Wuthering Heights.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I roughly knew the story of Wuthering Heights through conversations I had heard, the movie with Juliette Binoche, and of course the song by Kate Bush (one of our favourites), but I hadn't read the book until this year.
Wuthering Heights had seemed to be hyped as the ultimate love story. True love. True grief. The love of all loves. But what I found was something different.
Emily Bronte's story is one of obsession, jealousy, hate, revenge, manipulation and weakness . There was not one character I liked (except maybe Mr Lockwood), and there was only one brief part that, me the romantic, truly enjoyed.
Don't get me wrong, it is an amazing story – wonderfully written and easy to read, but I found myself yelling out loud and throwing the book down in disgust from time to time (it must have been shocking for those around me). It's just that Heathcliff and Cathy are both truly awful characters (in my opinion).
So my conclusion is: Heathcliff and Cathy's love shouldn't be glorified. Emily Bronte was brilliant. Give me Charlotte's 'Jane Eyre' any day.


  1. Thanks for the tip, i'm NOT a reader so i will continue to skip over that story. I've read Jane Eyre, had to for school, felt the movie reflected how dark & sad it was. How would they all cope with unmarried women these days?? Love Posie

  2. It's interesting different points of view. I like the anti-hero in literature and you're right, there is no truly 'good' character which is more true to life don't you think? Would Heathcliff and Cathy have been tamer people if they'd been treated better? But the idea of two young people running wild on the moors is kind of passionate. But I think what Bronte does is brings a bit of measure and justice in the next generation with Hareton and Cathy II -- that's why there is that sense of almost a finished circle. I just love that imagery of Cathy haunting Heathcliff and reaching through the window on a stormy night (I found Lockwood to be a bit drippy actually) and also that their coffins might be found to have rotted through and their hands entwined in death. Jane Eyre is sweet but the storyline of having to do away with the mentally ill wife locked away in the attic seemed just a little too convenient. But I do love the Brontes all round -- just a little rougher around the edges than Austen.


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