Note: HC is Heathcliff
In the story of Catherine and Heathcliff, it has been three years since he left and Cathy married Edgar. She’s still the worst and acts like the world revolves around her; except now, she lives with the Linton’s and they have “a deep-rooted fear of ruffling her humor” (79). This is unfortunate because it means she goes unchecked. At Wuthering Heights, everyone was always fighting, and there would be consequences for her behavior, but here, Edgar is too scared that she’ll leave to raise even his voice to her. She really shows how ignorant she is when she tells Nelly that the Lintons are “spoiled children, and fancy the world was made for their accomodation” (84). She even goes as far as to say that she thinks “a smart chastisement might improve them” (84). It truly blows my mind how oblivious she is.
Catherine is soon relieved of her isolation when Heathcliff returns. No one knows where he’s been or how he got his money, but he’s loaded now and has made himself worthy of marriage. Catherine isn’t the only one who notices either. Isabella Linton becomes caught in Heathcliff’s web, and it is apparent that there is no way for this to end well.
As should be expected, this sparks a fight between Ms. and Mrs. Linton. Catherine tries to act like the reason why she doesn’t want HC and Isabella together is because Heathcliff is an “… unreclaimed creature,” and though Nelly says there is sincerity in her words (he is a horrible person), it is clear that Cathy is jealous because she is unavailable.
Jealousy somehow manages to make Catherine an even worse person than she already was, and this manifests on a day that Heathcliff comes to visit. Isabella is just sitting in the living room when Cathy exposes her feelings for HC. She tries to run off upstairs to escape embarrassment, but her sister-in-law grips her wrist and makes her stand there while her and Heathcliff bombard her with insults and mockery.
Then, of course, Heathcliff supposedly gets over his disdain for Isabella in an effort to make Catherine jealous. Mrs. Dean catches them kissing and whatnot and tells Mrs. Linton, who is none too pleased. She tries to act like it doesn’t really affect her by saying they should be married if he really does like Isabella, but it’s clear she’s upset for her own reasons.
Shortly after this exchange Edgar comes home and they take the piss out of him for no reason at all. These chapters really just keep reminding me how much I hate the Earnshaws. They act like two year olds, which makes sense because they weren’t raised right, but that’s not really an excuse.
After this occasion, Catherine locks herself up in her room and somehow becomes sick and delirious. I don’t know how this happened, and there is no explanation given, but she is so ill that she really can’t do anything, so Edgar refuses to leave her side. This gives Isabella the opportunity to run off with Heathcliff, even after Edgar says that her doing so will “dissolve all bonds of relationship” between them (100). HC does marry her, though, to prove he likes her or just so that he will be unavailable and make Cathy chase him… I guess. Nelly says that she is the only sensible soul in this predicament, and I whole heartedly agree.
The whole ending of the first volume makes me want to rip my hair out. I love the drama, don’t get me wrong, but they are just the worst people. They drag the poor Linton’s into their schemes and ruin their livelihoods; for what? For fun? It’s crazy to me that people can be so cruel and so remorseless, yet people will still love them.