. What was your last emotion in finishing the last page of the book?
Relief! I was just so happy to have made it to the end of the book. Sandy is right, I do have to give some credit to Emily Bronte for being able to create a book in which I actively dislike just about every character – I don’t think I have ever read a book where there isn’t at least one tiny ray of light somewhere!
I was intrigued to read James’s comment on Sandy’s post that Heathcliffe may be Catherine’s half-brother. That makes a lot of sense, and if I’d only known that to be true from the beginning, then I may have had a lot more sympathy for everyone. It would have put a whole new twist on lots of things. Unfortunately I’m not clever enough to work these things out for myself, so need the author to point me in the right direction.
I don’t think I’ll ever read this book again, but I may have a quick glance through a study guide, to see if I’ve missed any other major revelations! I’m really glad that I read it with a couple of other people though, as I’d probably have been tempted to give it up if I’d been on my own.
If I’d been reading this by myself, then it would probably have got 1 or 2 stars out of 5, but as I’ve gained a little more insight, I think I can stretch to: