Note: If you’ve never read Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, but plan to some day and don’t want things spoiled for you, in my chapter posts there could be spoilers.
It was odd. As a girl, Sophie would have shriveled with embarrassment at the way she was behaving. As an old woman, she did not mind what she did or said. She found that a great relief. – Howl’s Moving Castle
Sophie takes to cleaning right away to try to show Howl that she is valuable to have around. Howl doesn’t seem to care too much, he just wants Sophie to leave the spiders alone. Calcifer and Michael, however, say they are miserable being of Sophie’s cleaning, but Howl doesn’t care much about their complaints either.
I’d like to talk about the castle a bit because I find it rather neat. It is, after all, a moving castle and how can that not be interesting? It seems that the castle is run by magic, which in turn comes from Calcifer. And the inside certainly doesn’t look like a castle. There is the main room, in which the kitchen, fireplace and such are, a bathroom and two bedrooms. In fact, the inside is just Howl’s old house.
Another interesting thing about Howl’s castle is that the door, depending on which color it is set on, will open to different places. I find that pretty cool and handy.
Anyway, Sophie goes on cleaning and Calcifer and Michael go on complaining. Howl, of course, doesn’t seem to care. The room that is taking the longest to clean is the bathroom because Howl spends a lot of time in there. So, Sophie tries to clean it bit by bit whenever she can.
Once she does get the bathroom clean, and Michael’s room, she goes after Howl’s room next. Sophie is quite surprised when he stops her at his door, especially when she saw him leave.
Howl and Sophie get into a bit of an argument in this chapter since she is cleaning places Howl doesn’t want clean. Sophie is surprised Howl doesn’t kick her out after their argument. Their conversation is entertaining.