© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle


by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl's Moving Castle Chapter 5 Summary

Which Is Far Too Full of Washing

  • As soon as Sophie starts to clean, Michael and Calcifer complain.
  • But Sophie can't take the filth anymore. (Seriously, guys: slime. There should never be slime in a sink.)
  • When a kid comes by the house (through the Porthaven door) to pick up a safety spell for her dad's boat, she asks if Sophie is a witch working for Howl.
  • Sophie says she is, and that she's "the best and cleanest witch in Ingary" (5.11).
  • Sophie sees Michael hiding the money the girl gave him under a stone in the fireplace—Howl is terrible with money, so Michael tries to save what he can.
  • Howl comes out of the bathroom looking shiny and handsome.
  • Howl grabs his guitar and walks out the door after warning Sophie not to kill any of the house spiders during her insane cleaning binge.
  • Michael sets up a folding bed for Sophie: it looks like she can stay.
  • Sophie keeps cleaning like a madwoman over the next few days.
  • As she cleans, she looks for signs of (a) the girls' hearts Howl is supposed to have stolen, and (b) Calcifer's contract with Howl.
  • Everyone in Porthaven and Kingsbury now believes that Sophie is a witch working for Howl.
  • As Calcifer complains to Sophie about all the hot water she's using, he also mentions that Howl is so distracted because he's after a girl.
  • When Sophie gets to Michael's room, she sees some letters that look like love letters: Michael's also got a sweetheart.
  • When Sophie sees Howl going out she decides it is time to clean his room, but when she goes up the stairs, she finds Howl blocking her entry—he magicked himself there to trick her.
  • He wants his room dirty, thank you very much.
  • And when Sophie tries to clean up the yard, Howl again shows up to to stop her.
  • Sophie is confused: why does Howl even keep her here if he doesn't want her to clean?

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...