SparkNotes Blog

Blogging Wuthering Heights: Part 1

Coffinmaker is blogging Bella’s favorite book. Will he love it? Let’s find out! —Sparkitors

To my utmost delight, I will be writing a weekly column wherein I shall relate my experience reading the ancient hallmark of Victorian literature, Wuthering Heights. This discourse, and all subsequent discourses on this topic, shall hereby be called “Blogging Wuthering Heights.”

So yeah.

Let me make clear that I realize this is a classic piece of literature, and I don’t intend to degrade the author or any fans of the book. I will simply poke light fun at it, and give any criticisms that come to mind. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about picking up this book, since one of the only thing I knew about it was that it’s Bella Swan’s favorite novel. As such, I figured it probably wasn’t much better than Twilight, but zella435 persuaded me to give it a try and not to let Smeyer’s legacy tarnish Brontë’s. (By the way, I am SO stealing the umlauts in Emily Brontë’s name. I’ve always wanted umlauts in my name. I am hereby known as Cöffïnmäkër.)

Anyway, the only things I know about this book are:

  • Everyone has a grudge against someone.
  • Someone has a grudge against everyone.
  • There’s a gun that is also a knife. Squee!

Chapter I
The book starts off with the date “1801.” This seems like a good way to start a book. The only better way I can think of is to start it off with “2001” and then “A Space Odyssey.” But that’s a little too much to hope for.

A certain Mr. Lockwood is narrating, and I’m glad, because I’ve always wanted to write or say “a certain mister.” I might name my first son A. Certain Mister. He’d grow up and marry and have a wonderful wife, Mrs. Mister.

Anyway, a certain Mr. Lockwood has just returned from a visit to his landlord. He seems to live in London or some big town in England, and he’s renting a sort of summer home from his landlord, who, we find, is a man named Mr. Heathcliff. Lockwood seems to like Heathclif, because…um…I really have no idea why. He says, “A capital fellow! He little imagined how my heart warmed towards him when I beheld his black eyes withdraw so suspiciously under their brows…” So, uh, yeah.

Heathcliff is cold and unfriendly as he leads Lockwood into his home, which seems to cause Lockwood to like him even more. I imagine that if Heathcliff grabbed Lockwood in a half-nelson and pointed a gun to his head, Lockwood would pat him on the cheek and say, “You’re my new best friend.”

As they’re going up the causeway to the house, Heathcliff yells to his servant, Joseph, to take Mr. Lockwood’s horse and bring up some wine. Joseph is an old but healthy dude. He replies, “The Lord help us!” I wonder if he wants God to help him bring up the wine or take the horse.

Mr. Heathcliff lives at an old manor called Wuthering Heights. Thank you, Emily Brontë! Thank you for telling me the reason for the title in Chapter One. It saves me a lot of wondering. Here, you can have one of your umlauts back.

They go inside, and Lockwood rambles on for a bit, describing the inside of the home and then, for some reason, going into his love life. Apparently he went to some sort of Victorian summer camp and had a fling. He had it made; the girl liked him back, even though he doesn’t sound very fit and probably has man-boobs. (Just a hypothesis.) But for some reason, when she returned his affection, he shrank away from her and left her wondering whether he really liked her or not. Poor chap’s been beating himself up ever since.

Post-flashback, Lockwood sits down by the fire and tries to pet one of Mr. Heathcliff’s dogs. Heathcliff tells him to let the dog alone, and then does something insanely magical. Get this—‘‘’You’d better let the dog alone,’ growled Mr. Heathcliff in unison, checking fiercer demonstrations with a punch of his foot.”

That’s right, he punches the dog with his foot. Most people kick with their feet, but not Heathcliff! Heathcliff, can you teach me? To punch? With feet?

Heathcliff goes downstairs to find Joseph, and since Lockwood obviously doesn’t have the power of dog-foot-punching, he settles for “winking and making faces” at the dogs. I guess the dogs hate people’s faces, because they attack Lockwood, and bring some friends to help. Half a dozen dogs are chasing Lockwood around the parlor, and he tries to fight them off with a fire poker. Come on, Lockwood! Punch ‘em with your feet!

Heathcliff and Joseph hear the ruckus and start coming up the stairs in slo-mo. Since those two obviously aren’t in a hurry to help Lockwood, Mr. Heathcliff’s housekeeper rushes in and does some Frying Pan Fu on the dogs, sending them running. Heathcliff arrives and asks what all the monkeyshines are about, and Lockwood tells him that he shouldn’t leave a guest alone with such vicious pets. I side with Lockwood; if you’re going to leave a guy alone with a bunch of attack dogs, at least give him some training in foot-punching.

Heathcliff tells him, “They won’t meddle with persons who touch nothing,” which I assume means they only attack people who have faces, since that was what seems to have gotten them all riled up. If I ever go to Wuthering Heights, I’ll wear a hockey mask.

Heathcliff offers Lockwood a glass of wine and does that Victorian thing where he toasts to Lockwood’s health. Lockwood toasts Heathcliff’s as well, but thinks Heathcliff is amused by the recent dog crisis. Does he still like Heathcliff? I can’t imagine why he would.

They talk for a while about the place Lockwood rented, and then about other things. Lockwood leaves, and even though Heathcliff seems glad to be rid of him, Lockwood wants to come back tomorrow.

What? Lockwood, you nearly got murdered by potty-trained dogs, which is even worse than getting murdered by wild dogs, and Heathcliff obviously hates you and wants to punch you with his feet. Why in the world do you want to go back?

Anyway, this ends Chapter I.

Smeyer’s thoughts after reading: After reading this chapter, Stephenie Meyer decides to have a main character who dogs hate and who is clumsy. She also decides to give Edward the ability to punch people with his feet. During edits, she replaces Edward’s foot-punching with controlling jerkiness, and Bella’s clumsiness and aversion to dogs with just clumsiness.

My thoughts after reading: I wonder how Heathcliff’s foot-punching will stand up to the knife-gun. I can’t wait ‘til the knife-gun enters the story!

Prediction for Chapter II: Lockwood will return and Heathcliff will let his dogs eat Lockwood’s arm. Lockwood will go off to the hospital screaming, and return the next day. Heathcliff’s dogs will eat both of his legs and his liver. Lockwood will begin to wonder if he really likes Heathcliff after all, while the dogs gnaw on his neck.

Do you like Wuthering Heights? Is Coffinmaker the next D to the Bergstein?

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