Fire the Canon

In this episode, Rachel and Jackie revisit a book their teenage selves did not truly appreciate, having at the time no taste for the grotesque and cruel - Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. Now that all that has changed, the gang has no trouble diving into chapters 1 through 9 for your listening pleasure, as well as discussing the brief but brilliant life of its author. Rachel makes a thinly-veiled request for the human centipede jokes to stop. Jackie avers that chests and breasts are somehow two different body parts. Theo hopes against hope for more cat/rabbit confusion. Topics include: Angria and Gondal, weak constitutions, 34-hour days, Helene and Barry, fiddle-crushin’ fools, ice cold little people, and applesauce revenge. Content warning: racism, death, substance use, child abuse, violence

Show Notes

In this episode, Rachel and Jackie revisit a book their teenage selves did not truly appreciate, having at the time no taste for the grotesque and cruel - Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. Now that all that has changed, the gang has no trouble diving into chapters 1 through 9 for your listening pleasure, as well as discussing the brief but brilliant life of its author. Rachel makes a thinly-veiled request for the human centipede jokes to stop. Jackie avers that chests and breasts are somehow two different body parts. Theo hopes against hope for more cat/rabbit confusion. Topics include: Angria and Gondal, weak constitutions, 34-hour days, Helene and Barry, fiddle-crushin’ fools, ice cold little people, and applesauce revenge. Content warning: racism, death, substance use, child abuse, violence

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What is Fire the Canon?

Prefer your books in comedy form, but still want to sound smart at parties? We got you. Discover the hilarity hidden in the classics with new episodes every Thursday.

RACHEL: Hello everyone, welcome to Fire the Canon, the podcast where we read the books in the western canon and decide if they belong or not. What's that thing we said? The podcast where you learn so much you don't even have fun?

JACKIE: The podcast you hate to love, and you'll learn to hate.

THEO: Oh my gosh.

R: No, what did we call it? We had a good tagline. You'll have so much fun you won't even realize you're learning about books.

J: I think I then said “you'll learn so much you won't even realize you're having fun.”

R: Yeah.

J: That was it.

R: That was what it was. Let me tell you why we've gathered you all here today. It's to discuss the book -

J: Your drinking problem.

T: Yeah, why are we here?

R: It's like I was trying to say… I need to put my hand up so Jackie will let me talk. Just kidding, I don't care. Interrupt away. That's our charm. I've gathered you here today to discuss the book Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, and we think this will be a three part miniseries.

T: Woo!

R: Today we're going to talk about the first nine chapters of the book, give you a little background, etc. etc. etc.

T: Yeah.

J: Ooh. There were three etceteras in that one.

R: One for each of us.

J: Well, Theo, what will your etcetera comprise of?

T: What will my etcetera be comprised of? I don't know. I'll probably… I’ll probably average one hot take per episode.

J: Per episode?!

R: Can you just bump it up a little bit for season 2?

J: … that’s awesome!

R: I'm kind of surprised that you're not someone who, whenever you hear someone say etcetera, you're like, “I think you mean et kettera.”

T: Wait, you're saying is you're surprised I'm not annoying.

R: Well, I'm surprised you're able to keep it to yourself.

J: I would like to request that Theo has more than one hot take per episode. That's what I wanted to say.

R: I also just requested that.

J: But I formally requested it.

R: Okay, Theo. The motion has been entered.

T: Acknowledged.

J: Acknowledged!?

R: Is that our schtick this season? That we're like a committee, like a town hall?

J: I don't know if I want that to be our schtick.

R: Acknowledged? Okay, is that it?

T: Um…

R: Consider it entered into the record.

J: We'll take it under advisement.

R: Okay, let's talk. Jackie, I think you prepared a little bit of history for us, did you not?

T: Wait! We need to introduce ourselves.

R: Oh shoot.

T: This is fucking season 2! People are going to be starting at the beginning…

R: People know who we are already!

T: No, no, no, people are gonna be like, “I've heard about this podcast, but I don't want to listen to some season 1 episode!”

J: “But let me start on the 49th episode or whatever this is.”

R: It’s the first episode of season 2.

T: First episode of season 2. And then they're going to be listening and they're going to think -

R: Who are these freaks?

T: Yeah, “I can't distinguish one voice from another. I don’t know who is producing this thing, and who is hosting this thing? It’s so baffling.”

R: All right, okay, listen. My name is Rachel and I'm one of your podcast hosts.

J: I'm Jackie and I'm the other host.

T: I'm Theo and I am…

R: …the producer!

J: Producer!

R: Of this podcast and one other.

T: There's always a lot of fanfare every time the producer is introduced on a podcast. That's why I wanted for us to do it.

R: (trumpet fanfare noise) Like that.

J: So! Emily Brontë. Emily Brontë was born in 1818 and she lived until 1848. Is that spoilers, Rachel?

R: Yeah, but I guess it's okay.

J: So she died at age thirty, and she accomplished a lot in her short life. Or I guess I should say, she accomplished one thing, but it was a great thing. And we'll get to what that is in just a second.

T: Was it writing this book?

J: I think it might have been. Yeah, so her thing was she was sickly her entire life and of course, as most of us know, she had two famous sisters. Charlotte was her oldest sister and Anne was younger, but originally there were actually six Brontë siblings. However, they all got sent off to a school and t one point, the two eldest sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, contracted some type of illness at the school and then died, and then their dad was like, “Y'all gotta leave that school right now.” So they all went home after this. They didn't go to formal schooling for a while. So Emily was seven years old when this happened. Her mother had already died, and now her two older sisters as well. So she goes home with her two remaining sisters and her brother around this time. She's like seven, eight years old. She and her siblings that were there all started to write these little stories together, and they first started off writing about a fictional world called Angria. So she did this for a long time, but when she turned thirteen, she and her younger sister Anne kind of branched off and they started writing their own tales about a different world they called Gondal.

T: Rude!

R: How rude to call it that!

J: Gondal?

T: Well no, just being like, “Oh, actually, we're going to do our own thing, so… you guys could have Angria.”

J: Yeah, and then they start with just a new imaginary world? Like why didn't they start a completely new idea?

T: Yeah!

J: I feel like it's even more insulting to be like, “We need a whole new world now.”

T: Yeah, they should have just called it Better Angria.

J: So that was kind of the start of a dynamic where Anne and Emily were… They were kind of described as twins, sort of. Like they were inseparable, and Anne has also been called “the great love of Emily's life”. They kind of branched off, started doing this, and then Charlotte was left out of their confidences, which I thought was kind of sad.

T: Rude again. Wait, wait, so are there books in this world of Angria?

J: They're like little child stories that would end up on your podcast with vinegar-faced Joseph.

R: Maybe we should do a crossover episode and read one!

J: But they're probably really good.

T: Oh, yeah, they might be too good.

R: We could pick the worst one.

T: Better than Island of the Dinosaurs?!

R: Maybe. You don't think that their worst story would be worse than Island of the Dinosaurs?

J: You don't think all three Brontë sisters were maybe better than you alone?

R: No, I'm saying one of them might be bad enough to be on Theo's podcast.

J: At seventeen, Emily went back to school, but every time she went to school something awful happened to her. It's like school just didn't agree with her or something. So her sister Charlotte kind of noticed that she was always kind of sickly in general, but she went back to school, and she noticed that she just became extra frail and she was really ill-suited to regimen. Like she was very disciplined in her own way at home, but she didn't like the regimented days of going to school. She liked to have her own freedom. And so Charlotte demanded that she return home, fearing that she would die, and so she did return home. And at twenty she became a teacher very briefly, but again her health was too fragile. I read that she worked seventeen hour days at this school?

R: Mmm.

J: Seventeen hours a day! That only leaves you seventeen - or - seven hours to sleep, right?

R: Jackie’s been living 34-hour days over here.

T: That’s how she gets so much done.

J: That’s how I get so much shit done. So she again returned home. She briefly moved to Belgium to be a teacher there, but she again couldn't hack it and went back home, and that was for the final time. That was six years before her death. Three years later, it's 1845. Charlotte is going through Emily's stuff against her instructions, against her will, and found a whole treasure trove of her poems. So, not her silly ones about Gondal that she wrote with her sister, but like her serious ones about her inner life and thoughts. And Charlotte insists that Emily publishes them. But Emily is absolutely furious at this intrusion into her privacy, and she almost didn't - I think that was a huge thing between the sisters. But in the end she ended up agreeing to publish some of them, but it was in a joint book with both of her sisters. So they all took male pen names, and ‘Ellis’, or Emily's, poems were lauded as the best among them. Charlotte said they had “a peculiar music to them”. Much of what is known about Emily now is kind of coming from Charlotte, and I've seen - Rachel, I don't know if you've seen this, but people kind of refer to Charlotte's rememberings of Emily as “Charlotte's smoke screen”? Like they're not quite sure if they can believe the things that she says about her. Couple of fun facts - Oh, I guess I missed the whole part where she died. But yeah, she died in 1848. She was thirty. She had tuberculosis. Her whole illness, she was refusing to see a doctor, not that it really would have helped anyway. She said it was quackery. She didn't ask to see a doctor until she was blind and emaciated and she said “Okay, I'll see a doctor now!” And she died that afternoon. So, very sad.

R: And then Anne died a few months after.

J: Yeah. Well, that's what I have about Emily. A lot of stuff that might not be true. I mean there's just not a lot that's known about her. And that's why it's kind of so amazing that she ended up writing the book that she did, which of course we're going to talk about, but I mean it's just chock-full of the most… just the most! The most emotions, the most deep emotions, the most anguish and torment, and all for someone who never was in love herself.

R: Yeah, when it was first published it wasn't that popular. And after she died, Charlotte, at this point, was quite famous from “Jane Eyre”, and she said to the publishers, “If you release this, I’ll write a forward.” And she did, but she also made some edits to the text and a few little changes here and there. Her forward says things like, “I don't even know if this book should have been written at all.”

J: Really?

R: She's like, “Oh, yeah, Heathcliff never -”... I mean, spoiler, but it's in the forward. But she says, like, “Yeah, what a bad guy, what a strange character. Maybe she never should have written him.” And people throughout history reading this book have loved it, and they hated it and been repulsed by it. And there's some people who are like, “Oh, yeah, it made me sick.”

J: I mean it is really weird, like…

R: Yeah.

J: These people have nothing going on except for each other and it's a lot.

R: Yeah, very insular and obsessive. Here is a contemporary review: “Wuthering Heights is a strange sort of book, baffling all regular criticism. Yet it is impossible to begin and not finish it, and quite as impossible to lay it aside afterwards and say nothing about it. In Wuthering Heights, the reader is shocked, disgusted, almost sickened by details of cruelty, inhumanity and the most diabolical hate and vengeance. And anon come passages of powerful testimony to the supreme power of love.” I haven't been sickened yet.

J: I mean I read it when I was 15 and I set it aside and forgot every single thing.

R: Wow!

J: So.

R: So I guess Douglas Gerald got it wrong.

J: I guess I just didn't really have a taste for the sickening and grotesque and cruel at that time.

R: Now you do, though, so let's see what you think.

T: Really?

R: You?

J: A 15-year old?

R: No taste for the grotesque?

J: Oh my God, you're right.

R: You're known for your taste for the grotesque.

T: I feel like she does like grotesque.

J: Yeah, I can't wait till we get to chapter seven, the Human Centipede.

R: What if an audience member said, “I don't want you to bring up the human centipede anymore?” Would you be able to stop or would you keep doing it?

T: Is this hypothetical, or did someone say that?

R: It's hypothetical.

J: Well, you gave me two choices that are not mutually exclusive. Would I be able to stop, or would I keep doing it?

R: Yeah.

J: No. I would both be able to stop and I would keep doing it.

R: So you would say, “Too bad for you!”

J: Too bad for you.

R: I could stop if I wanted to, but I don't want to.

J: Yeah, this is The Human Centipod now.

R: Oh, no! No!

T: Ohh no!

R: Jackie, no! How have you never said that until season 2?!

J: I’m so pleased with myself.

R: Ugh. I wonder if there is a Human Centipod already.

T: It does exist.

J: Does it?

T: Yeah.

J: How do you know?

R: He looked it up.

T: It's a comedy podcast. The slogan is, “silly, sick, and stuck together.”

J: I'm the host of that podcast too, I forgot to mention. It's about me and my cats.

R: “My other hosts? They're here too, but not in a way that you might suspect. That's right.”

T: “You certainly won't be hearing from them, because I’m the front member of this centipede.” Okay, sorry.

R: “We're your hosts, Jackie!”

J: If you have anything you'd like to pass along to them, let me know.

R: Ugh.

T: Auuughh!

J: No, I mean, but seriously, everything we read… I shouldn’t have read anything as a teenager, it was wasted on me. Everything we read I like much more now.

R: “Twilight” you might like less.

J: Well, should we jump into the plot?

R: Mhmm.

T: Let's do some plot.

J: Oh hold on, I do want to point out that - Okay, so my copy of the book, it's from the 1960s. It was my stepmom's at one point.

T: Aww!

R: Oh, gosh.

J: I think Catherine looks pretty good. Heathcliff certainly looks nothing like that, which we'll talk about.

R: That could be Edgar Linton.

J: That's gotta be Heathcliff, come on!

R: It doesn’t look anything like him.

J: Why would they put Edgar Linton on the cover? It does look like Edgar Linton, though.

R: Yeah!

J: On the inside we have a little portrait of Emily Brontë, which looks awful.

R: Uh-huh.

J: I can put this on the Instagram. She looks so fucking mad!

R: She's dead! What do you expect?

J: Well, that's the face she probably made at Charlotte after Charlotte found all her poems.

T: Charlotte did a quick sketch of her.

J: Yeah! So my stepmom, Marcia, this was her sister's book, Helene. And Helene was NOT married to a man named Barry, but I'm pretty sure this was her high school copy of the book, and clearly a guy named Barry, I think, had a crush on her and wrote all over it.

R: Oh, it says “Barry is a doll”. I thought it said “Barry is a DILF”, because you were covering the ‘L’, and I was like, “Didn't that come about pretty recently?”

J: No no no. Oh my God, Rachel, no. It’s “Barry is a doll.”

T: Yeah, Jackie just wrote it on there, like she's doing one of those forgeries.

J: Yeah!

R: She learned about them for the first time in our last episode. Like, “I gotta get me one of those!”

J: And then someone is like, “Um, that is false, because DILF was not a word in the sixties.”

T: Yeah, in the first draft of Wuthering Heights ‘DILF’ shows up like every paragraph.

R: She was an innovator.

J: She was like, “I love Heathcliff, no cap.” Oh, and then at the end someone wrote “Jerry” in bubble letters, and “the end”.

R: “Jerry, the end.”

T: Oh gosh, poor Jerry.

J: It says, “Helene and Barry were here.”

T: What a pointless thing to write.

R: In a book.

T: Which could be anywhere.

R: Yeah, true! Actually, that's not true. They've never been in that house, have they?

J: Uh, not in my house!

R: So they’re liars.

J: That would be very strange if they had.

R: Liars, I say!

J: All right.

R: Shall we start?

T: Yes!

R: We'll start. Okay. So the framing of this book is a little bit weird, because when it starts it's written as though it's a diary entry from this guy named Mr. Lockwood who has just moved to this very remote neighborhood on the heath. And a couple chapters in, it stops being a diary entry from him and it's a woman he meets telling him a story, and that goes on for the rest of the book, almost.

J: So it's always in the first person, but the first person narrator is a different person depending on where you are.

R: And the format is different. You're supposed to be thinking she's speaking to you, and then for the first couple you're thinking that you're reading his diary and he'll be like, “Oh, gotta go, there's a ghost,” or whatever.

T: “That's all for now. Just saw another ghost. I’ll write again tomorrow.”

R: Yeah, “Oh, my ghost friend is back.” So anyway, we meet Mr. Lockwood and he is, it turns out, the tenant of a man named Heathcliff, just one name. His son used it as his last name, but he literally just has one name. Mr. Lockwood, he tells us, “Oh, yeah, you know, my landlord didn't want to see me, but I decided to go to his house, Wuthering Heights, on my own.” So he walks, I think it's four miles.

T: Is that the big title reveal?

R: Title drop. It comes in chapter one.

J: But also the first narrator is always saying how unsociable he is, and he's like, “Oh, it's perfect for me out here because I hate interacting with anyone, but let me go hang out with Heathcliff, because he hates it even more.”

R: Yeah, he's constantly looking for someone to talk to and then bragging about how he's so good at being by himself.

T: Oh, wow.

R: Mr. Lockwood is renting a house called Thrushcross Grange and that house is much nicer than his landlord's house, which is Wuthering Heights.

J: Wuthering Heights is kind of huge and cavernous and castle-like and it was built in what, 1400?

R: We’ll get to that. The reason I'm telling you the names of the houses is that they're significant throughout the book. He shows up and he meets Heathcliff and he's like, “Oh my gosh, I love how grumpy this guy is. This is amazing! Even I, he makes ME feel so cheerful and sociable. I want to hang out with him more.”

J: That's why he keeps going to see him, because he's like, “He makes me feel great about myself, because he’s so impolite.”

R: Yeah, really!

J: Yeah.

R: He also meets Joseph, who's an old servant and one of the only ones who works at Wuthering Heights.

J: I can't understand a damn thing Joseph says. I think that was one of the things that confused me a lot as a teenager. He’s written with this very vernacular Scottish accent.

R: Yeah, I have it translated in my volume. Why don't you pick one, and then I can read you what it actually means.

J: Okay. to Mr No, but just buried and south of not ARD, Unto Sound and Gospel, still your lugs and La Darby Liking. Shame on you. Sit To you don need children. These good books enough if you'll read them. Sit you down and think that your souls.

R: So he says, “The master is hardly buried, and the Sabbath not over, and the sound of the Gospel still in your ears, and you dare to be playing.” So sometimes she just writes out the pronunciation, but sometimes it's like actual slang that they would have used. So instead of “you dare to be playing”, it's “ye dar be laikin dark.

J: And when he says still in your ears, my version says “still i’ yer lugs.”

Luve still is your lugs.

T: We're delivering this podcast straight into people's lugs?

R: Straight into the freakin’ lugs.

T: Do the other characters know what he's saying, or are they all just like, “Whatever,” and just walk away?

R: I think the narrator doesn't know what they're saying all the time. Because later he - okay, we’ll get into it.

T: But he's writing this in his diary in that vernacular?

R: I think a couple times he's like, “What?”

J: So here, when that thing that I just said, he responds, “Is nobody inside who can let me in?” Like he doesn't really respond. He's just like, Let me in,” and then the guy responds with some more nonsense and he goes, “Just - tell her, tell her I'm in here, like somebody come let me in!”

T: Okay, but that's not how I would write my diary, I think! You know, you wouldn't spell out the pronunciation of the person -

R: You wouldn't, but Mr. Lockwood would.

T: Oh. Am I just not having any empathy?

R: Yeah. Feel pity for this man. Okay, let's move on. We're still in chapter one. So they try to kick him out, he wants to stay. They sic some dogs on him, which he fights off, and he ends up meeting a female servant named Zilla, and I think they're like the only… maybe the only two servants in the house. So he decides at the end of his entry, he says, “I asked Heathcliff if I could visit again tomorrow and he said no, but I'm going to do it anyway. Okay, good night, talk to you later!” Okay, chapter two. Okay, so the next day he does the four mile walk again and as he arrives it starts snowing and everyone says, “You shouldn't have come here.”

J: Because apparently when it snows, that's game over. You're not going to be able to find your way back.

R: Yeah. This time he meets a rude, beautiful girl who we learn is Mrs. Heathcliff, but not the wife of this Heathcliff - the wife of his dead son. And we also meet a young man whose name is Hareton Earnshaw. He thinks the girl is Heathcliff's wife, he thinks the young man is Heathcliff's son, and it's very embarrassing for him.

J: Yeah, he makes a lot of assumptions.

R: There's a really funny way that he misspeaks, which is the dog that attacked him earlier has a bunch of puppies and he says to the girl, “A beautiful animal. Do you intend parting with the little ones, madam?” And she says, “They are not mine.” And he says it's even more repellingly than Heathcliff would have replied to him. So he says, “Ah, are your favorites among these?” And he points out a cushion full of cats and she says, “A strange choice of favorites!” And he realizes they were the skins of rabbits. So she's like, “I don't like dogs,” and he goes, “Oh, are these your favorites? These dead rabbits?”

J: Is this your collection of Pat the Bunny?

T: And she doesn't just say, “No, are you insane?”

R: She says, “Strange choice of favorites!” But it says she said it scornfully, and he says, “Unluckily, it was a heap of dead rabbits.”

T: Unluckily?!

R: Yeah, because it made him look stupid.

T: Yeah, but I don't really feel like there’s that much luck involved in that.

R: If something's a live cat or a dead rabbit?

T: It's not just like flip a coin.

R: Schrodinger's cat or dead rabbit?

J: He just points to anything at all and it's like, “I hope that's going to be a cat!”

R: “Aw, damn it.”

T: He covers his eyes and points at something and he’s like, “THAT’S your favorite! Oh, I'm so unlucky. Those are dead animals.”

J: Why would there be a heap of dead animals on a couch?

T: Yeah, we didn't even adjust the strange interior decorating that's going on also. What is with the heap of dead animals?

J: Why would that be there? I mean, I just love this whole interaction because -

R: She's so rude to him.

J: She said, “A strange choice of favorites,” He says, “Unfortunately it was a heap of dead rabbits,” and then the girl says, “You should not have come out.”

R: Yeah, so then he tries to help her and she goes, “I don't want your help.” Then he's like, “Oops, sorry.” She goes, “Were you asked to tea?” And he says, “Oh, yeah, I'd love a cup of tea,” and she's like, “No, did someone ask you here to tea?” And he's like, “You could ask me!” And then she just ignores him.

J: Yeah, everybody's basically really pissed that he's there because he's come and it's snowing and they know he can't find a way back home, but they really, really really don't want him there and he's basically forced himself upon them.

R: So at this point it's snowing really heavily and Mr. Lockwood wants to leave.

J: He asks for a guide. He says, “Can you loan me a servant to help me get home?”

R: They say, “No, we're not going to give you a servant.” He's like, “Can I stay here?” and they're like, “We… really don't want you to.” And then he's like “Okay, I'm going to leave.” And they say, “You're going to die if you leave.”

T: So they want him to die. That’s what they’re saying?

R: I mean they don't really want to. They wish that he hadn't put them in that situation, I guess. So he says, “Well, you have to let me stay,” and Heathcliff says, “If you stay, you're going to have to share a bed with Hareton or some other boy, because I don't want you roaming around my house.” He's like, “No, I could just sleep in a chair, like I don't want to share a bed with them,” and he's like “No, you have to share a bed with them.” So at this point he's like, “I do not want to share bed with that guy!” So he tries to steal one of their lanterns and he runs away and they're yelling like, “Bring that back!” And he's like, “Uhh, I'll bring it back tomorrow!”

J: And Joseph’s like, “Get the dogs on him! He’s stealin’ the lantern!”

R: Yeah, so they attack him with dogs. He gets bitten by the dogs and the servant Zilla is like, “Ugh, okay, whatever, come inside, we'll patch you up. You can sleep somewhere in the house.”

T: Really, after all that?

R: Yeah! So all right. So chapter three. Can we move on? So, okay, so Zilla says to him, “I've only worked here a couple of years. I'm going to put you in this room, but don't make any noise because Heathcliff doesn't like anyone to go in or mess with the room at all.” Which it’s like, couldn't he go in another room? It's a big house!

J: She says, “I don't know, he's never told me, but he doesn't like it, so just be quiet.”

R: Yeah. So he goes in and within the room there's this big box that has a bed inside of it and some shelves. So he's being insanely nosy. He's looking all around and he sees a bunch of names written and it's a bunch of ‘Catherine Earnshaw’, ‘Catherine Heathcliff’, ‘Catherine Linton’, just written over and over and over again. And he finds a diary and it's Catherine's diary. And he reads a few entries that are about her childhood growing up with Heathcliff and her brother named Hindley, and he hated Heathcliff and mistreated both of them, from what we read. So he goes to sleep and he has a nightmare about going to church and hearing a really, really long sermon. And he finally wakes up and he realizes that what had caused him to have this dream is that there was a branch rattling against the window pane outside. So he wakes up and he tries to unhook the window so he can open it, but it's totally stuck and he says that he was so annoyed that “I must stop it, nevertheless!” So he PUNCHES THROUGH THE WINDOW.

T: The glass?!

R: Yes, because he's so annoyed. He punches through the window of this angry guy who hates him and has sicced dogs on him twice and tried to leave him to die in the snow.

J: He’s like, “I’ve gotta get that branch!”

R: Yeah, and then he grabs the branch, but he realizes it's not a branch - it's an ice cold little hand.

J: (shrieks)

R: Yeah.

T: Oh my gosh. Severed? Or attached to an ice cold little person?

R: No. And so as soon as he realizes he's grabbing a ghost's arm, he lets go and he tries to pull his hand back in, but the ghost is holding onto his hand really, really tight and won’t let him -

J: This part did make me - like, I made a face at this part and I was like, WHAT?

R: It's so gross. So he hears the voice. It says it's a melancholy voice sobbing, and it's saying “Let me in, let me in.” And he asked, “Well, who are you and the voice says, “I'm Catherine Linton.” And he thinks to himself, “Why did I say Catherine Linton? Because all the names that were written over and over and over, she wrote Catherine Earnshaw the most and Linton was written the least, basically. So why would this come to my mind?” And she says, “I'm come home. I'd lost my way on the moor.” And he sees the face of a child looking outside and he gets so afraid that he does something disgusting.

J: So in response to the terror of seeing this little face, he starts sawing her wrist along the broken glass??

R: And there’s like, blood running down, soaking the bedclothes.

T: Uurrrghh.

J: Yeah, like blood running down, and he's just sawing it and sawing it, and she's like, “Let me in, let me in,” and you know, it's still holding on to him, tighter and tighter, and he says, “How can I let you in? Let me go, if you want me to let you in.” So finally the fingers relax off his wrist and then he slams his wrist back and hurriedly piles up a bunch of books against the window and tries to block her from getting in.

T: Geez.

J: And he says, “Begone! I'll never let you in, not if you beg for twenty years!” I only laughed at the “begone.”

R: Yeah, and then the ghost says, “It has been twenty years!”

T: He’s like, “Crap! Now I have to let her in.”

R: Yeah, “Oh, darn it, okay.” So of course he's been hollering, you know. So all of a sudden Heathcliff comes up and he's like, “Anyone here?” And he says, “Oh, it's just me. Don't worry, I screamed in my sleep. I had a nightmare, no worries about it, go back to bed.”

J: The second he starts speaking, before Heathcliff realizes those who's in there, Heathcliff comes into this room that he never lets anyone into for, now, probably obvious reasons.

R: Yeah.

J: When he hears Mr. Lockwood start speaking, he becomes so frightened he drops the candle. His face goes stark white, and Mr. Lockwood is like, “I better help him out by continuing to speak.” So he just keeps talking.

R: So basically he explains what he's doing in the room and Heathcliff says, “Quit yelling, go back to bed.” And that's when he says, “Oh, if the little fiend had got in at the window, she probably would have strangled me!”

J: And he says, “Oh that Catherine Linton. She told me she'd been walking the earth for twenty years. A just punishment for her moral transgressions, I've no doubt.” So he's like, I'm going to pretend I didn't see a ghost at all and totally play it cool. But then he gets so upset that he like, spills the ghost beans all over the place.

J: Yeah. Because Heathcliff says, “Who put you in here? I'm going to turn them out of the house!” And he says, “Well, do it. It was Zilla. She put me in here on purpose because she knew it was haunted and she probably just wanted me to see a ghost.”

R: She’s trying to play a prank.

J: Yeah.

R: So he tries to say, “Oh, uh, yeah, you know, I totally imagined the ghost. It's just because I happen to see those names, like all the Catheriness written down.” Heathcliff is really mad at him. He says, “Just get out of here!”

J: Like, “How dare you speak this way to me?” I mean this is infuriating to him, to talk about this ghost.

R: Basically Mr Lockwood says, “I don't want to go to bed. It's almost time for me to leave anyway. I'm going to just go outside and walk around for a couple hours and then leave when it's bright.”

J: Yeah, he says, “What time is it?” Heathcliff says “It's not three o'clock yet,” and apparently everybody in the house always wakes up at four in the morning, which I was like, what?

R: In the winter. Because they have to make the most of the daylight, I guess. But anyway.

J: But it's definitely dark at four in the morning.

R: Yeah. Well, so Heathcliff says, “Just go ahead out, take the candle with you.” And he does. But because he doesn't really know how to leave, he pauses outside the door and he hears Heathcliff wrenching open the window and crying passionately and he says, “Come in, come in, Cathy, do come once more. Oh my heart's darling, hear me this time, Catherine at last!” And she doesn't respond and he just hears Heathcliff like sobbing and sobbing.

T: I think there might be more to this Heathcliff fellow than we first thought.

R: Yeah, maybe he's not just a grump who’s not in love with a ghost.

T: Yeah.

J: But oh man, that's just so... Now that you know that, that's so abominable how Mr Lockwood behaved, right? Just being like, “Oh, that little waif, she deserves to go to hell because she's a sinner!”

R: Yeah! What a freak!

J: “That’s probably why she’s stuck out there!” And like, clearly this person is connected to him somehow because she had his last name at some point.

R: Yeah, or she wanted to. Blink blink.

J: Blink blink.

R: So I'm going to skip most of the end of the chapter because it doesn't actually matter.

J: He just walks around in the dark for some hours.

R: And when he arrives back, his servants are like, “Oh, we thought you were dead. We were going to send out search parties. Glad to see you back, sir.” And that's chapter three. So in chapter four we meet our new narrator, who is Nelly Dean. Which I'm going to call her Nelly from now on, if that's okay with you, Theo.

T: Okay.

J: She's inspired by Emily Brontë's actual housekeeper.

R: For a lot of the rest of the book, she is our narrator, like she's our POV character, and there's some discussion, you know, is she reliable? Is she unreliable? Whatever. She tells him, “I grew up with the children of old Mr. Linton.” Mr. Linton had a son and a daughter and she was a little bit older than the son, but she was kind of raised as a combination of a child and a servant. So she tells that one day, Mr. Linton said, “I am going to walk 60 miles to Liverpool and then walk back. What treats would you guys like?” And they all tell him a different treat. But when he comes back all of the treats they asked for are smushed, essentially, and what he actually has is a starving, dirty child.

J: Aww! That's just what I wanted!

R: Yeah, he says, “I found this kid starving in the streets, and I asked around, ‘Does anyone know who he belongs to?’ Nobody did and I didn't have time to do more research, so I just brought him back with me. We're going to name him Heathcliff.”

T: Wait, but why do all the treats get smashed?

R: Because he was carrying this kid.

J: For 60 miles!

R: Yeah, he had like a fiddle slung over his shoulder and he had some candy and whatever -

J: And a horse’s whip.

R: But I guess holding the kid tight or the kid kicking or whatever, just squished everything.

J: Yeah, cause he kidnapped a kid off the streets! And just walked him across the moors. Like where does he think this guy's taking him?

R: Also, he doesn't really talk, the boy.

J: He doesn't know language, right. So he has no way of being told like, “Don't worry, I'm taking you to a good place. I'm not just like carrying you off to the slaughter house.”

T: Oh so he’s not a baby? It’s a kid?

R: No, so he’s probably like five or six.

J: Five or six.

R: Yeah.

T: WHOA, you're carrying a five- or six-year old kid 60 miles?

R: 60 miles. Yeah.

J: But so this is part of the reason why things become contentious immediately with Heathcliff and the other two children. So the other two children are Catherine, or Cathy, and her brother Hindley, who Rachel mentioned earlier.

R: I would like to going forth call her Cathy.

J: Okay.

R: And then someone else with that name, like his daughter-in-law or whatever, we can call her Catherine. Just to make it clear, because a lot of people have the same name in this book.

J: Yeah, they do. It's confusing. So Cathy, she's the little girl and she had asked her father for a horse's whip and her brother, Hindley, had asked for a fiddle and of course he brings back this little boy and all of their stuff is crushed, like he's forgotten the whip -

R: He dropped the whip -

J: Yeah, he dropped the fiddle. Yeah, all the stuff. First of all, they're pissed that this weird little non-English speaking boy, or non-speaking boy, is there, and second of all, he's the reason that they didn't get their presents. So they are mad at this kid.

R: So the thing about Heathcliff that you need to understand and that you probably wouldn't understand if you'd seen most of the adaptations, is that he is not white.

T: Oh!

R: We don't know exactly what race he is, but there is no way that he is white. He has a couple options. We never figure out exactly what he is. He is called a few things, so, you know, we're going to have to talk about some racism now. Multiple times throughout the book people call him a ‘gypsy’, which is a racial slur that refers to the Romani people. They have faced horrible racism in Europe for, you know, hundreds and hundreds of years and they still face disgusting racism today. It's something like 80% of British people said they wouldn't want a Roma person as a neighbor. So that's the most common thing people call him. Occasionally he's called another word, which is a ‘lascar’, which is like not a polite word, but it meant something, like some kind of a Southeast Asian sailor. One time someone refers to him as “not a full black”, like he could be half black or something? He's called Indian. He's called Chinese.

J: A Spaniard at one point. Like maybe his dad was Spanish and his mom was from China, or something.

R: He's described as having dark hair, dark skin and dark eyes. And the way that he's always described, nobody in the book ever thinks that he is white. He's always described like this. The other thing to to consider is that Liverpool at the time was a slave-trading hub in England, The slave trade in the UK, that is one of the main places they stopped, and the Brontë family, one of their neighbors was a very prominent slave trading family, so she would have been very familiar with this and a lot of the wealth in the region came from the slave trade. There's a theory that he could have been a mixed race child of a slave. He could have been the child of a foreign sailor who had a child with an Englishwoman, or the child of a woman of another race with an Englishman, whether it was consensual or not. So we're not sure. The thing is, he's normally just portrayed by a white guy with dark hair. I think 2012 was the first time that a black actor ever played Heathcliff and at the time there were reviews that were like, “How weird to try to thrust this, you know, racial stuff into Wuthering Heights.”

J: Well, so do you have any idea why Emily Brontë made this choice? Was it to kind of explain a little bit more of why he was othered, or was this some type of emotional thing? I don’t know.

R: I don't know why she did it. People also think that he might have been… like there are hints that he might even be some kind of demon or something, but I don't think so. I think he was a mixed race kid who got constantly mistreated his entire life and then grew up as a pissed man. So to me he reads much more sympathetic than he would have to people at that time, I have to say. Yeah, I don't think anybody could justify casting a white guy to play him at any point from now on. I think it's kind of like Othello, where the racial difference between this character and the other characters is very important to the story. Normally I don't care, like colorblind casting, whatever. In this case, if you tried to cast him as a whike guy, you would be missing a lot of the subtext.

J: Mhmm.

R: So back to the story! At first all three of the kids bully this little boy and then Nelly has to do something for a couple days. She comes back and Cathy has become friends with him, but Hindley still hates him and Mrs. Linton doesn't like him. There is a theory that Heathcliff was like the bastard child of Mr Linton, but there's not really evidence for it in the text, except that he just like brings this random kid home.

J: Yeah, he wasn't gone long enough.

R: Well, I don't - Jackie.

T: Maybe he left another time previously.

R: Yeah, it would have been five or six years earlier.

T: I was just thinking, I mean, it's already a full day having to walk 120 miles, right? And then you're also supposed to impregnate a woman?

J: He doesn't do it in one day!

R: Yeah, it took three days I think.

T: Oh, okay.

J: But then you've also got to create a child. Yeah, you’d be tired.

R: Who would have the energy? Mr Linton starts to favor Heathcliff above his own children, which, I mean, Hindley sucks. Like he's an asshole, so I can see why. But he just constantly thinks that Cathy is just so naughty. So he just loves Heathcliff and favors him and he's treated like all the other kids. So Nelly doesn't like him, but he ends up getting sick and she has to nurse him to health, and so ever since then she feels tenderness towards him in her heart and now she likes him. Basically that the boys still hate each other. So she says, “Oh, yeah, he was so spoiled. It wasn't that he was insolent, he just didn't care that Mr Linton liked him so much and he knew he had such a hold on the house and blah, blah blah.” But her example is - okay. So Hindley was constantly physically attacking Heathcliff, who never did anything to retaliate. And she gives an example of how the two of them got colts. And then Heathcliff’s colt falls lame and he tells Hindley, “You have to trade horses with me and if you don't, I'm going to tell your dad that you beat me three times this week and show him my arm, which is black to the shoulder.” And Nelly tries to frame this as like, “Ugh, Heathcliff, he's like, what an asshole.”

J: “Such a snitch.”

R: Yeah! And Hindley's like, “No, I'm not going to do it,” and then hits him. And Heathcliff says, “You have to or I'm going to tell him what you just did again,” and then Hindley picks up a heavy iron weight and says, “Go away.” And Heathcliff says, “Go ahead, throw it and I'll tell him about that, AND I'll tell him that you said you're going to turn me out after he dies, and then I bet he'll turn YOU out.”

J: Maybe Heathcliff should just learn the fine art of not saying all his plans. He's like, “Not only am I going to tell him this, I'm going to tell this and this and this and this. And then I bet this is going to happen to you.”

R: Yeah, so Hindley throws the iron weight at him and hits him in the chest with these pounds of iron and he turns totally white and falls over. But Nelly intervenes finally and stops him from saying something. So then Hindley, he's like, “Whatever, take the horse, and I hope he breaks your neck and kicks your brains out!” And then he shoves Heathcliff right at the back feet of the horse and runs away, without waiting to see if the horse actually does stomp on his head. So then Nelly says, “Oh, you know, don't tell him, like don't tell him about this. You have your horse now.” Which she's like, “Ugh, look how manipulative he is.” I'm thinking, he deserves a freaking horse. After everything that boy put him through.

J: Can we all just agree that he deserves a horse?

R: This boy deserves a million horses.

T: I'm a little confused about the horse thing.

J: So it says that they were both given horses and Heathcliff immediately picked the better looking one.

R: But a couple weeks later it went lame and it couldn't run anymore. So he said, actually, switch with me.

T: Why don't they just share that extra horse?

R & J: They hate each other.

R: They need a mom to put them in one giant t-shirt all together. That says like, ‘We Love Each Other’ or whatever.

J:, It says “I Love My Adopted Street Urchin Child.”

R: “My Horrible Adopted Brother.” Yeah.

J: “I Love This Fiddle-Crushin’ Fool.”

R: Aww, that's a cute little name.

J: That is.

R: So we're in chapter five now and Mr Earnshaw has gone into decline. He used to be very healthy, but suddenly he has become sick and he starts getting really weird. He kind of becomes obsessed with Heathcliff, and even when Cathy doesn't deserve it, she says that he would constantly scold her and if she was naughty during the day, he would scold her and she would come up and try to be like, “Oh sorry, Dad, I didn't mean it,” but no matter what, he would be like, “Oh, who cares, just be a good girl, get out of here.” He would say, “Just go say your prayers, I don't buy it.” So she says... Eventually Cathy quit ever trying to apologize and just got really bad. So he became really angry because he realized that Heathcliff would sometimes do what Mr Linton wanted but would always do what Cathy wanted. So he was jealous about that and he saw how bad Hindley was being.

J: So from Mr Linton's, the Lord's perspective, “Heathcliff will do what I want him to do when it suits him -”

R: Yeah.

J: “ - but he will do what Cathy wants him to do any time ever.” Like, regardless of… he just is going to do anything she says.

R: No matter what. Yeah. They're - at this point, the two of them are best friends. They spend like all day every day together. They just run out onto the moors and just hang out all the time and they've kind of gone wild.

J: Yeah.

R: I think his wife is dead at this point. So he sees Hindley being an asshole to Heathcliff and he sends him away to school. And once he's gone, Joseph's influence has increased and Joseph is whispering things like, “Oh, Cathy's so bad, blah, blah, blah, blah blah.” And she… I mean she's kind of being bad, but seriously, she's not that bad. The dad keeps saying really mean things to her.

J: They’re, like, uncontrollable children.

R: Eventually he dies and it's actually a very nice, peaceful death, I have to say. Heathcliff is laying there with his head in Mr Linton's lap. Cathy is cuddling up to him. He's stroking Cathy's hair and he says to her, yeah, that's when he says, “Oh, can't you just be good like this all the time?” And she says, “Can't you be good all the time, Dad?” And then when she sees that it upsets him a little bit, she kisses him and says, “Let me sing you to sleep.” And then she sings him a lullaby and sings and sings and sings for a long time, and the four of them are sitting in the room together very quietly, just having a nice evening. And then Joseph comes in and they realize that he has died. And the two children, like, scream and cry.

J: But the kids don't realize it right away.

R: Right.

J: Cathy goes to kiss him good night, and before anyone can stop her…

R: So the two children both start crying, and Nelly starts crying, and then Joseph scolds them and says, like, “He's in heaven, so shut your mouths, it's fine!” So the two kids are sent upstairs and Nelly hears them talking to each other like, “Oh, yeah, he must be in heaven. Heaven must be great.” And they tell each other like, “Oh, I bet heaven’s like this,” and that's the end of chapter five.

J: So cute, right?

R: That sounds like a great way to die! You're surrounded by the kids that you love and they're singing you a song.

J: You're surrounded by the one kid you love and the one girl you're kind of pissed off at all the time.

R: But they had a really nice moment at the end. I'm just saying, for them having such a contentious relationship, that's a pretty good ending. Chapter six, they have the funeral and Hindley returns home. And he brings with him a frail, young wife who's just extremely cheerful and everything she sees in the house she's like, “Wow, I love it, this is great!” But she is really shaken and frightened and just… she is made so uncomfortable by the funeral. She just doesn't like to think about death. And when she first moves in, she really loves Cathy because she's like, “Oh, I've got a sister.” But she very soon gets tired of Cathy and also mentions offhand that she doesn't really like Heathcliff, which immediately turns Hindley against him just as much as before. And he says [to Heathcliff], “Yeah, you're a servant now. You don't get to eat with us. You have to go live with the servants and you eat with them.” Okay, so the kids are still being bad. Whenever Heathcliff is supposed to do work, he and Cathy just run away together and play all day and one night they don't come home. Hindley's so mad he's like, “Well, don't let them in at all tonight.” So Nelly stays up and Heathcliff shows back up by himself and he says, “We walked to Thrushcross Grange,” (the place where our original narrator is staying), “and we wanted to go see the Lintons who lived there, and we looked in the window and we saw two children, a boy and a girl, and they're crying over a dog.” They had injured the dog because they were fighting over who got to hold it. And so the girl is crying about it and the dog seems a little upset and the boy is also upset. And Heathcliff really looks down on them for being such wimps, I guess, because he's like, “They should have had a great time, the house was beautiful, they didn't have any adults there to bother them, and instead they decided to quarrel over who gets to hold some dog.”

J: And now imagine how frightening it would have been if he looked in the window and he saw two dogs fighting over a human.

R: Yeah, or two ghosts!

J: Fighting over…

R: Some… a dog! A ghost dog! From our previous episode. So he says to her like, “Wow, yeah, their life sucks so much that I would never change change my position with his, not even if I had the privilege of flinging Joseph off the highest gable and painting the housefront with Hindley's blood!” “Even if you offered me these two amazing treats I still wouldn't do it.”

J: Yeah. “Even if I could throw vinegar-faced Joseph off the house, I still wouldn't do it.”

R: He's so dramatic.

J: And he's telling this to Nelly!

R: Yeah!

J: Yeah, and what is Nelly supposed to say? Like, “Yeah, that would be sick!”

T: Yeah, did she kind of chuckle along? Did it say how she responded?

R: She said, “Hush, hush, where's Catherine?”

J: Like, “Just shut up, I don't want to hear any of this.”

R: “Quit talking about painting the house with this guy's blood. You’re ruining my plausible deniability.”

T: Well, maybe he just always brings it up. She’s like, “We’ve got to move on.”

R: Yeah, “Oh, bla bla bla, we get it, painting the house with the blood, okay.”

J: “You’ve told this story a million times before. We get it.”

R: Yeah. So he says, okay, “We looked in the window and we laughed at them. They saw us and freaked out, so we ran away, but they sicced a dog on us and it bit Cathy. And then when they saw us they thought we were thieves. But eventually they recognized her from church. They told her she could stay, but they wouldn't let me stay. They said I had to go home because I was cursing so much.”

J: Cathy's leg is so injured that she has to stay there for like six weeks or something.

R: She's bleeding, like, heavily. So he says, “I waited at the house and spied on them to make sure that Cathy was happy to be there.” Because he says, “If she gave me the slightest sign that she wanted to go home, like, I would break through the windows and fight everyone and take her, but I saw that she was comfortable.”

J: So he goes home by himself.

R: Yeah, and at this point they're separated because, yeah, she stays with the Lintons for five weeks, and we're in chapter seven now. So she stays with them for five whole weeks and by the time she's back she has transformed into a young lady, with nice, clean clothes and styled hair.

J: She doesn't run off on the moors anymore, and she doesn't like to get dirty, and she doesn't like to curse up a storm with Heathcliff. Like, now she's basically refined.

R: Okay, here's the funny thing. So, Theo, this is the quote that I want you to read for the beginning, which is when she gets to the house, she has a nice outfit. She's like, very gingerly shaking people's hands because she doesn't want to get her clothes dirty. And while she was gone, since nobody was caring about Heathcliff, he got dirtier and dirtier than ever before. So when she sees him, she laughs, and then he gets upset and she's like, “Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to laugh, it's just I've been with the Lintons for so long, you look very dirty in comparison, but all you have to do is wash your face and you'll be fine.” But he says - this is what I want Theo to read - “I shall be as dirty as I please, and I LIKE to be dirty and I WILL be dirty!”

J: Well, he gets insecure about how different he looks.

R: Yeah, about his dirtiness.

J: But then he just like, really leans into it to try to upset her.

R: So she tries to talk to him, and he just ignores her for a while and is just like, very withdrawn. Eventually they invite the Lintons over for Christmas. So it's Christmas time and they've invited the Lintons and Nelly wants him to join but Hinley won't let him. He's like, “No, he needs to be with the servants.” So she tells him, “Hey, why don't you clean yourself up a little bit and I can arrange for you and Cathy to hang out before the Lintons come over, and I think she'll be really happy to see it.” She says, like, “I think Cathy's upset because you haven't been hanging out with her,” and he's like, “Well, SHE’S upset? I'm upset!” He wants to look nice and she says, “All right, let me help you.” So she washes his face and she does his hair and everything, and she's saying, “Oh, you're going to look so great, like maybe you're younger than Edgar, but I'm sure you're taller than him and you have broader shoulders and you don't cry about every stupid thing the way he does.” And this is quite sad because he's saying, “Well, even if I was able to beat him up or whatever, I would never be as handsome as he is. I wish I had light hair and fair skin and had nice clothes and had a chance to be rich like him.” And she says, “Look, if you just quit frowning angrily constantly, just like smooth out your brow…”

J: “If you just quit fantasizing about throwing Joseph off the ballast, maybe you'd look a little nicer!”

R: Right! “Quit furrowing your forehead, quit squinting your eyes, start smiling.” And he's like, “Well, my eyes will still never become blue.” She's like “That's okay, you can still look pretty good!” So this is when Nelly gets a little racist, where she says like, “Hey, even a regular old black person could have a nice face if they have a good heart.” Nelly, come on! Why do you have to bring that into this?

J: “Yes, even you.”

R: Yeah! So she says, “Hey, we don't know who your parents are, so why don't you imagine that your father was the emperor of China and your mother was an Indian queen? Like, why not just imagine something good?” So, yeah, he's clearly not white, I'm going to say that again. But how can you be like, “Oh, yeah, you’re part black, your dad could be Chinese and your mom could be Indian” within the same paragraph?

J: I feel like in a certain time period, in a certain place, everything that's slightly ethnic is just black. Right?

R: Yeah, it was weird.

J: Aren’t they just kind of using these things all together?

R: Yeah.

J: I do like that idea, though, that like, “Well, we don't know who they are. So why don't you just imagine they're both rulers of separate countries?”

R: Yeah. And they're much richer than the Lintons could ever be.

J: Yeah.

T: That’s cool.

R: So, that cheers him up a little bit and he's excited, but unfortunately he runs into Hindley and the Lintons arrive. So the Lintons arrive and Hindley sees him and makes fun of him and is like, “Oh, trying to look good, are you? Well, I'm going to pull your hair so that it's even longer!”

J: I wish my hair would get longer that way. Like, would that work?

T: “Oh, it just came out.”

R: So Edgar says like “Well, they're already long enough. I'm surprised they don't give him a headache. It looks like he's got a colt’s mane.” And Heathcliff, in response to this, grabs a pot of hot applesauce and throws it in his face!

T: Gosh!

J: Because he didn't even really say anything that bad!

R: So Nelly, in revenge, she grabs a cloth to clean him off, but she says that she spitefully scrubbed his nose and mouth and told him it served him right for meddling. And Cathy shows up. His sister’s crying. Cathy says to him, “You shouldn't have said anything to him!” and Edgar's crying too, and he says, “I didn't say anything to him!” Yeah, you talked about him in front of him. That's also not great.

J: Yeah, he says, “I promised I wouldn't say one word to him, and I didn't.”

R: Yeah, “I promised my mom!” But so Cathy's like, “Well, quit crying, both of you. You're not killed, so just shut up, we're fine and don't make it any worse than it already is.” Her brother shows back up and has been apparently beating Heathcliff quite a bit, and then locks him in a room upstairs. So Nelly is watching Cathy and is thinking, “Damn, this girl is so cold, she doesn't even care about what happened.” But then she sees one time, she sees tears well up in Cathy's eyes and she immediately drops a spoon and pretends she has to go under the table and look for it. So then Nelly's thinking, “Okay, okay, okay.”

J: “Oh, she's not as coldhearted as I thought.”

R: Yeah, not as coldhearted.

J: So they had a dance.

R: Heathcliff is locked up and Cathy says like, “Oh, you know, the music sounds better…. uhhh, over here! Upstairs!” And she sneaks away and Nelly says “Here, I'll take you to him,” and so Cathy kind of creeps into the room and she hears them talking and they're able to spend some time together at Christmas. So later he tells Nelly that he'll get his revenge and he's like, “I just hope that Hindley doesn't die before I am able to.”

J: Because Hindley's a terrible alcoholic.

R: And Nelly's like, “Okay, that's enough! That's enough of that.”

J: She's like, “Ehh… let's let God take care of that. Don't worry about it.”

R: Yeah, so she tries to stop telling the story for the night because she says it's late. But Mr Lockwood's like, “No, no, no, I loooove to stay up late. I wake up really late too! Keep going,” and he doesn't let her stop gossiping.

J: He just says a bunch of weird things and then it's clear that Nelly is like, “...Okay,” and then just moves on. But so he says - She's like, “Oh, I'm so sorry, I don't know why I've been talking so much, I know you're tired. You want to go to bed.” And he says, “No, no, I love to sleep in till ten, so it's no big deal for me to stay up till one or two in the morning.” And she's like, “You really shouldn't do that.” And he goes, “Well, look, Nelly, don't you ever feel like you're watching a cat licking a kitten and if the cat neglects even one little ear of the kitten, then you would be really mad at it?” And she's like “What?”

R: Well, yeah. “She says, “Wow, what a lazy mood to be in.”

J: Yeah, and he says, “Actually, I also perceive that when you are in a little tiny town like this, everything is much more important, so that it's the value that a spider in a dungeon places over a spider in a cottage.” He says people in little towns live more in earnest, they look in more on themselves, they change on the surface less. Basically, he's saying everything that happens in this little tiny town between these two households is so intense and interesting because there's nothing else going on.

R: He says, “I could fancy a love for life here almost possible, and I was a fixed unbeliever in any love of a year's standing.”

J: Yeah, she says, “Uh, well, you know, we're the same as anywhere else once you get to know us.”

T: Oh, god.

R: Yeah, “We're just normal people, you weirdo.” And then he says, “Excuse me!”

J: And then he says “No, Nelly, you are proof of the opposite, because you are smart AND a servant!”

R: Yeah, “You're way better than servants in the city because you have had to cultivate your reflective faculties for want of occasions for frittering away your life in silly trifles.”

J: Basically, you're so bored all the time you have to think about things. Yeah, because there’s so little to do.

R: And she's like, “Oh, no, I'm just a normal person. You know, I've had to go through some tough things. And also, yeah, I've read all the books in this library. So, uh, anyway, back to the story.”

J: “I’m just a normal person, but also I've read everything in the library.”

T: I feel like he kind of reminds me of Holden Caulfield.

J: You think?

T: Just wanting to tell people his perspective on life, but it's totally baffling.

R: Yeah. Oh, the thing about the cat with the kitten was because she said, “Okay, let me skip over three years in the story,” and he's like “No, I would get so mad, because wouldn't you get mad if you saw a cat not cleaning a whole kitten?”

T: Because that's what you're doing right now. You're metaphorically licking a kitten’s ears.

J: And she's like, “This guy's insane.”

R: “You missed a spot!”

J: So she goes all right, well then, let me go back to the summer of 1778, nearly 23 years ago.

R: Yeah, “I'll just skip a few months, if that's okay with you, weirdo.”

T: And then looks over and it turns out it's a dead rabbit licking another dead rabbit. “Ugh!”

R: “How unlucky!”

T: “I messed that up again!”

J: “Ohh, no!”

R: “Goddamn it.” Yeah, so we're in chapter eight and I think we can go decently quickly through this. So, Hindley's wife has a very beautiful baby son named Hareton, which is, you remember, the youth we saw in the first or second chapter.

J: Who is eating his bread with unclean hands.

R: Exactly. So the wife gets ill and she dies very soon after. The whole time, Hindley is denying that his wife is sick, but it's very obvious that he knows she is and he can almost… like, he cannot bear to be around her, it seems, even though she also is like totally ignoring that she's about to die. And he always says, like, right up until she dies, he says, “Oh, she's about to be better! She looks so much better today!” And then she dies. And as soon as that happens his life is over.

J: Yeah.

R: Like, he's devastated.

J: He drinks constantly, he just rages out all the time and it's awful.

R: Kind of ignores his baby.

J: And so after this, the whole family kind of sinks into disarray, because the servants pretty much all quit except for Nelly and Joseph, because no one can stand to be around Hindley, because he's so miserable and angry.

R: And Nelly says, I think, that “Because he was basically my foster brother, I was willing to put up with more than most people.”

J: Yeah, Catherine and Heathcliff have like a… basically a terrible example of an adult in the house. And Nelly says basically everything would have been completely awful, except that the only decent people who ever visited was Edgar Linton coming to visit Miss Cathy. “At fifteen, she was the queen of the countryside.” So there were, you know, hardly anybody around, but…

R: She was the prettiest.

J: She's the prettiest of all the… no women that are out there, I guess.

R: Yeah. So the problem is, Cathy has grown up to be essentially very two-faced, which in this case means that when she's around Heathcliff, she acts totally one way, and then when she's around the Lintons, she acts in a completely different way. Like, she's not able to synthesize those two parts of herself. So instead it just seems like she's fake, I guess. And then Heathcliff's problem is that he has totally lost all of his knowledge. Like, he couldn't see the tutor anymore with Cathy, and he kept up for a little while with some tutoring afterwards, but eventually he just couldn't do it anymore. So he totally stopped caring, and it seems like forgot everything he ever knew. And he's gotten just very grumpy, obviously because he's so jealous of the Lintons.

J: Yeah, and he's also just getting more and more insecure about his failings compared to Edgar. And he's like, “I can't keep up with Cathy and my schooling, like, no one’s caring for me anymore, she’s growing closer to Edgar, like yeah, everything's awful.”

T: Oh, man.

R: Yeah. So the worst day arrives, which is, Hindley left home for the day and Joseph is off doing something. So Heathcliff thinks, “Oh great, I can hang out with Cathy today, because no one can tell me not to.” The problem is she knew her brother was going to be gone, so she invited Edgar Linton over to visit, because she thought Heathcliff would be working. So he sees her wearing the nice dress and he says, “Oh, are you going somewhere?” and she says no. He's like, “Oh great, well we can hang out today,” and she says, “Well, you have to do your work.” He's like, “No, I don't have to do my work. Joseph's busy.” So she's kind of trying to persuade him to go somewhere else. Edgar shows up while they're talking. They're having a fight. She tells him, “You never talk, how could I enjoy hanging out with you?” And he's like “You never told me that you don't like that I don't talk!”

J: Yeah, she says, “What good do I get? What do you talk about? You might be dumb or a baby.” He says, “You never tell - you never told me you don't like my company.” And she's like “It's not any company. Like, you just sit and you don't say anything.”

R: Yeah, “You never respond to me.” Which apparently, according to Nelly, is accurate. Like Cathy was trying, but Heathcliff just wouldn't give her anything.

J: Yeah, he was just too mad.

R: He was just too angry, too prideful. Edgar shows up and he's so happy to see Cathy.

J: And Cathy's like, “Oh, what a surprise!” As though she didn't know he was coming.

R: Heathcliff like, storms off, and Nelly - the reason we get this information is because Hindley said, “Don't leave them alone.” So she stays in the room doing chores, and Cathy keeps trying to make her leave. She's like, “Can you not do this?”

J: Yeah, she says, “Mr Hindley had told me I need to be in the room with them at all times,” so she wouldn't leave.

R: Yeah, but she doesn't tell Cathy that.

J: She doesn’t tell Cathy that.

R: She says, “I have to do a chore, and you know, Mr Hindley finds it annoying when I do this around him.” And Cathy says, “Well, I find it annoying when you do it around me, so can you please leave?” And then Nelly just says, like, “No.” And then does her chores some more. Or like doesn't respond, but continues to do her chores.

J: And in response, Cathy, thinking that Edgar hasn't, or isn't seeing her, pinches Nelly very hard, really hard, like enough to leave a mark. And Nelly jumps up and decides to, you know, kind of reveal her for who she is, and is like, “How could you do this to me? That hurt really bad!”

R: Yeah.

J: So Cathy denies it. She's like, “I didn't do anything, you liar,” and Edgar is like, “What is going on?”

R: She shows the pinch. She's like, “Look at this giant purple mark on my arm. Where did this come from, if you didn't pinch me?” She slaps Nelly. Yeah, [Hareton is] crying because of her slapping his nurse. And then she picks up the kid and SHAKES him! Until he turns, like, pale, I guess?”

J: And Edgar tries to take the kid.

R: Yeah, so he puts his hands on her to try to stop her…

J: And she punches him in the ear! Right in the lug!

R: Right in the lug. So then Nelly grabs the little boy and runs into the kitchen, but leaves the door open because she wants to hear how they're going to resolve their differences, I guess?

J: Yeah. So Edgar goes to leave. Catherine's like, “You can't go anywhere!” And he goes, “How can I stay? You just hit me.”

R: “You've made me afraid and ashamed of you. I won't come back.”

J: Yeah.

R: “And you lied.” She's like “I didn’t -” He says, “You deliberately lied,” and she's like, “I didn't do anything deliberately!”

J: So she says, “Well, fine, go away, I'll cry! I'll cry myself sick!”

R: He's able to leave the house, but he's kind of standing there, and so Nelly walks up and is like, “Look, she's really bad. You should just go home, or else she's going to purposefully make herself sick just to make us feel bad for her.”

J: But she sees that he's not going to be able to get away, and she's like “Nope, he's already caught.” And sure enough, he walks back into the house.

R: Yep, he walks back in. And then when she sees them inside, she realizes that actually, somehow their quarrel had made them even more close than they were before and it had enabled them to “forsake the disguise of friendship and confess themselves lovers.”

J: Yep. And then suddenly Hindley comes home. So Nelly goes to hide the child, and Catherine runs away, and Linton gets onto his horse and now we’re in chapter nine. Final chapter. Hindley is extremely upset to find that Nelly has hidden his little infant son, or toddler son, in a cabinet and is like, “Aha! I found this thing. I can't believe he's hiding from me!”

R: “I'm going to make you swallow the carving knife, Nelly.”

J: Yeah.

R: And she says to him, “I don't want to swallow the carving knife. It's been cutting red herrings. Can you just shoot me?”

J: Yeah, and he says, “Don't worry about it, I've just crammed Kenneth, the doctor, head downmost in the Blackwood Marsh - or, Blackhorse Marsh.” So he says, “I just killed the doctor who told me that my wife would die.”

R: “So I might as well kill you, too. Who cares?” And then he's like, “Give me this knife!” He tries to force it in her mouth and she says, like, she wasn't worried about him. So she's like, “Whatever,” and spits it out.

T: What??

R: And then he says, like, “Bring me this boy.” Yeah!

T: What, what?

R: He has the knife between her teeth, but she's like, “Ugh, I'm used to this.”

J: “I was never much afraid of him.” So she spat it out and says, “That tastes bad.”

R: Yeah, “It tastes like fish!” And so then he's like, “Bring me the boy, I'm going to crop his ears. I like it when dogs have cropped ears. They look so much better.”

T: Wow.

J: “It makes them fiercer. And this kid cries all the time because he's such a wimp.”

T: I'm turning against this guy.

J: You're turning against this guy?! You should have been against him the whole time!

R: “I'm finally starting to realize, he might be a bad dude.”

T: I was thinking it was going to be a redemption arc, but I don't know anymore.

J: I don’t think so!

R: So he tells the boy, he picks him up and he goes, “Kiss me. What? It won't?” He says, “Damn thee! Kiss me!” to his little crying baby son, he's damning him. And so then he grabs the boy, and he's walking around and he… he Michael Jacksons his boy.

J: He Michael Jackson-d him.

R: He dangles him over the railing of his house.

J: But he went one further.

R: And then he gets distracted, and DROPS HIS BABY.

R&J: But… Heathcliff… happens… to be…

J: Standing…

R: Walking by…

J: Oh, I thought we were gonna finish that [together].

R: No, sorry. But he - he just by reflex catches the baby and then puts him down.

J: And immediately is like, “Fuck! I can't believe I saved this guy's baby, I hate him!” Like he wishes he hadn't done it.

R: Nelly said she sees in his face that he's like, “Damn it, that would have been the perfect revenge!” And she's like, “If it wasn't bright down there, I know that he would have crushed that kid's skull.”

T: If it wasn't bright?

R: Like, it was so bright they were able to see him catching the baby.

T: Ohh.

R: She's saying if it was dark and he could have gotten away with it, she thinks he would have killed that kid and pretended he fell.

T: Gosh.

J: Yeah. This is so dark. I mean, like, cramming a knife in someone's mouth, like, sawing someone's… blegh!

R: I know. And then she says -

T: That’s a little judgmental when somebody else just dropped a baby out a window!

R: I know. Yeah, like, he saves a baby's life.

T: “But, oh, you're the bad guy, because if we had not been able to see you…”

J: She describes his face as “a miser who's parted with a lucky lottery ticket and finds out the next day that he lost 5000 pounds.”

R: Yeah.

J: And that's what he looks like when he realizes that he saved the baby.

R: Right.

T: Wow.

R: Yeah. And so then, of course, Hindley tries to blame Nelly. He says, like, “You should have taken my baby away from me! Why'd you let me do that?”

T: Woah.

R: But so she says to him, “Can't you just be better? Everyone hates you! Have mercy on your own soul! Don't you want to go to heaven?” And he says, “No, actually, I want to go to hell to spite God.”

J: He's real mad.

R: Like, what?!

J: He said he would take great pleasure, basically, in sending his own soul to punish God. To - to hell to punish God.

R: And drinks some more. And then Heathcliff says, “Well, it's a pity he can't kill himself with alcohol. He's definitely doing his best, but the doctor said he's probably going to be fine and die of old age.”

J: But do you think he really just killed the doctor?

R: No!

J: Oh, he just said that?

R: I don't think he killed the doctor. I think he like, pushed him or something.

J: Oh, okay.

R: Like, sticking somebody's head in the mud isn't going to kill them anyway.

J: If you do it for long enough!

T: Or often enough.

J: Or often enough! Like once a day, eventually it’ll get ya?

T: Yeah.

R: She takes the little baby into the kitchen and she's rocking him, and she's singing a song called “The Ghaist’s Warning”, which is a little prescient, don't you think? So, she's rocking this baby. Heathcliff is in the kitchen at first and then leaves, and she thinks that he's gone outside, but he has not. He's like laying on a bench in the darkness. And Cathy comes in and tells Nelly, like, “Hey, can I tell you a secret and you don't tell anyone?”

J: And she's like, “Nah, I really don't want you to do that.”

R: “Yeah, don't tell me, I don't want - don't tell me the secret.” She's like, “Oh, come on, just listen.” “No, please, don't tell me your secret!”

J: She said, “Fine, I won't tell you my secret, I'll tell you my dream.” And Nelly freaks the fuck out and is like, “I DON’T WANT TO HEAR A DREAM!”

R: She's like, “No, no, please, don't talk about your dream!”

J: “It's too scary!”

R: “It’s so boring when people talk about their dreams! Anything but that! Stick a fish knife in my mouth.”

J: No, she really freaks out.

R: Yeah, so, she says, “Here's the secret. Edgar asked me to marry him today and I'm not going to tell you my answer, until you tell me if I should have said yes or no.”

J: And she's like, “What is this stupid shit? I don't know what you could possibly mean.” She says, “Well, do you love him?”

R: Do you want to read the dialog this time?

J: I'll be Nelly.

R: Okay.

J: “Well, first and foremost, do you love Mr Edgar?”

R: “Who can help it? Of course I do.”

J: “Why do you love him, Miss Cathy?”

R: “Nonsense, I do. That's sufficient.”

J: “By no means. You must say why.”

R: “Well, because he is handsome and pleasant to be with.”

J: “Bad!”

R: “And because he is young and cheerful.”

J: “Bad, still!”

R: “And because he loves me.”

J: “Indifferent, coming there.”

R: “And he will be rich and I shall like to be the greatest woman of the neighborhood and I shall be proud of having such a husband.”

T: Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!

J: “Worst of all!”

T: Oh.

J: “Nope, worst of all. And now say why you love him. Or, now say HOW you love him.”

R: “As everybody loves. You're silly, Nelly.”

J: “Not at all. Answer.”

R: “I love the ground under his feet and the air over his head and everything he touches and every word he says. I love all his looks and all his actions and him entirely and all together.” Okay. So then, basically, Nelly says, like, “That's stupid. You just said you love him because he's handsome, young, cheerful, rich and loves you.”

J: And she says, “Those are all things that are basically impermanent, like, he's not going to be handsome or, you know, lovely or cheerful or young forever.”

R: Yeah. And she says, “Well, he is right now, and I'm going to marry for the present.” And Nelly says, “Well, if all you care about is the present, then yeah, sure, marry him. Good idea.”

J: Mhmm.

R: And she says, “You love him, he loves you. You'll get out of this house. What's the problem?”

J: She says, “Where is the obstacle?” And Catherine says - Cathy says - “Here, and here!”

R: Her head and her breast.

J: Touches her chest and her breast, right.

R: Her chest and her breast!

J: “In my soul and in my heart!” Chest and breast. Is that what I said??

R: Head and breast. Yeah.

J: “In my soul and in my heart. I'm convinced I'm wrong.” Oh, this is where she says, “Do you ever dream queer dreams?” And she's like, “Well, here, I've dreamed some things and I'm going to tell you it, but you can't smile at it.” And she's like, “Don’t you DARE.”

R: “I don't want to hear it at all.” Yeah, “Shut up, no dream talk.”

J: Yeah.

R: So the dream is, Cathy says, “I dreamed that I went to heaven, and I was miserable. And I cried and cried. And the angels were so angry that they cast me out of Heaven, and I landed on the heath at Wuthering Heights and I was happy again.” And she says, “That explains why I'm conflicted. Because I have no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven. Basically, if my brother hadn't destroyed Heathcliff like this, I never would have even thought of marrying Edgar, but it would degrade me to marry [Heathcliff] now, so he shall never know how I love him.”

J: When she says, “It will degrade me to marry him now,” this is when Heathcliff, who has been listening outside the entire time, gets up and leaves.

R: Yes, so he doesn't hear any of the rest…

J: He does not hear any of the rest of the sentence, which is “He will never know how I love him. And it's not because he's handsome, but because he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same. Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.” That's beautiful, right?

R: Yeah.

J: But Heathcliff didn't get to hear any of it!

R: I know!

J: All he heard was, “It would be so degrading to marry him.”

T: Wow.

R: And she says, “Okay, stop talking. What if Heathcliff hears you?” And she's like, “Oh, he won't hear me. Whatever, he doesn't even know what love is.” And Nelly tells her, “Well, you know what love is. Why can't he know what love is?” She said, “Think about how miserable he'll be if he loves you back, because as soon as you get married, he'll lose his friend and his love and all. Like, how could you handle being separated?” And she says, “What are you talking about? Who could separate us? I would tear them - tear up their bodies and throw them to the dogs. I would rather every single Linton melt into nothing than be separated from Heathcliff.”

J: When, two paragraphs earlier, she's like, “I love Edgar Linton. I love everything about him.”

R: Yeah, she's like, “He could melt, who gives a fuck! If I don't get to see my bro.”

J: “My brother, who I'm also in love with.”

R: Well, he's not her brother.

J: Well, yeah, but they refer to him…

R: Like, her bro. Her pal. She says, like, “No, listen. As soon as I marry Edgar, I'm going to use all his money to help Heathcliff find a better situation in life.” He's a beta!

J: And Nelly says, “That's the worst reason of all that you've given.”

R: She's like, “No, that's the best reason to marry him, to help out my friend.” And Nelly is basically saying, “He's not going to let you do that.” And Cathy is like, “He's gonna have to deal with it, because I'm gonna do it.” But she says, “Heathcliff and I were together since we were little. We felt all of each other's miseries together. If everything died but he was still alive, then I would still be alive. But if he were annihilated, the universe would turn into a mighty stranger. I should not seem a part of it.” She says, “My love for Linton is like the foliage in the trees. Time will change it as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath. A source of little visible delight, but necessary.” She says, “I AM Heathcliff.”

J: Yeah, this is the powerful part.

R: “He’s always in my mind.”

J: Okay. “Nelly, I AM Heathcliff. He's always, always in my mind. Not as a pleasure, anymore than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.”

R: Yeah, “So, don't talk about us being separated, or else!”

J: This is very, very toxic, right? Like is it great or is it toxic?

R: It wouldn't have to be toxic.

J: Yeah.

R: It is, because of what she's doing.

J: Yeah.

R: And what her brother did. And racism.

J: Okay, so there’s a lot of -

R: But it doesn't - I don't think it has to be, for a teenager to feel this way. I don't think that's a sign of like, some kind of terrible codependency, necessarily.

J: But do you think their connection is, like, supernatural in some way? Because it kind of becomes supernatural.

T: Yeah.

R: I think that they are meant to be soul mates.

J: Right.

R: And I think they're the only soul mates in this book, and perhaps in the whole world. I think that's the point, is that these two, like, they are connected.

J: They’re star-crossed.

T: Wow.

R: Yeah. Anyway. So she's like, “Look, whatever, don't tell me anything else. I won't be able to keep those secrets.” And [Cathy’s] like, “Oh, so you'll keep the ones I told you?” She's like, “No, I can't promise that.” But anyway. So they're about to argue some more about that, and then Joseph interrupts and says, like, “Where is Heathcliff?”

J: But like, in a much longer and more Scottish way.

R: Yeah, much more Scottish. So Cathy says, “Well, I've got to talk to him.” She runs outside, she's yelling and yelling at the top of her lungs and she can't find him. And she's like, “Well, I have to talk to him tonight,” because Nelly says, “Yeah, I think he heard what you said about it being degrading for you to marry him.” So she freaks out and she runs outside, and it's raining at this point. She's like looking for him in the dark, in the rain and the cold, and she gets very, very sick, and Heathcliff never comes back. The Linton parents come to visit her, they catch what she has, and both of them die from her cold.

T: Oh, no.

R: Yep, exactly. So three years pass, and Cathy ends up marrying Edgar. It's like exactly three years after his parents’ funeral, and she forces Nelly to go live with her at Thrushcross Grange, which explains why she's there now. And she doesn't want to leave the little boy and tries to stay with him, because he's only four years old, I think. Yeah, she says he's almost five, and she wants to stay. But Cathy complains and complains, and Edgar offers her tons of money and then Hindley says like, “I don't want any women in this house after Cathy's gone, so get out, we'll raise the boy ourselves.” So she says she hasn't seen the little boy since he was five and she says like, “I wonder… he probably doesn't even remember that there was a time when we both loved each other more than anything else in the world.” Which is pretty sad.

J: Yeah.

R: She lives only four miles away and she never saw that little boy again. At this point, it is 1:30 am and she finally says like, “I am definitely going to bed.” And then does. And then Lockwood stays up for an hour or two longer, just thinking and thinking. He's going to summon the courage to go to bed “in spite of aching laziness of head and limbs”. So he's so lazy he doesn't even want to go to bed.

J: I feel that. I feel like I'm often so tired I don't want to get up and go to bed. I know.

T: Yeah, that’s a thing.

R: It certainly is a thing.

J: I also feel like I would be afraid to go to bed because you were just, like, four miles away a little ghost girl -

R: Accosted by a freaking ghost!

J: Yeah, climbed in your window.

T: Yeah, but he got the better of her!

J: He really showed her!

R: Yeah, he came out on top in that ghost fight.

T: I wouldn’t be scared of ghosts after that.

R: So anyway, that's the tale. That's where we are. That's the end of chapter nine. What are you… What are you thinking so far, Jackie?

J: Me?

R: Yeah.

J: I'm having a great time.

R: Oh.

J: I like it. I feel like it moves pretty fast, actually.

R: Yeah, it does. So I've read it… I took a gothic literature class. I took at least one gothic literature class, and I did have to read this. I didn't enjoy it that much then. I don't know why. Maybe I was reading too many other things at the time, but this is very immersive. Once I start reading it, I'm just kind of sucked into it and I think everyone's emotions are just so intense, everything is so intense, that when I come out I'm like, (gasp) what?

J: Yeah, yeah.

R: Just kind of like, taking in a deep breath. I don't know. I think as a teen I thought their love was stupid, but now, I'm… I buy it.

J: So my theory is, I think as a teenager, and like you haven't experienced anything yet, you're just like, “Eh, I don't know… all love seems really dramatic and not that realistic.” So it doesn't seem that special that it's that dramatic. Like that's pretty much everything that you see.

R: Mhmm.

J: But then I feel like if you ever get anything close to feeling like Cathy feels, or like Heathcliff feels, it's like… it just feels, like you said, very immersive, like it's insane.

R: Also, just like with Catcher in the Rye, when you're a teen and you read about a teen, a lot of times I feel like we have a tendency to be like, “Oh, come on, why are you acting like this?” So these two are brats.

J: Yeah.

R: So when I was a teen I was probably thinking like, “I wouldn't want to hang out with them,” but as an adult I'm just thinking these are two abused children.

J: Yeah.

R: I feel so bad for them.

J: I guess I'm… I, as a teenager, and even now, don't really think of them as teenagers. Like not to the same degree that I thought of Holden. Holden, now, is obviously like, this poor kid. But like with Cathy and Heathcliff, I almost feel like you're supposed to think of them as more adult than they are.

R: Yeah. And I think just knowing a little bit more about psychology, somehow I am able to buy it more. Like the two of them having to survive such a horrible situation, I can see how they would just cleave together so tightly.

J: Well, imagine if Cathy never started to like Heathcliff at all, he would have been so alone.

R: Yeah.

J: And like, why DID she start to like him? Like there's really no reason for that. She started to just care about him, but…

R: I'm sure it was because she was bored. She had nothing else to do. What are going to do? You're gonna hate this kid forever?

J: There's got to be a more interesting explanation. No! Hindley hated him forever…

R: Maybe they realized they’re really the same person!

J: That's the thing! Like it's more powerful than just being bored. They realized they had, like, kindred spirits or something.

R: Yeah.

J: Well, she tells Nelly, like Rachel was saying, like she has trouble reconciling these two sides of her, her wild side and her gentlewomanly side. But it's clear that her wild side is her real side, like she has a real side.

R: I think that if she hadn't been pulled apart like this, that she would have actually been able to synthesize it better. Like I was saying earlier, like I don't think the wild side is the real her. I think she was forced to keep these things separate. Like, she's genuinely become interested in fashion, and that's a totally valid thing for her to be into, you know? Like, it can be fun for her to do that, but just because she had to keep it so separate she wasn't able to figure out like, what would have been the real her. You know?

J: I guess it's a little bit like any story of, like, a tomboy or something that grows up and it's like, you know, you can like pink and also still be smart! You know? You don’t - you can be both. Oh, poor Cathy.

R: I feel bad for them. I love these reviews that are like, “Ugh, Heathcliff, he's disgusting! What a wretch, what a monster!”

J: So far he hasn't really done anything. He's saved a baby.

R: Yeah, saved a baby, he threw some hot applesauce at a bully, a rich punk.

J: That was pretty funny, right?

R: I would love to see Mr Lockwood interact with Mr Collins.

T: Because they're both oafs?

R: But in totally different ways.

J: Very different ways. And I would like to see Joseph interact with Mary, Mary the Bennett sister, and Joseph the vinegar face.

T: Maybe THEY’RE soulmates.

J: Maybe!

T: I would love to see… or, I'm wondering if YOU would… love to see Lizzie rip Lockwood a new one.

R: Yeah, I'd like to see her rip adult Heathcliff a new one too. I think she'd have a good time if she lived near Wuthering Heights.

J: That would be a really fun crossover, like it would just be so much more cheerful.

R: Well, the characters in Pride and Prejudice are much more practical. The only person who has these passions is Lydia, and she's a fool.

J: Well, Nelly…. Nelly is kind of a good character, right? I mean we're not quite sure what her motivations are and whether she's always telling the truth, or whether she's objective, but she's pretty interesting.

R: She's a nice POV character, I would say.

J: Yeah.

R: I think she's got a good head on those shoulders.

T: Yeah.

J: It's because she's read every book in the library.

R: Yeah. I do like how she interacts with Mr Lockwood. I think that's so funny. I hope he has more of these, like, rabbit issues. I hope he's unlucky again.

J: Yeah, I hope he's unlucky in cat identification again. I don't know, I think, like you know, I'm from such a small town, I feel like maybe this is just… I feel like he's right that things just are much more intense when you don't have anything else going on. Like people manufacture drama.

R: Remember when you guys were at my family's house and we were hollering about adulterers?

T: Yeah…

R: That's what it's like!

J: Oh, okay, yeah, I already forgot. They've blended into all the other times we were hollering about adulterers. Well…

R: All right, everyone, thanks for joining us for episode one of our Wuthering Heights miniseries. Now, if this were season one, we would end things by saying goodbye, Nelly! But since it's season two, we're in the market for a new sign off. So if you have any suggestions, we have a Facebook discussion group and announcement page at Fire the Canon [Podcast]. We have an Instagram and a Twitter @firethecanonpod. We have a gmail account. You can email us any sign off suggestions at Is that right? Yes, okay! And of course, if you would like to support us, then you can find us at As always, canon is spelled C-A-N-O-N, and we appreciate all your support. Okay, shall we go? My cat’s making sad noises.