‘Wuthering Heights’ – 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.
‘Wuthering Heights’ is a great romantic-gothic novel that transports you to the lonely moors of Yorkshire. The isolation that is prevalent throughout the novel holds you in its grasp and I found myself yearning for character interaction in the story. Because whilst the story of Catherine and Heathcliff is told by Nelly, I wanted to hear their version of events in a bid to find out more about the mysterious, yet controlling villain.
Heathcliff…. what a rogue! You desperately want to feel sorry for this poor boy at the start of the novel, especially with how Catherine and Hindley (her brother) treat him when he is first brought to Wuthering Heights. But then Bronte reveals more about his character and his ugly ambitions. Heathcliff is a great gothic villain and readers never learn very much about his past, where he went when he left Wuthering Heights and how he came back such a powerful character. However, over the course of the novel, his ambitions become clear and you can predict how he wishes to destroy those around him in revenge to how he was treated as a youngster by the family and even society. I couldn’t help but admire how Heathcliff grew from strength to strength, proving that no matter how little life gives you at the start, it is down to your own actions to make something out of nothing.
Now don’t get me wrong, the control Heathcliff exerts over his wife, son and niece is both remarkable and cruel. It is horrifying to see how he is able to destroy two families through calculated relationships and property ownership. He takes his revenge on the society that spurned him and becomes a very powerful man. As the novel progresses, readers can predict Heathcliff’s next move but it is how he executes it that left me wanting to shout at the other characters for letting themselves be fooled.
I really enjoyed reading this book, perhaps because of how awful Heathcliff becomes, but also because I was desperate to see what his ultimate fate would be. Whilst at times I found the narrative a little dense, Bronte’s characters give tremendous fuel to the plot. If you are the sort of person that loves to hate the villain of a story (whilst secretly admiring all that they do), then definitely read ‘Wuthering Heights ‘ and the tale of Mr Heathcliff.