I started reading Wuthering Heights a few years ago. I remember having trouble with the language and finding the story rather boring and uninteresting. Two days ago I gave it another try and haven’t put the book down if I could help it. I didn’t enjoy the read the whole time – The book made me want to scream and rip it to peaces! After having finished it, I have to say I liked that most about it.
Wuthering Heights tells the story of three generations of two families and how their histories are influenced by a tragic and unfullfilled love. The book focusses on the life of Heathcliff, a foundling brought to the Earnshaw family and his love to Catherine Earnshaw, the daughter of the house. After he has been tormented and humiliated by both Catherine and her brother, he leaves the house for three years. He returns as a gentlemen but finds Catherine to be married to Edgar Linton and starts to plan a cruel revenge, and starts to deliberatly destroy the lifes of many people.
For me it was rather hard to understand the language used, but it was pretty nonetheless. I loved the dialog and the descriptions of the setting. I also loved that the acutal story was surrounded by another story-level, in which Nelly, a housekeeper, tells the story to a stranger, Mr. Lockwood. It allows the reader to be relieved from the depressing atmosphere of the story.
This is what I loved and hated most about the story. Emily Brontë created a character, that I hated so much I almost couldn’t continue reading. Heathcliff is often referred to in the story as a devil, and I can’t find a better word to describe him. He is an egocentric sociopath, who destroys the lives of people to amuse himself, even that of his own son. His excuse for all that is his obsessive love to Catherine and that he couldn’t have her. It is amazing how much you can hate a character in a book.
Catherine is not an angel either, she is just as selfish and self-centered as Heathcliff is. They both feel superior to all other people and think if they hurt other people it is justified, because all others are weak sheep. The reason they have for loving each other so much is that they are so much alike, and it so they just love another side of themselves that they see in the other person.
Over the course of the story, they both manipulate the people surrounding them and it is painfull as a reader to see good-hearted characters grow cruel and wary towards everyone.
I really admired, how many strong feelings the book evoked and how real and plausible the story felt. It is a true tragedy and should not be read if you feel bad. The book made me feel sad, angry, desperate and, if not often, relieved. I really love this book, though I can’t say that I enjoyed reading it.
5/5. Mind-blowing. Scariest villian ever created, got under my skin.
Wuthering Heights was first published 1847 under the name Ellis Bell.