Book Review (#9): Wuthering Heights

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Not so much a review as a heated, wholehearted rant regarding the characters and events of this story. Honestly though… WHY?! Why write a book full of such immoral characters, all of which more than deserve a knock on the head, yet attempt to suck the reader into their lives, just so you can give them all a dreadful end?! Just why?! 

Don’t get me wrong. I loved this book! I haven’t been so immersed in a classic since Dorian Gray. I started this book around exams time and instead of revising in the morning, I’d take myself to some secluded corner of the playground and read till it was time to take the test. Even though  I already knew how it’d all end. Even though I’d watched the movie a couple of years ago. The thing is, I went into this book thinking it’ll be tedious and heavy and bleak, mostly because of my previous encounter with Jane Eyre a while back. I just convinced myself I had something against all the Bronte sisters back then. But now, considering how immensely I’ve enjoyed this novel, I’m eager to see how my second trial with Charlotte Bronte will go. 

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But anyway… In my opinion, if you’re the kind of reader who can only read a book that has characters you can feel for and relate to, this is hardly for you. This is the kind of book you’ll go through wanting to kill each of the characters yourself because they’re all so stupid and indecisive and unkind. This is the kind of book you’ll have to read to the end just to see whether these characters will, in the end, be served what they deserve. For me, it wasn’t just that. I just wanted to see that there’s hope for some of the characters who weren’t as terrible. To see that people don’t have to serve time for crimes that aren’t theirs. That amid all the hatred and darkness, if someone is given enough reason to be good, even if they hardly have means to bring out their better nature, they’ll do it. But did I find that? You should read the book yourself if you wanna know, love. ;D

There are a lot of parallels in this book. Emily Bronte includes two generations in the story, and I felt she did that to show us how each of them dealt with the challenges put forth to them. And that, to me, was a lot of fun to see. I would’ve been so sad if the story hadn’t put the second generation in the spotlight. I think I may have enjoyed their story a bit more than their predecessors’. 

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There’s also this gloomy feel to the story that makes it so scenic and engulfing. For hours after putting the book down, I could see the gaunt house within the bright fields and the girls’ floaty white dresses and all of that.  

But you know what was most interesting to me in this story? Nelly the housemaid. Nelly is the narrator of the story, which gave the book a Downton Abby-ish feel to me. But that isn’t my point. The thing about Nelly is that she tells the story as though she hadn’t had a part in the events. She tries to tell it as though she’s Nick Carraway but she’s as guilty as many of them. In my opinion, she could’ve changed loads of things, she could’ve supported both Earnshaw and Heathcliffe, and she could’ve saved Heathcliffe from ruin. But time after time, she’d just take her hands out of matters and pretend as though it had nothing to do with her, and perhaps she was right. Nonetheless, I don’t think it would’ve been catastrophic for her to try and straighten out some things, and no one would’ve stricken her down for it!

Oh, and Heathcliffe. I could never make up my mind about where I stand regarding characters like him. Like Snape for example. I just never know if I should give them a hug and tell them that it’ll all be okay at some point, or if I should despise them for their being so cruel to people who hadn’t done anything to them. I suppose I do feel pity for them that their lives were so hard that they had to turn almost feelingless, and that their only way of dealing with it is taking out their misery on others. But still…!

Anyway.  All in all, it was a marvellous experience for me. And I do believe I will read it once again. I want to see what things will look like the second time around. But I definitely do recommend this for anyone still starting out with classics and who enjoy stories that are dark and tragic. 

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7 thoughts on “Book Review (#9): Wuthering Heights

  1. Great post! I so agree with you about this book. Many of the characters were infuriating in so many different ways, but I loved this book and couldn’t put it down. It has such a darkness and raw power to it, doesn’t it?

    On a side note, I get so irritated when people quote from this book at weddings (“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same”). Cathy and Heathcliff are so not a couple you’d want to emulate! He was jealous and destructive, and she was too proud and immature, and they destroyed each other! Much more obsessive than romantic 😛

    • Yes, raw is a perfect adjective here! 🙂

      And yeah. When Cathy said this, she was giving Heathcliff up for Linton, now wasn’t she? If I remember correctly anyway. But I suppose intent matters? If they knew it was a book about a cursed family, they wouldn’t quote it upon starting a life together though, right? I wouldn’t anyway.

      Thanks for coming by! 😀

    • I believe Wuthering Heights closely follows Dorian Gray which is my favourite classic. I’m so excited about finishing it because that means I get to reread it and I don’t get to feel that often.

      Thanks for coming by. 😀

      • Ahh, see I haven’t read Dorian Gray yet but it is sitting patiently on my bookshelf. I’m really looking forward to reading it. 🙂 Who knows, Wuthering Heights could be surpassed!

      • Well, Dorian Gray is lot of fun and it’s quite dark too. It only tops Wuthering Heights for me because of Oscar Wilde’s poetic prose. I do hope you’ll enjoy it! 🙂

  2. I get your frustration with the characters, but I really want to read this one! I’ve had the book for AGES now and I should get to it, already 😉

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