By Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father. After Mr. Earnshaw’s death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine’s brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries. The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.
I first read this book on the long plane ride to London when I was in high school. I remember enjoying it, but enjoyed the first part much more than the second part.
When my book club chose this book to read, my second go-around was not so enjoyable. I really struggled to see what I even enjoyed about this book to begin with. Since I believe there was a time when I called this one of my favorite books, I’m scratching my head over how I could have had such an opposite reaction on a second read. I hated basically every character in the book, especially Heathcliff and Cathy. The only character I even liked a little bit was Catherine, Cathy’s daughter, though Catherine had her moments of supreme stupidity.
It was surprising to me how dark and violent this book was. I did not really pick that up on the first read. Coming from the Victorian period, it’s almost anti-victorian in how rough and brutish the actions of most characters are. Perhaps that’s why it has endured for so long. I think this book would be an interesting one to study in a class. Both times I’ve read it, have been for fun and I’ve never studied it in depth.