Friday, March 30, 2012

Review: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

 Source: My Personal Library
Challenge: 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

Blurb from Goodreads:
"My greatest thought in living is Heathcliff. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be... Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He's always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure... but as my own being." Wuthering Heights is the only novel of Emily Bronte, who died a year after its publication, at the age of thirty. A brooding Yorkshire tale of a love that is stronger than death, it is also a fierce vision of metaphysical passion, in which heaven and hell, nature and society, are powerfully juxtaposed. Unique, mystical, with a timeless appeal, it has become a classic of English literature.



I still can't believe that it's taken me this long to read Wuthering Heights, it's one of those books that are constantly referenced...and now I can finally stop staring blankly when it's brought up because I'll actually know what's being talked about. :P

Everyone always talks about what a great love story Wuthering Heights is, so I was expecting this grand love story. I already knew that Cathy and Heathcliff weren't the most likeable characters, and that their lovestory wasn't the most conventional, but I was still a bit shocked when I started it. First, Wuthering Height's isn't from either of their points of view, instead it is told first by a newcomer to the neighborhood, Mr. Lockwood, and most of the story is related to him through Ellen (Nelly) dean, a woman who used to work at Wuthering Heights and has been with the families for her whole life. I didn't expect it, but I actually really enjoyed reading the story through her perspective, it was so interesting...plus, I'm not sure if we'd really want to get into Cathy or Heathcliff's heads. :P

I ended up absolutely loving Wuthering Heights, which wasn't too surprising, as it's just the type of classic that I like. :) The characters weren't exactly appealing, with the exception of Nelly Dean, but they were extraordinarily characterized! I didn't really find Heathcliff to be this amazing romantic hero, and I'll admit he wasn't that attractive to me, but I definitely could understand some of his appeal. He sounded pretty much like a dark brooding beast of a man, and he was really strong, so in that way he was kind of attractive, but as a person he was truly awful. The thing I found most appealing about him was actually his love for Cathy. It was all-consuming, and the fact that the two of them weren't able to be together was heartbreaking. I wonder how different things could have turned out had Cathy and Heathcliff ended up together. 

I'm guessing that it'll be no surprise that I'm recommending this one. I think it's a classic that would be great for someone who doesn't read many classics, too, because it's actually a fairly quick read. You don't get caught up in extremely convoluted language, and the characters and story are so well defined that the story just flies by. I loved this one, and recommend it to newcomers to classics, and people who want a story with complex characters, a darker tone, and an unconventional love story.

Have you read Wuthering Heights?
Did you swoon for Heathcliff or were you kind of apathetic to him?
And if you haven't read it, do you think that you'd like to?

7 comments:

  1. This is one of the billion classics I haven't read ... someday! I'm glad you enjoyed it though, and surprised you didn't like Heathcliff, he does seem to get a lot of lusting over.

    Hopefully some day I'll no longer have that blank stare when it's referenced ;)

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  2. You definitely should read it! :D You won't be surprised once you read it...I'm really not sure why anyone actually does lust after him...he's seriously messed up. I could maybe see him being attractive physically, but even being buff and strong does not make it ok to act like he does. He's just such an unlikable character....and frankly it kind of worries me that so many people lust after him.

    You'll get to it eventually I'm sure. :)

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  3. Oh wow I had no idea he was so messed up! But yeah, maybe I will have to read this one sooner rather than later :)

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  4. Ya, I didn't think he'd be so messed up either, he's still a really well done character though. You should! :D Then we can chat about Heathcliff. :P

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  5. I hate this book XD I wanted to strangle every single character.

    I love Emily Brontë's sister's novel, Jane Eyre. If you haven't read that, I recommend it. If you want to try something lighter, Jane Austen's books are amazing. Hilarious, with the best characters in all of literature.

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  6. I actually really enjoyed it. :) But I can understand that reaction. :P lol

    Jane Eyre is fantastic, I have read it. I've also read all of Jane Austen's books and I loved them. :D Definitely Ms. Austen was a master at what she did. :D

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  7. i was just saying that it's possible to be a total misanthrope and love and live happily in a small apt lol... i empathize with heathcliffe and loved the book, tho i haven't read it in years!

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