This is week 2 of Softdrinks's Wuthering Heights read a long which you will find here. This week we needed to read three more chapters starting at Chapter 4.
Chapter 4 begins with a rather shaken up Lockwood who decides to quiz Mrs Dean the housekeeper about the life and times of his landlord. The story then progresses from her point of view and I have to say I much prefer her voice to Lockwood's. Mrs Dean is only too eager to pass on her knowledge of Heathcliff's past. I was completely surprised to discover that Heathcliff was an orphan who was taken in by the Earnshaw family. I was still a little confused over the identity of the family members during this chapter as the names Linton and Earnshaw kept cropping up and swapping over.
The young Hindley sounds like a nasty piece of work, but that is probably due to his jealousy over the affection his father bestows on the newcomer, affection his father has never shown either himself or his sister Cathy. Cathy shows a strong allegiance with Heathcliff from the beginning, which only seems to grow over the next couple of chapters.
Chapter 5 brings the sudden illness of the older Mr Earnshaw, who unable to cope sends Hindley away to school. Mr Earnshaw struggles to cope with Cathy too, who is constantly causing trouble and being very naughty. The end of the chapter brings the demise of Mr Earnshaw. High winds surround the house almost like a calling for his soul to be carried to heaven. His death brings Catherine and Heathcliff closer together.
Chapter 6 sees the return of young Hindley after a couple of years absence and with him he brings his new wife, a wife whose appearance is a shock to the rest of the residents in the house. Hindley's return comes hand in hand with his hate of Heathcliff and he banishes him to live with the servants. This chapters sees the bond between Catherine and Heathcliff strengthen. Although after an incident where Catherine is badly bitten by a neighbour's dog, I get the impression that the relationship between them may change.
I have to say I have really enjoyed the change of voice for these chapters. The writing is easier to read and flows much more smoothly. I had always imagined Catherine as an innocent young girl, yet she appears to be a bit of a madam who is really intent on hurting her father during his illness. I get a strong feeling of a very close bond between Catherine and Heathcliff, almost like brother and sister, yet close friends too. It is almost them against the rest of the world.
I can't wait to read what happens next and I am really pleased that my knowledge of this book is limited and that I have no idea what might happen next.