Like most books written before 1940, and especially those written in the 1800's and below, Wuthering Heights is a bit difficult to read, and there are several boring parts.
Chapter XV (I have a different edition) for me was incredibly powerful. I could feel Heathcliff and Catherine's love for each other burning through the pages. They get only one, just one, brief moment to confess their undying love for each other. The next chapter is equally as powerful. I could feel Heathcliff's despair and rage over Catherine's death.
"Catherine Earnshaw, you may not rest, as long as I am living! You said I killed you - haunt me then! The murdered *do* haunt their murders. I believe--I know that ghosts *have8 wandered on earth. Be with me always - take any form - drive me mad! Only *do* not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! It is unutterable! I *cannot* live without my life! I *cannot* live without my soul!"
This quote and Catherine's bold confession to Nelly of her feelings for Heathcliff are my favourite quotes in the story.
Wuthering Heights definitely isn't easy to get. So many characters share the same name and sometimes it gets dull. But when Heathcliff and Catherine are together on the page, it is passionate, heart-breaking, powerful, and you will realize why Wuthering Heights is considered one of the greatest love stories of all time.
on April 22, 2015
What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said? It tells a wonderful story, frightening at times because of its intensity. It amazes me that a young women in her twenties, living in the remote Yorkshire moors, could write a book full to overflowing with love, anger, hatred, obsession and, above all, revenge. Emily Brontë only lived long enough to write this one book and it's as if she knew that she had to put everything she had into "Wuthering Heights". Read it and be amazed!
on April 25, 2004
Wuthering Heights is on of the greatest classics in literature and one I had never read until recently. I found this story of obsessive and destructive relationships very compelling and difficult to put down. It's a romance but by no means is it a happy one. Things don't go well for these people.
Wuthering Heights is the story of two families the Earnshaws and Lintons, who really should never had gotten together. It's the romance between Heathcliff and Catherine that underlies the whole book. Heathcliff is defiantly the ultimate anti-hero, he's obsessive, abusive and just plain evil, but still you feel yourself drawn into his dark world and hoping that redemption comes to him. He seems beyond it however and his destructive behaviour forms the basis of this gothic tale.
Emily Bronte's skills as a writer are amazing, her language is poetic and deep and the story is truly unique. My only criticism is concerning the way she wrote dialogue for the character Joseph, it's often illegible and I found it most difficult understanding what he was saying. That aside I really enjoyed this book and recommend it wholeheartedly as a study of human nature as it is without the influence of a Divine being.
Thanks for reading my review and enjoy this book.
on August 26, 2003
Not to be hyperbolic, but Wuthering Heights is one of the most well known and critically acclaimed novels in the English language, and there is precious little that I can add to the volumes already written on it. It is the story of two British households inhabiting the wilds of the Yorkshire moors, and illuminates the destructive undercurrents that come to uproot and ultimately destroy both clans. At the center of the tale stand the headstrong Catherine Earnshaw and the brooding Heathcliff, one of the most celebrated romantic pairings in world literature. Treated abominably in his youth at the hands of both households and having lost his love to another man, Heathcliff descends into a horrifying abyss of brutality and revenge still harrowing to encounter nearly two centuries after publication. Although the novel progresses at a leisurely pace compared to modern works, it presents the most complete and thrilling portrait of passion ever set forth in the English language. Passion is not a synonym for love in Wuthering Heights-it is an unbridled conflagration consuming all rationality and rendering its victims ravenous beasts, terrifying and magnificent in their hunger. When Catherine declares that her soul will roam the moors forever after her death, even the most confirmed atheist will find himself believing her- passion is such a billowing force in Wuthering Heights that the human body is convincingly rendered a prison of something altogether greater. At the same time, the primordial forces the book presents never become exhausting, contained as they are within a highly unique narrative framework channeling them through characters secondary to the main line of action. For those patient and courageous enough to immerse themselves in its richly textured reality, Wuthering Heights presents a world boarding on the mythic, and it comes highly recommended to the imaginative reader.
on October 3, 2009
On October 16th, of 1847, "Jane Eyre: An Autobiography", edited by Currier Bell (pseudonym of Charlotte Brontë) was published. It created some controversy at the time, as many believed it was written by a man. The novel was very popular when published, but critical reaction to it varied. Today, it is clearly a classic, the development of a young woman, who does not fit into the stereotype of a nineteenth century woman. She is not submissive, and she struggles to avoid being dependent on others. The original publication was in three volumes, but this Penguin Classics edition is based on the third edition of Jane Eyre, and it is the last edition which Charlotte Brontë edited and corrected.
The story covers Jane's life from her childhood until her marriage. The childhood chapters can be split into two sections, those where Jane, an orphan, was being raised by her Uncle's family, but her uncle has passed away and her aunt does not like her, but was forced to promise to take care of her. The key parts of this section are Jane's being rejected by the closest thing she has to a family, her morality, and her independence, i.e. her refusal to conform. The second part of her childhood is when she is sent to attend a charity school, called Lowood, where the pupils have to make do with substandard food and clothing. Here Jane finds one teacher who treats her, and the other students, well, Miss Maria Temple. One of the key things in this section is the difference between religion and morality, symbolized by Mr. Brocklehurst a clergyman who is mostly responsible for the appalling conditions at Lowood, and Jane and Miss Temple on the side of morality. Also key is Jane's witnessing her friend, Helen Burns, dying from a typhus epidemic, in spite of her goodness and her submission to the standards imposed by Mr. Brocklehurst and Miss Scatcherd, a teacher as cruel as Miss Temple is kind.
The story then picks up many years later, with Jane in position as a teacher at Lowood, but looking to move on. She advertises for a position as a governess and is hired by Mrs. Fairfax. She is to take care of Adèle Varens, a girl who is being taken care of by Mr. Rochester, the master of Thornfield Manor where Mrs. Fairfax is the housekeeper. This section has a lot to do with class, as well as morality. There is the difficulty of Jane falling in love with someone of a different class. There is also the looking down on Jane as being of a lower class, by Mr. Rochester's peers. The morality questions are here to, in the comparison of the higher classes verses that of the lower class. Even Mr. Rochester's behavior is in question, in the events leading up to Jane leaving. Jane also finds out that she does have family left, and when it appears that she is to have everything, she sends a letter to her father's brother. It is this attempt to reconnect with family that causes her to lose nearly everything as it destroys what she thought she was about to have.
The next section details Jane's life after leaving Thornfield Manor. Here she loses almost everything, and is on death's door when she is on the doorstep of Moor House. The Rivers, St. John, Diana, and Mary. It is from this state of having nothing from which she recovers almost everything she could want. Here she recovers her health, she is employed again and regains much of her independence. St. John is in love with a woman, but he will not ask her because he is driven to devote his life to religion. He does find out Jane's true identity though, and this results in Jane learning she has family, and wealth that she didn't know she had. She is pressured by St. John to marry him and join him in his missionary life, but she knows that he doesn't love her. She rejects St. John, and instead goes to find her one love, Mr. Rochester. She now has wealth and family, and she learns that tragedies in Mr. Rochester's life have made what was once impossible possible.
It is a long and winding road which Jane travels in this novel. Probably best classified as a gothic romance, it deals with numerous issues and the strength of Jane's character serves as a good role model for young women, and for that matter anyone. The Penguin Classics edition is filled with supporting documentation as always. There is a wonderful introduction by Stevie Davies, along with a Chronology, suggestions for further reading, notes on the text, opinions of the press, and wonderful textual notes which enhance the reading experience and understanding of the reader.
on June 4, 2007
One of the most endearing, original and innovative novels to ever exist, "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte exposes the rawness of a passionate love that transcends time, life and even death. Emily designs her main character with such intricate layers that Heathcliff melts into both his juxtaposed roles of romantic hero and villain, whose venomous hate inspired by the concept of lost love, sends him in a downward spiral of vengeance. Such oxymorons are embedded into all dominating themes of this novel: artificiality and authenticity, love and hate, nature and culture. Her novel delves deep into the social conflicts, prejudice and discrimination that existed in the Victorian Era. It criticizes the art of cultivation for suffocating the human spirit and tainting the purity of a love that could not exist in our physical world. A novel of furious passion, Wuthering Heights defines the battle within each human being as the choice between humanity and society. Wuthering Heights manages to shatter all existing archetypes of conventional Victorian literature and truly defines the fallibilities, beauty, and strength of the human heart.