Solitary Locations

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It’s very apparent early in Carmilla that it is a very different world than the one in which we live.  If you think about it, it is very rare that most of America is unconnected from the rest of society.  Between cell phones and Facebook (and other sources) it is very easy to keep in touch with people, and to see how they’re doing.

The characters in Carmilla are not afforded this sort of luxury to which we have become accustomed.  It is very clear, given the descriptions in the books, that all the people living at the castle only have each other to socialize with.  “I have said that this is a lonely place.  Judge whether I say truth.  Looking from the hall door towards the road, the forest in which our castle extends fifteen miles to the right, and twelve to the left.  The nearest inhabited village is about seven of your English miles to the left.  The nearest inhabited schloss of any historic associations, is that of old General Spielsdorf, nearly twenty miles away to the right.” (page 244).

This situation is made even more solitary by the fact that not a lot of people live in the castle. “I must tell you know, how very small is the party who constitute the inhabitants of our castle.  I don’t include servants, or those dependants who occupy rooms in the buildings attached to the schloss.” (page 245)  Added to this the fact that the narrator only is able to visit with her friends occasionally.  “And there were two or three young lady friends besides, pretty nearly of my own age, who were occasional visitors, for longer or shorter terms; and these visits I sometimes returned.  These were our regular social resources; but of course there were chance visits from ‘neighbors’ of only five or six leagues distance.  My life was, notwithstanding, rather a solitary one, I can assure you.” (page 245)

While I was reading this, it made me think of how connected we are to each other and how dependent on that sort of connection that we have become.  Even if we tried to disconnect ourselves, I doubt it would be successful.  Now, I am aware that the world is not all the same as us, and not all places have the sort of connection that we do.  But for America, the majority of us depend on our socialization.  Think about it, talking to the people in your class, talking to your teachers, talking to your friends.  How desolate it would seem to only talk to the same few people day in and day out! Yes, our narrator does not seem that bothered by it, the descriptions just seem to be telling us of her life and the fact that it does get lonely.

It’s interesting to think about the clash of our modern society with the one this book describes.  Would we be able to handle the solitary location?

Wuthering Heights Part 2: The Movie and The Book

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I watched the Wuthering Heights movie (The Masterpiece Classics version) 

A big difference that is noticeable right away is the fact that the movie starts at the end of the book, when Linton is going to live with Heathcliff.  It continues until Young Cathy is locked in the house and being forced to marry Linton.  It’s interesting that the movie starts out in this way, rather than following the book with having Mr. Lockwood there and Nelly telling the story.  In this version, there is no Lockwood at all and Nelly is not the narrator of the story.  The story is being told through Heathcliff’s memory as he gazes up at the window at Young Catherine.  

Because the story is told in this way, it was necessary for the end (at least the beginning of the end) to be shown first... to provide an opening for Heathcliff to delve into his memories.  I think it also brings the audience into the movie, because it really thrusts you into the action.  There is no introduction to the characters like there is in the book (Lockwood’s stay).  This makes the audience want to know who everyone is and what is going on and why it’s going on.  However, they don’t really get to find out what is going on until the end of the movie, when the memories are over and Linton and Young Cathy marry.
Also in the movie, Young Cathy and Hareton do not marry.  The story does not progress that far, stopping after Heathcliff dies.

In the book, Young Cathy says to Heathcliff that she and Linton are in love.  “’I shall,’ said Catherine.  ‘Linton is all I have to love in the world and, though you have done what you could to make him hateful to me, and me to him, you cannot make us hate each other! And I defy you to hurt him when I am by, and I defy you to frighten me.’” (page 269). She uses this fact to mock Heathcliff about having no one.  “’I know he has a bad nature,’ said Catherine: ‘he’s your son.  But I’m glad I’ve a better, to forgive it; and I know he loves me, and for that reason I love him.  Mr. Heathcliff, you have nobody to love you; and, however miserable you make us, we shall still have the revenge of thinking that your cruelty arises from your greater misery! You are miserable, are you not? Lonely, like the devil, and envious like him?  Nobody loves you – nobody will cry for you when you die! I wouldn’t be with you!’” (page 270).

  However, in the movie the two are just friends.  They knew each other before Linton went away to live with Heathcliff.  When Heathcliff finds Young Cathy and brings her to Wuthering Heights, she instantly recognizes Linton and goes to him.  However, it is not said that these two are in love, just that they are forced to marry.
Another difference is that when Cathy returns to Wuthering Heights, she is excited to see Heathcliff and does not insult him as she does in the book.  However, the Linton’s do come for dinner and Heathcliff does get dressed up. 

I also think it’s interesting that in the book, Heathcliff claims that Catherine’s corpse is still recognizable.   “… when I saw her face again – it is hers yet… “ (page 270).  However, in the movie, we see that she is in fact a skeleton.  We also see her as Heathcliff does, not changed in the slightest.

Wuthering Heights Part 1

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

  There are two distinct locations in this book; Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights.  Thrushcross Grange was the home in which the Linton’s resided in and is being used in the beginning of the novel as the living quarters for Heathcliff’s tenant, Mr. Lockwood.  The way that Thrushcross Grange is described later in the book makes is sound very grand.  “A splendid place carpeted with crimson , and crimson-covered chairs and tables, and a pure white ceiling bordered by gold, a shower of glass-drops hanging in silver chains from the centre, and shimmering with little soft tapers.” (page 43-44).  Gold is often connected with wealth so this room seems to show how wealthy the Linton’s are and how grand Thrushcross Grange is compared to Wuthering Heights.

  Wuthering Heights, on the other hand, was the home of the Earnshaw’s.  Though Heathcliff owned both of them at the beginning of the novel, he chose to reside here.  From the descriptions in the book, it seems to be that Wuthering Heights is more humble that its counterpart.  You can infer this from the description of the entrance.  “…Among a wilderness of crumbling griffins and shameless little boys, I detected the date ‘1500,’ and the name ‘Hareton Earnshaw.’” (page 2).  From this page, it also seems like Wuthering Heights is somewhat fortress like in its design, having the windows deeply set into the walls.  Also, Mr. Lockwood remarks that there is no entry passage, and that one steps directly into the sitting room.  This seems to display that the house is not as grand as others might be.

  It is pretty obvious that Heathcliff does not like Edgar Linton.  “We laughed outright at the petted things; we did despise them!” (page 44).  The Linton’s are all very rude to Heathcliff in fact, declaring that he is unfit for their house and not allowing him to stay with Cathy when she was injured.  They also insisted that he be kept away from their children, as if he was some kind of animal.  “…Mrs. Linton begged that her darlings might be kept carefully apart from that ‘naughty swearing boy.’” (page 50).

  Cathy definitely changes during her stay at Thurshcross Grange.  “…And her manners much improved.  The mistress visited her often in the interval, and commenced her plan of reform by trying to raise her self-respect with fine clothes and flattery, which she took readily; so that, instead of a wild, hatless little savage jumping into the house, and rushing to squeeze us all breathless, there lightened from a handsome black pony a very dignified person, with brown ringlets falling from the cover of a feathered beaver, and a long cloth habit, which she was obligated to hold up with both hands that she might sail in.” (page 48).  She also seems changed in that fact that she comments about Heathcliff being dirty, and that she is so used to the Linton children.  It seems this hurts Heathcliff’s feelings, and he tries to be ‘good’ when the Linton’s visit.

  It seems to be that the reason behind Heathcliff staying at Wuthering Heights is because of his extreme dislike of the Linton’s, and Edgar Linton in particular.


Friday, September 10, 2010


My name is Lindsay Brown.  I entered this class because I'm more comfortable in an online setting and I needed three more credits after dropping another class.  I was actually intending to take this class originally, but my roommate and I signed up for a different one (how nice it would have been to not have to catch up with all this!).  I'm technically a sophomore, though I've been in college for three years.  I started at NWTC, transferred to UW-Platteville, and then transferred here last year.  I was a biology major, but changed it to English.  I'm no good with introductions about myself, so I will just go down the list of what is posted on the main blog.

Three interesting things about myself:
-I'm very interested in all things paranormal
-My phone is always attached to my hip
-I love video games with a passion

Favorite novel:
My favorite novel would be An Abundance of Katherines by John Green.  I love all his books, but this one stands above the rest, in my opinion.  I love John Green's writing style.  I also love all of Ellen Hopkins' books.  She writes about very real issues that people deal with but sometimes get swept under the rug.
What books am I drawn to:
I like all books, I don't really discriminate.

Expectations of a novel:
When I open a book, I want it to take me to a different place.  Put me in someone's shoes, and make me live their experiences.  Experiences that I may not have had the chance to be part of.  

How online Lit classes differ:
I'm tremendously shy, so I have problems speaking in front of a large group of people.  I think online English classes work better for me because while they still have that element of discussion, it's text based and I don't have to stand up in front of people.

Online communities I belong to:
-Gaia Online

Experience with online communication:
It has been very positive for me, since I'm very shy (as I stated before).  I've meet a lot of amazing people from all over the world and am happy to have them in my life.

I love the style, I love the culture.
I love the horror movies and horror video games that come out of Japan.
And I love the sushi.

I've met a lot of amazing people here.
Also, I love dressing up my little avatar!

Elizabeth Bathory.
I'm not sure if you could strictly call her a vampire, but she is included in my copy of The Vampire Encyclopedia.
She was a countess in 14th-15th century, and her nickname was The Blood Countess.
It is said she used to bathe in the blood of young virgin girls to retain her youth.  She would take girls from lesser families and bring them to her castle to be maids, but really would torture them until death.  She was finally caught because she grew bold and kidnapped a girl of noble birth.
Her victim count is anywhere from 80-600 girls.
She was also depicted in the movie Stay Alive, where she tries to kill the players of a video game.