Thursday, 7 June 2012

Wuthering Heights

Date of Reading: 11/07/2007
Author: Emily Bronte
Publisher: The Zodiac Press
Place: London
Year: 1961

           I have read this novel two times, hoping against hope that at last I will begin to love this just like all my friends. It never happened though. Book is horrible, a story of hatred with bizarre atmosphere, which I loathe to touch again. Each time I could feel the hate running through my veins, incapacitating the limbs and it makes me think "Why was I ever born to this wretched place?" It always took a few days to recover.
           Story does not have any poetic justice -- in fact, all good ones die too easily while evil Heathcliff thrive. Well, not everyone counts him as the villain; for me it seems that a love failure between two people has almost destroyed two families - fate haunted even the children. 'Wuthering Heights' can be called as a ghost story without ghosts.
             Mr. Lockwood, the narrator, is a tenant of Thrushcross Grange which is owned by Mr. Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights, a strange, rough fellow. He even catches a cold on visiting his inhospitable house. Staying in bed as an invalid, he listens to the story of Heathcliff and other inmates of Wuthering Heights from Mrs. Dean, the housekeeper, who was brought up there.
             When she was a child, the place was owned by Mr. Earnshaw and his two children - Hindley and Catherine. He adopts Heathcliff from the streets. Though Hindley hated him, Catherine was much in need of his friendship. After the death of his father Hindley takes charge and treats Heathcliff like a servant he should be. He never minded as long as there is Catherine; he was in love. But Catherine was practical and she chooses money over love and marries Edgar Linton of Thrushcross Grange. Heathcliff, heart brokenly leaves the country.
               Hindley's wife dies after giving birth to Hareton and Heathcliff comes back rich, takes advantage of the despaired, drinking Hindley and Wuthering Heights comes under his possession. To fulfil his revenge on Linton family, he flirts with Edgar's sister Isabella who has a crush on him. They run away. Catherine dies after giving birth to a young girl; she is christened after her mother - Catherine Linton.
               By the time Isabella comes to her senses it was too late; she runs away from him and gives birth to their son, Linton Heathcliff. He was weak and when his mother dies, Edgar takes him home. Thus begins the story of the second generation.
              Heathcliff claims his fatherly rights and takes Linton to Wuthering Heights where his health worsens. His father's plan is to marry him with the young Catherine so  that Thrushcross Grange too will come under him. All goes according to the plan except that Catherine loves her father too deeply to agree for such a marriage though she is in love with Linton. Edgar is seriously ill. So Heathcliff locks up Catherine when she comes to visit, beats her and she marries. By the time she escapes somehow and comes home, Edgar is near death and dies contently in his daughter's arms.

RELATIONSHIPS MAP ( courtesy : Wikipedia)

             Heathcliff takes her to Wuthering Heights and her position is much like a servant as does Hareton's -- Hindley, his father was dead by then due to excessive drinking. Linton also dies without being given a proper medical care. This is the situation when Lockwood comes. When his illness passed, he returns to London and the story is left in a stand still. After a year he passes through the place and story resumes; Heathcliff is dead and Catherine and Hareton are getting married. Peace has come to Wuthering Heights at last.   


  1. It is one of the finest books that were ever written in human history. I never fail to count it among the best five books I have read.

    1. I have heard once that readers will either love it... or they hate it. There are no middle positions when it comes to wuthering heights.

  2. Wuthering Heights I guess is an acquired taste, I absolutely loved it, and I'd started reading it in fifth grade. I'd read the full version in 6th grade and that's when it became my favorite.
    I love how Emily manages to play around your thoughts and engage and manipulate your emotions, there's not one character in the book you hold the same opinion of, and to do that, I think is incredible.

  3. I really enjoyed the book because it gives a completely different take on love and not the goody goody types. and I have read it twice too.

  4. I thought this book was an absolutely miserable read, too. There was not a single redeming quality in any of the characters, and I was so happy when Catherine finally died. If it's an acquired taste, I'll never acquire because there's no way I can reread this book.

    1. Thank you. So far you are the only one who agreed with me. I was beginning to doubt my brain has got some problems.

  5. I didn't like this book either.I dropped reading twice in the middle..Let me try one more time..:-)

  6. I have to disagree. This book, to my way of thinking, is a cherished classic that challenged perspectives of traditional 'romance' and the superficial portrayal of female characters. Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre (Charlotte's masterpiece) reveal authentic, troubled, characters that I find most compelling.

  7. I really hated this book, like you I wanted to love it like everyone else but just couldn't get along with it at all. I reviewed it here, as you can tell I got the same result.

  8. I had to study this book for my +2 in ISCE, and i had the same views as yours

  9. I saw the brilliant 1939 movie on TV when I was about 12 (movie buff that I am), and it wasn't long after that when my mother told me to check-out the novel and see what I thought (she was a fan of the Bronte sisters, but a bigger fan of the Olivier/Oberon film). I read the book -- this was a year or two after devouring 'Gone with the Wind', which is a favorite among the women in our family. I compared WH the novel to WH the '39 classic and even the version with Timothy Dalton...and I despised the book after Cathy's death, and was grateful the '39 flick didn't make me suffer with Cathy II, Hindley and Hareton. I reread the book a little while later as part of a high school project...and again, I despised it after roughly chapter 17. A few years ago, I decided to give it one more chance, and I set aside all of the adaptations: 1939, the Dalton version, the Ralph Fiennes version...and nothing has changed after all this time. There are still moments in the first half of the book which shake me to the core -- the dream of being tossed back onto Wuthering Heights, the 'I Am Heathcliff' declaration, the voice crying out 'Let me in' -- but little else, and the second generation just leaves me uncaring and wanting it to quickly end. (The only second generation I've loved in a novel or movie would be the Corleones of 'The Godfather' fame LOL). I still consider Heathcliff and Cathy's Gothic romance one of the greatest in literature and film...but please don't make me read past chapter 17 :-D And I'm happy to see that the 1939 movie is now on Amazon Prime! (The Tom Hardy version isn't bad either -- but there's that little problem of the second generation interference LOL).


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