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WUTHERING HEIGHTS: Chapter XXVII - XXXIV and the novel as a whole

[ Edited ]
This thread is for general discussion through the end of Wuthering Heights. Please remember to include page and/or chapter numbers in the subject line and please remember to add a *SPOILER* alert to the subject line if you deem it necessary.

Message Edited by pedsphleb on 08-05-2007 10:16 PM
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Re: WUTHERING HEIGHTS: Chapter XXVII - XXXIV and the novel as a whole

Melissa - could you clarify what might be a spoiler in a thread dedicated to discussing the final chapters and the book as a whole? Doesn't that imply that people have read the whole book? I'm just confused what you think I need to mark as spoilers here.

pedsphleb wrote:
This thread is for general discussion through the end of Wuthering Heights. Please remember to include page and/or chapter numbers in the subject line and please remember to add a *SPOILER* alert to the subject line if you deem it necessary.

Message Edited by pedsphleb on 08-05-2007 10:16 PM


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Re: WUTHERING HEIGHTS: Chapter XXVII - XXXIV and the novel as a whole

On rereading WH, I was struck as I haven't been before by the range of pathologies on view. Having worked in family law for the past fifteen years and attended numerous workshops on understanding family dynamics, I have become much more attuned to those dynamics and the underlying mental issues which give rise to them, and look at the interrelationships in WH with a somewhat professional eye.

I would suggest that they need one or more really good family therapists, except that some of them are beyond even that.

I'm just glad that I don't have any of these people as my neighbors!
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Re: WUTHERING HEIGHTS: Chapter XXVII - XXXIV and the novel as a whole

[ Edited ]


Everyman wrote: On rereading WH, I was struck as I haven't been before by the range of pathologies on view. Having worked in family law for the past fifteen years and attended numerous workshops on understanding family dynamics, I have become much more attuned to those dynamics and the underlying mental issues which give rise to them, and look at the interrelationships in WH with a somewhat professional eye.

I would suggest that they need one or more really good family therapists, except that some of them are beyond even that.

I'm just glad that I don't have any of these people as my neighbors!

Well said -- until I read WH, I did not realize how much it dealt with what is perhaps too glibly labeled the dysfunctional family.

I am curious that you emphasize the mental issues. Muriel Spark, in her biography, doubts Emily would have remained sane if she had lived. Still, I read WH with a sensitivity to societal pressures being present as well as personality and mental disorders.

Unfortunately, even many of us fortunate enough to live in stable communities sometimes learn only too painfully that we are not exempt from situations like those EB portrays.

Message Edited by Peppermill on 08-27-2007 01:37 PM
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Re: WUTHERING HEIGHTS: Chapter XXVII - XXXIV and the novel as a whole

I think WH has some revelations in the plot right up until the end - there's one in the last chapter that I don't think I'd like to ruin for people who haven't quite finished the whole book. On the other hand, if people are putting Chapter numbers in the subject line, then the spoiler warning is pretty much taken care of.



Everyman wrote:
Melissa - could you clarify what might be a spoiler in a thread dedicated to discussing the final chapters and the book as a whole? Doesn't that imply that people have read the whole book? I'm just confused what you think I need to mark as spoilers here.

pedsphleb wrote:
This thread is for general discussion through the end of Wuthering Heights. Please remember to include page and/or chapter numbers in the subject line and please remember to add a *SPOILER* alert to the subject line if you deem it necessary.

Message Edited by pedsphleb on 08-05-2007 10:16 PM





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Re: WUTHERING HEIGHTS: Chapter XXVII - XXXIV and the novel as a whole

[ Edited ]
Peppermill wrote:
Unfortunately, even many of us fortunate enough to live in stable communities sometimes learn only too painfully that we are not exempt from situations like those EB portrays.

Everyman wrote:
I'm just glad that I don't have any of these people as my neighbors!


It is highly likely that we all have dysfunctional/mentally ill people living near to us. In 'respectable' societies it is just better hidden. The British Royal family, for instance, is often described as dysfunctional and there has been mental illness within it which has been well hidden. The incidence of mental illness in the US population is 19% and in the UK population 15%. 'There but for the grace of God go I, as they say.'

http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/mentalhealth/chapter2/sec2_1.html

http://www.youthinformation.com/Templates/Internal.asp?NodeID=90461

So the inhabitants of Wuthering Heights were no more 'dysfunctional' or mentally ill than a fair proportion of the population (and at least they were fictional). There may even have been a higher incidence in those times because such illnesses went untreated and no suitable drugs were available. As someone who has experienced the irrational and sometimes violent behaviour of an alcoholic in the family (my maternal grandfather) I feel deep sympathy for Emily Bronte, who was the main carer of her alcoholic brother. I would not write her off as potentially insane considering the many domestic burdens and weight of illness she bore. It takes a degree of sanity to nurse others and she nursed both her father and her brother for many years. Any family who suffered so many illnesses and deaths of their loved ones would become 'dysfunctional'. If we were to judge the writers of all books with violence and horror in them as mentally ill we would be condemning a large number of authors today because violence, horror and dysfunction is far more prevalent in the novels of today than in Victorian times. Science fiction, fantasy and horror top Men's reading lists and come third on Women's lists.

However, violence and dysfunction in families is only a reflection of the violence and dysfunction in the world at large. When the violent and bloody deaths from WAR, reports of torture etc. are shown on our TV every night, how can we expect our society not to be dysfunctional? It is our leaders who are in need of good therapists IMO:smileysad:.





Peppermill wrote:


Everyman wrote: On rereading WH, I was struck as I haven't been before by the range of pathologies on view. Having worked in family law for the past fifteen years and attended numerous workshops on understanding family dynamics, I have become much more attuned to those dynamics and the underlying mental issues which give rise to them, and look at the interrelationships in WH with a somewhat professional eye.

I would suggest that they need one or more really good family therapists, except that some of them are beyond even that.

I'm just glad that I don't have any of these people as my neighbors!

Well said -- until I read WH, I did not realize how much it dealt with what is perhaps too glibly labeled the dysfunctional family.

I am curious that you emphasize the mental issues. Muriel Spark, in her biography, doubts Emily would have remained sane if she had lived. Still, I read WH with a sensitivity to societal pressures being present as well as personality and mental disorders.

Unfortunately, even many of us fortunate enough to live in stable communities sometimes learn only too painfully that we are not exempt from situations like those EB portrays.

Message Edited by Choisya on 08-27-2007 03:02 PM
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Re: WUTHERING HEIGHTS: The aftermath for its author


Choisya wrote {ed.}: ...I feel deep sympathy for Emily Bronte, who was the main carer of her alcoholic brother. I would not write her off as potentially insane considering the many domestic burdens and weight of illness she bore. It takes a degree of sanity to nurse others and she nursed both her father and her brother for many years. Any family who suffered so many illnesses and deaths of their loved ones would become 'dysfunctional'... I
I intended my use of "dysfunctional" to apply more to the WH C-H-E family than the Bronte's, although as you say, any family with the deaths, illnesses, and addiction of the Bronte family is under tremendous strain and likely to suffer thereby.

In speaking of Emily Bronte's mental health, I am using Muriel Spark's biography as my source. According to Spark, in the two years between Emily's completion of WH and her death, there was significant deterioration of her health, both mental and physical. That factoid is still somewhat mysterious to me as to its specific manifestations and I won't be quite satisfied with its description until I see at least another biography that provides a similar analysis -- which may not happen for me during this reading of WH.
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Re: WUTHERING HEIGHTS: Chapter XXVII - XXXIV and the novel as a whole

Actually Everyman - you probably do, but they try to not socialize and express the dark side in your presence.-jd The moors sounds like a perfect place to be mentally ill - remote, dark, threatening. - jd
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Re: WUTHERING HEIGHTS: Chapter XXVII - XXXIV and the novel as a whole

You (and others here) may have a Heathcliff lurking next door where you life. Fortunately, I don't. And I'm glad of that.

I think it must have taken a warped mind to think up such a warped mind.

jd wrote:
Actually Everyman - you probably do, but they try to not socialize and express the dark side in your presence.-jd The moors sounds like a perfect place to be mentally ill - remote, dark, threatening. - jd


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Re: WUTHERING HEIGHTS: The aftermath for its author

Yes, I too would like to know more of how Muriel Spark came to these conclusions which seem a bit drastic considering how little we know of Emily.



Peppermill wrote:

Choisya wrote {ed.}: ...I feel deep sympathy for Emily Bronte, who was the main carer of her alcoholic brother. I would not write her off as potentially insane considering the many domestic burdens and weight of illness she bore. It takes a degree of sanity to nurse others and she nursed both her father and her brother for many years. Any family who suffered so many illnesses and deaths of their loved ones would become 'dysfunctional'... I
I intended my use of "dysfunctional" to apply more to the WH C-H-E family than the Bronte's, although as you say, any family with the deaths, illnesses, and addiction of the Bronte family is under tremendous strain and likely to suffer thereby.

In speaking of Emily Bronte's mental health, I am using Muriel Spark's biography as my source. According to Spark, in the two years between Emily's completion of WH and her death, there was significant deterioration of her health, both mental and physical. That factoid is still somewhat mysterious to me as to its specific manifestations and I won't be quite satisfied with its description until I see at least another biography that provides a similar analysis -- which may not happen for me during this reading of WH.


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Re: WUTHERING HEIGHTS: Chapter XXVII - XXXIV and the novel as a whole

True jd - we none of us know what happens behind the closed doors of another's home. I think the moors can mean many things to many people - for Emily they apparently spelt freedom. I found their wildness invigorating. On dark, windy days they are certainly awesome.




jd wrote:
Actually Everyman - you probably do, but they try to not socialize and express the dark side in your presence.-jd The moors sounds like a perfect place to be mentally ill - remote, dark, threatening. - jd


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Re: WUTHERING HEIGHTS: Chapter XXVII - XXXIV and the novel as a whole

Or someone exposed to a warped mind or minds.


Everyman wrote:
You (and others here) may have a Heathcliff lurking next door where you life. Fortunately, I don't. And I'm glad of that.

I think it must have taken a warped mind to think up such a warped mind.

jd wrote:
Actually Everyman - you probably do, but they try to not socialize and express the dark side in your presence.-jd The moors sounds like a perfect place to be mentally ill - remote, dark, threatening. - jd




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Re: WUTHERING HEIGHTS: Chapter XXVII - XXXIV and the novel as a whole

I accept your amendment.

CallMeLeo wrote:
Or someone exposed to a warped mind or minds.


Everyman wrote:
You (and others here) may have a Heathcliff lurking next door where you life. Fortunately, I don't. And I'm glad of that.

I think it must have taken a warped mind to think up such a warped mind.

jd wrote:
Actually Everyman - you probably do, but they try to not socialize and express the dark side in your presence.-jd The moors sounds like a perfect place to be mentally ill - remote, dark, threatening. - jd







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Re: WUTHERING HEIGHTS: Chapter XXVII - XXXIV and the novel as a whole : arped minds.

[ Edited ]
This 'warped minds' exchange reminds me of what Charlotte Bronte said of Emily and WH in her Preface to the book (My emphasis.):-

'With regard to the rusticity of 'Wuthering heights,' I admit the charge, for I feel the quality. It is rustic all through. It is moorish, and wild, and knotty as a root of heath. Nor was it natural that it should be otherwise; the author being herself a native and nursling of the moors. Doubtless, had her lot been cast in a town, her writings, if she had written at all, would have possessed another character. Even had chance or taste led her to choose a similar subject, she would have treated it otherwise. Had Ellis Bell been a lady or a gentleman accustomed to what is called 'the world,' her view of a remote and unreclaimed region, as well as of the dwellers therein, would have differed greatly from that actually taken by the home-bred country girl. Doubtless it would have been wider - more comprehensive: whether it would have been more original or more truthful is not so certain. As far as the scenery and locality are concerned, it could scarcely have been so sympathetic: Ellis Bell did not describe as one whose eye and taste alone found pleasure in the prospect; her native hills were far more to her than a spectacle; they were what she lived in, and by, as much as the wild birds, their tenants, or as the heather, their produce. Her descriptions, then, of natural scenery are what they should be, and all they should be.

Where delineation of human character is concerned, the case is different. I am bound to avow that she had scarcely more practical knowledge of the peasantry amongst whom she lived, than a nun has of the country people who sometimes pass her convent gates. My sister's disposition was not naturally gregarious; circumstances favoured and fostered her tendency to seclusion; except to go to church or take a walk on the hills, she rarely crossed the threshold of home. Though her feeling for the people round was benevolent, intercourse with them she never sought; nor, with very few exceptions, ever experienced. And yet she know them: knew their ways, their language, their family histories; she could hear of them with interest, and talk of them with detail, minute, graphic, and accurate; but WITH them, she rarely exchanged a word. Hence it ensued that what her mind had gathered of the real concerning them, [the 'peasantry'] was too exclusively confined to those tragic and terrible traits of which, in listening to the secret annals of every rude vicinage, the memory is sometimes compelled to receive the impress. Her imagination, which was a spirit more sombre than sunny, more powerful than sportive, found in such traits material whence it wrought creations like Heathcliff, like Earnshaw, like Catherine. Having formed these beings, she did not know what she had done. If the auditor of her work, when read in manuscript, shuddered under the grinding influence of natures so relentless and implacable, of spirits so lost and fallen; if it was complained that the mere hearing of certain vivid and fearful scenes banished sleep by night, and disturbed mental peace by day, Ellis Bell would wonder what was meant, and suspect the complainant of affectation. Had she but lived, her mind would of itself have grown like a strong tree, loftier, straighter, wider-spreading, and its matured fruits would have attained a mellower ripeness and sunnier bloom; but on that mind time and experience alone could work: to the influence of other intellects it was not amenable.





CallMeLeo wrote:
Or someone exposed to a warped mind or minds.


Everyman wrote:
You (and others here) may have a Heathcliff lurking next door where you life. Fortunately, I don't. And I'm glad of that.

I think it must have taken a warped mind to think up such a warped mind.

jd wrote:
Actually Everyman - you probably do, but they try to not socialize and express the dark side in your presence.-jd The moors sounds like a perfect place to be mentally ill - remote, dark, threatening. - jd








Message Edited by Choisya on 08-29-2007 05:24 AM

Message Edited by Choisya on 08-29-2007 05:27 AM
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Re: WUTHERING HEIGHTS: The novel as a whole & its author: warped minds.

Good post. Just when I get tired of reading this passage by Charlotte, I see a different nuance in it -- sometimes kind, sometimes sharp towards her sister, but more and more with a sense that she both did and did not not Emily very, very well.


Choisya wrote:
This 'warped minds' exchange reminds me of what Charlotte Bronte said of Emily and WH in her Preface to the book (My emphasis.):-

'With regard to the rusticity of 'Wuthering heights,' I admit the charge, for I feel the quality. It is rustic all through. It is moorish, and wild, and knotty as a root of heath. Nor was it natural that it should be otherwise; the author being herself a native and nursling of the moors. Doubtless, had her lot been cast in a town, her writings, if she had written at all, would have possessed another character. Even had chance or taste led her to choose a similar subject, she would have treated it otherwise. Had Ellis Bell been a lady or a gentleman accustomed to what is called 'the world,' her view of a remote and unreclaimed region, as well as of the dwellers therein, would have differed greatly from that actually taken by the home-bred country girl. Doubtless it would have been wider - more comprehensive: whether it would have been more original or more truthful is not so certain. As far as the scenery and locality are concerned, it could scarcely have been so sympathetic: Ellis Bell did not describe as one whose eye and taste alone found pleasure in the prospect; her native hills were far more to her than a spectacle; they were what she lived in, and by, as much as the wild birds, their tenants, or as the heather, their produce. Her descriptions, then, of natural scenery are what they should be, and all they should be.

Where delineation of human character is concerned, the case is different. I am bound to avow that she had scarcely more practical knowledge of the peasantry amongst whom she lived, than a nun has of the country people who sometimes pass her convent gates. My sister's disposition was not naturally gregarious; circumstances favoured and fostered her tendency to seclusion; except to go to church or take a walk on the hills, she rarely crossed the threshold of home. Though her feeling for the people round was benevolent, intercourse with them she never sought; nor, with very few exceptions, ever experienced. And yet she know them: knew their ways, their language, their family histories; she could hear of them with interest, and talk of them with detail, minute, graphic, and accurate; but WITH them, she rarely exchanged a word. Hence it ensued that what her mind had gathered of the real concerning them, [the 'peasantry'] was too exclusively confined to those tragic and terrible traits of which, in listening to the secret annals of every rude vicinage, the memory is sometimes compelled to receive the impress. Her imagination, which was a spirit more sombre than sunny, more powerful than sportive, found in such traits material whence it wrought creations like Heathcliff, like Earnshaw, like Catherine. Having formed these beings, she did not know what she had done. If the auditor of her work, when read in manuscript, shuddered under the grinding influence of natures so relentless and implacable, of spirits so lost and fallen; if it was complained that the mere hearing of certain vivid and fearful scenes banished sleep by night, and disturbed mental peace by day, Ellis Bell would wonder what was meant, and suspect the complainant of affectation. Had she but lived, her mind would of itself have grown like a strong tree, loftier, straighter, wider-spreading, and its matured fruits would have attained a mellower ripeness and sunnier bloom; but on that mind time and experience alone could work: to the influence of other intellects it was not amenable.
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Re: WUTHERING HEIGHTS: The novel as a whole & its author: Now this IS Gothic!

[ Edited ]
A nice little video from Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire:-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/video/page/0,,2155614,00.html

http://www.britainexpress.com/counties/wiltshire/Lacock-Abbey/index.htm

http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/chippenham/lacock/

Not surprisingly, the Abbey has been used in the filming of several Harry Potter films.

Message Edited by Choisya on 08-30-2007 05:33 AM
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Re: WUTHERING HEIGHTS: The novel as a whole & its author: Now this IS Gothic!

I reread the forward and I am wondering if everymans concern should be emily and not H. - she pulled most of this darkness from her inner self and not from too much socializing with her neighbors. From what I have learned about her short life she was not very happy and was perhaps anorexic or worse and these feelings that she assigned to other characters were probably her own. I think I am glad that she was able to 'vent' these feelings in her writing. I am also really glad the Stephen King has the ability to write and vent his thoughts in a productive way, otherwise he would be locked away - jd (thinking out loud)
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Re: WUTHERING HEIGHTS: The novel as a whole & its author: Now this IS Gothic!

I agree with you.

My reason for focusing my comments on Heathcliff is that I tend in book discussions to pay more attention to the book we are reading than to the author.

I do recognize that the book is the creation of the author and of the times the author lives in, so in some sense Heathcliff does reflect the mind of Emily -- perhaps more so than with other characters in other books.

But since the book is the one thing we all have in common, while each of us has different information and ideas about the author and times, I more often keep my primary attention on the book itself.

I recognize that others are much more interested in the author's life and times, sometimes it seems to me to the exclusion of the book under discussion. But that's not my primary focus, which is why I posted my remarks in the context of Heathcliff rather than Emily.

But I do agree that you have a good point.


jd wrote:
I reread the forward and I am wondering if everymans concern should be emily and not H. - she pulled most of this darkness from her inner self and not from too much socializing with her neighbors. From what I have learned about her short life she was not very happy and was perhaps anorexic or worse and these feelings that she assigned to other characters were probably her own. I think I am glad that she was able to 'vent' these feelings in her writing. I am also really glad the Stephen King has the ability to write and vent his thoughts in a productive way, otherwise he would be locked away - jd (thinking out loud)


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On the whole book - spoilers for those who haven't finished it yet

A few thoughts on the ending of the book, offered to invite friendly discussion.

When I reached the end of WH I thought, as I have in previous readings, that the ending is unnecessarily abrupt and contrived. I wonder whether Emily just ran out of ideas, or got bored with writing on, or needed to get the book finished so it could be submitted by a given time, or had some other reason for just dropping it.

We never have, IMO, a good reason for Heathcliff to pine away at this point in his life. If he were going to die of a broken heart, he should have done so shortly after Catherine died. He substituted hatred for his version of love (I don't really think he ever loved Catherine, but that's another issue), but this sudden reversal that now hatred doesn't fulfill me either so I'm going to die doesn't, for me, fit with the character built during the story.

The idea that Hareton and Cathy will be moving to the grange is completely without merit. Heathcliff dies intestate, making clear that he had not made a will. He has no heir. Hareton has no right whatsoever to inherit; all he is is the son of the previous owner of the property, which gives him no right whatsoever. Cathy can't inherit; with Linton's death her property, which had passed to him on their marriage, passes not to her but to Heathcliff, except for any widow's mite she might have been entitled to. She has no further interest in her former father-in-law's property, which includes Thrushcross Grange. Since we have no idea who Heathcliff's parents were, we can't track any cousins or other family who would be in line to inherit. I'm not an expert on the law of succession at the time, but the normal resolution for the property of a person who dies without either a will or any heirs is and historically has been that the entire estate reverts to the crown. I believe this was the law then as it is now, at least in this country (though here, substitute state for crown).

It's very nice for Emily to say that Hareton and Cathy will get married and move to the grange, but the reality is that she gives us no clue as to what right they would have to live there.

Lockwood, who appears on the scene out of nowhere, is apparently drifting off into nowhere. But while it's okay for him to appear out of nowhere, once Emily has made him a significant part of the book, it seems that she should do something about him and not just drop him like a spent cartridge shell.

And Nelly? What is to happen to her? How can Hareton and Cathy, with no money and no prospects of earning any out there on the moors, possibly be able to afford to feed her, let alone pay her salary?

The dead characters are all accounted for, but none of the living are properly dealt with. As I said at the start, it's an abrupt, contrived, unrealistic, and to me completely unsatisfactory ending to the book.
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Re: On the whole book - spoilers for those who haven't finished it yet:Inheritance

[ Edited ]
Everyman wrote:
The idea that Hareton and Cathy will be moving to the grange is completely without merit. Heathcliff dies intestate, making clear that he had not made a will. He has no heir. Hareton has no right whatsoever to inherit; all he is is the son of the previous owner of the property, which gives him no right whatsoever. ...I'm not an expert on the law of succession at the time, but the normal resolution for the property of a person who dies without either a will or any heirs is and historically has been that the entire estate reverts to the crown.

From various things I have read, I understand that Emily Bronte did have a good knowledge of the inheritance laws of the time (which were being changed during her lifetime so were in the public eye). On the matter of who inherits Thrushcross, our primogeniture laws provided for the next in line but as there were no living sons Hareton is the nearest blood relative: Heathcliff married Edgar Linton's sister, Isabella, Hareton is a nephew of Catherine and a nephew by marriage of Isabella through whom Heathcliff inherited Thrushcross upon Edgar's death. Hareton would inherit once solicitors made the proper enquiries and established his right to do so. You did not (and do not) need a Will to inherit, it was/is just easier to administer the estate if there was one. I am not sure but I think even young Cathy could have inherited if there were no other living male relatives. Property only reverts to the crown if there are no relatives at all, it could theoretically go to the sixth cousin twice removed, if there is such a thing. We often get cases of long lost relatives turning up from Canada or some far flung outpost of the former Empire to claim inheritances and quite a lot of novels have been written around that theme.

We never have, IMO, a good reason for Heathcliff to pine away at this point in his life. If he were going to die of a broken heart, he should have done so shortly after Catherine died.

It was after Heathcliff looked at young Cathy: '..when of a sudden his fingers relaxed; he shifted his grasp from her head to her arm, and gazed intently in her face. Then he drew his hand over his eyes, stood a moment to collect himself apparently...(Chap 33) that he realised how like his Cathy she was. He had a 'catharsis' and decided that it was time to join Cathy in the grave, where for him, she was waiting ('I have nearly attained my heaven'). Later '[Cathy & Hareton] lifted their eyes together, to encounter Mr. Heathcliff: perhaps you have never remarked that their eyes are precisely similar, and they are those of Catherine Earnshaw....I suppose this resemblance disarmed Mr. Heathcliff: he walked to the hearth in evident agitation; but it quickly subsided as he looked at the young man: or, I should say, altered its character; for it was there yet.' He said 'there is a strange change approaching' and sees himself in Hareton and Catherine Earnshaw in young Cathy. Three days later (Chapter 34) he starts visiting her grave, opens it etc., looks for her ghost and evidently decides it is time to die. It seems a appropriate ending for the most ghoulish (I daren't say 'gothic'!) character in the novel and it open up the way for the young lovers' marriage.

Lockwood, who appears on the scene out of nowhere, is apparently drifting off into nowhere. But while it's okay for him to appear out of nowhere, once Emily has made him a significant part of the book, it seems that she should do something about him and not just drop him like a spent cartridge shell.

Lockwood, a visitor to WH and the moors, opened the novel and closed it upon his visit to the three graves on the moors, which I found a satisfactory ending. Nellie will go to Thrushcross with young Cathy because she is now her servant (servants are often inherited too), and Joseph remains at WH, which is to be abandoned since it represents the evil in the novel (and Joseph represents an evil religion - Methodism). As for 'earning' money, no-one in the novel does that! We are given to believe that they are the 'landed gentry' who live live off the produce from land that they own and rents from the farmers/tenants on that land, as is usually the case. Heathcliff was rich enough to buy both WH and inherited Thrushcross so, as they say in Yorkshire, 'he has a bob or two' which gets passed down to Hareton. The evil in the book therefore died with Heathcliff in the final chapter and the 'resurrection' came with the forthcoming marriage of the next generation, significantly on New Year's Day, ('off with the old, on with the new', as the old saying goes). All that seems to make for a satisfactory and quite happy ending. The sky was 'benign', the earth was 'quiet', all was at peace as Lockwood observed in the final lines:-

'My walk home was lengthened by a diversion in the direction of the kirk. When beneath its walls, I perceived decay had made progress, even in seven months: many a window showed black gaps deprived of glass; and slates jutted off here and there, beyond the right line of the roof, to be gradually worked off in coming autumn storms.

I sought, and soon discovered, the three headstones on the slope next the moor: on middle one grey, and half buried in the heath; Edgar Linton's only harmonised by the turf and moss creeping up its foot; Heathcliff's still bare.

I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.'

Message Edited by Choisya on 08-30-2007 02:34 PM