Wuthering Heights – Discussion on the first 15 chapters

Sandy at You’ve Gotta Read This! is hosting a group read of Wuthering Heights. Apart from the few I read at school, I have read only a couple of classics. I am trying to change this, and put classics, as one of my titles in the 999 challenge this year. I jumped at the chance to have a few people to encourage me through the book, and hopefully make the reading of it more enjoyable.

The idea was to read the first half of the book this week, and hopefully finish it by next Friday. We’ll all stop to compare notes halfway through.

I have to admit that I’m not really enjoying the book so far though. The characters are all miserable, the writing style is slow and difficult to follow in places and there isn’t any action, or emotional depth – not much to like really!! I hope everyone else is enjoying it more than me!

1. What was your first impression of the inhabitants of Thrushcross Grange, as described by Mr. Lockwood?

First impressions were actually quite good. It took a few pages to get used to the writing style. I quickly realised that this book required my full concentration, so I found myself a quiet corner and dedicated several hours for each reading sitting. I found the initial setting very atmospheric, and I enjoyed the character introductions. They all came across as interesting characters, with lots of nice flaws to make for a good book!

2. Do you think the ghost of Catherine was real or a product of Mr. Lockwood’s imagination?

I think the ghost must have been real. I can’t see any reason why Mr Lockwood would be prone to hallucinations. I also think ghosts make any story more interesting!

3. Can we rely on Nelly’s account of events?

I don’t see why not. As a servant in the household she knew all that was going on there, and it this point in the story I see no reason why she would want to mislead Mr Lockwood.

4. Do you think Catherine really knows the true meaning of love?

Not at all! Her only thoughts seem to be of the wealth a husband could give her.

5. Which character so far do you like the least? The most? Why?

The character I like the least is Catherine. She just comes across as a spoilt, ungrateful person, whose only interest in people is how much money they possess!

The character I like most at the moment is Mr. Lockwood, not because he has done anything to endear me to him, but because he hasn’t managed to do anything especially irritating yet!

6. If you had to come up with one word that represented Heathcliff, what would it be?

Outsider. It seems that he just spends his whole life trying to be accepted by the family. He just wants to belong, but as he must compete for affection with everyone else in the household I think he feels a bit left out.

For discussion on chapters 16 – 34 see here.

4 replies on “Wuthering Heights – Discussion on the first 15 chapters”

I am the same as you…I don’t think I read a single classic in high school, and only a few in college. So reading Wuthering Heights was a new experience for me as well. It was not the easiest thing to read, with the prose and the horrible characters. It will be interesting to see if you find any enjoyment from the last half of the book (which I am very close to finishing). I guess it was just dumb luck that I chose the cutoff, but in hindsight works out well, as it is a divider between the Hindley/Catherine/Heathcliff generation, and the generation of their children.

It was a tossup for me with regards to who was the most detestable character. At one point, I wanted to just throw them all in a locked room and let them eat each other alive. You are right, Lockwood is the only one that hasn’t offended me!

Great answers! I hope you can find inspiration to finish the book…the characters are wickedly brilliant, and I am finding the ending pretty satisfying.

Don’t worry – I will read to then end. I’m really glad that I’m reading it and will make sure that I read more classics in the future – if only so I’m better at Trivial Pursuit!!

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