"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.
About the Author
Emily Jane Brontë was the most solitary member of a unique, tightly-knit, English provincial family. Born in 1818, she shared the parsonage of the town of Haworth, Yorkshire, with her older sister, Charlotte, her brother, Branwell, her younger sister, Anne, and her father, The Reverend Patrick Brontë. All five were poets and writers; all but Branwell would publish at least one book.
Fantasy was the Brontë children’s one relief from the rigors of religion and the bleakness of life in an impoverished region. They invented a series of imaginary kingdoms and constructed a whole library of journals, stories, poems, and plays around their inhabitants. Emily’s special province was a kingdom she called Gondal, whose romantic heroes and exiles owed much to the poems of Byron.
Brief stays at several boarding schools were the sum of her experiences outside Haworth until 1842, when she entered a school in Brussels with her sister Charlotte. After a year of study and teaching there, they felt qualified to announce the opening of a school in their own home, but could not attract a single pupil.
In 1845 Charlotte Brontë came across a manuscript volume of her sister’s poems. She knew at once, she later wrote, that they were “not at all like poetry women generally write…they had a peculiar music–wild, melancholy, and elevating.” At her sister’s urging, Emily’s poems, along with Anne’s and Charlotte’s, were published pseudonymously in 1846. An almost complete silence greeted this volume, but the three sisters, buoyed by the fact of publication, immediately began to write novels. Emily’s effort was Wuthering Heights; appearing in 1847 it was treated at first as a lesser work by Charlotte, whose Jane Eyre had already been published to great acclaim. Emily Brontë’s name did not emerge from behind her pseudonym of Ellis Bell until the second edition of her novel appeared in 1850.
In the meantime, tragedy had struck the Brontë family. In September of 1848 Branwell had succumbed to a life of dissipation. By December, after a brief illness, Emily too was dead; her sister Anne would die the next year. Wuthering Heights, Emily’s only novel, was just beginning to be understood as the wild and singular work of genius that it is. “Stronger than a man,” wrote Charlotte, “Simpler than a child, her nature stood alone.”
Read an Excerpt
1801I have just returned from a visit to my landlordthe solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with. This is certainly a beautiful country! In all England, I do not believe that I could have fixed on a situation so completely removed from the stir of society. A perfect misanthropist's Heaven: and Mr. Heathcliff and I are such a suitable pair to divide the desolation between us. A capital fellow! He little imagined how my heart warmed towards him when I beheld his black eyes withdraw so suspiciously under their brows, as I rode up, and when his fingers sheltered themselves, with a jealous resolution, still further in his waistcoat, as I announced my name.
'Mr. Heathcliff?' I said.
A nod was the answer.
'Mr. Lockwood, your new tenant, sir. I do myself the honour of calling as soon as possible after my arrival, to express the hope that I have not inconvenienced you by my perseverance in soliciting the occupation of Thrushcross Grange: I heard yesterday you had had some thoughts'
'Thrushcross Grange is my own, sir,' he interrupted, wincing. 'I should not allow any one to inconvenience me, if I could hinder itwalk in!'
The 'walk in' was uttered with closed teeth, and expressed the sentiment, 'Go to the Deuce': even the gate over which he leant manifested no sympathizing movement to the words; and I think that circumstance determined me to accept the invitation: I felt interested in a man who seemed more exaggeratedly reserved than myself.
When he saw my horse's breast fairly pushing the barrier, he did pull out his hand to unchain it, and then suddenly preceded me up the causeway, calling, as we entered the court,
'Joseph, take Mr. Lockwood's horse; and bring up some wine.'
'Here we have the whole establishment of domestics, I suppose,' was the reflection, suggested by this compound order. 'No wonder the grass grows up between the flags, and cattle are the only hedge-cutters.'
Joseph was an elderly, nay, an old man: very old, perhaps, though hale and sinewy.
'The Lord help us!' he soliloquised in an undertone of peevish displeasure, while relieving me of my horse: looking, meantime, in my face so sourly that I charitably conjectured he must have need of divine aid to digest his dinner, and his pious ejaculation had no reference to my unexpected advent.
Wuthering Heights is the name of Mr. Heathcliff's dwelling. 'Wuthering' being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather. Pure, bracing ventilation they must have up there at all times, indeed: one may guess the power of the north wind blowing over the edge, by the excessive slant of a few stunted firs at the end of the house; and by a range of gaunt thorns all stretching their limbs one way, as if craving alms of the sun. Happily, the architect had foresight to build it strong: the narrow windows are deeply set in the wall, and the corners defended with large jutting stones.
Before passing the threshold, I paused to admire a quantity of grotesque carving lavished over the front, and especially about the principal door; above which, among a wilderness of crumbling griffins and shameless little boys, I detected the date '1500,' and the name 'Hareton Earnshaw.' I would have made a few comments, and requested a short history of the place from the surly owner; but his attitude at the door appeared to demand my speedy entrance, or complete departure, and I had no desire to aggravate his impatience previous to inspecting the penetralium.
One step brought us into the family sitting-room, without any introductory lobby or passage: they call it here 'the house' pre-eminently. It includes kitchen and parlour, generally; but I believe at Wuthering Heights the kitchen is forced to retreat altogether into another quarter: at least I distinguished a chatter of tongues, and a clatter of culinary utensils, deep within; and I observed no signs of roasting, boiling, or baking, about the huge fire-place; nor any glitter of copper saucepans and tin cullenders on the walls. One end, indeed, reflected splendidly both light and heat from ranks of immense pewter dishes, interspersed with silver jugs and tankards, towering row after row, on a vast oak dresser, to the very roof. The latter had never been underdrawn: its entire anatomy lay bare to an inquiring eye, except where a frame of wood laden with oatcakes and clusters of legs of beef, mutton, and ham, concealed it. Above the chimney were sundry villanous old guns, and a couple of horse-pistols: and, by way of ornament, three gaudily painted canisters disposed along its ledge. The floor was of smooth, white stone; the chairs, high-backed, primitive structures, painted green: one or two heavy black ones lurking in the shade. In an arch under the dresser, reposed a huge, liver-coloured bitch pointer, surrounded by a swarm of squealing puppies; and other dogs haunted other recesses.
The apartment and furniture would have been nothing extraordinary as belonging to a homely, northern farmer, with a stubborn countenance, and stalwart limbs set out to advantage in knee-breeches and gaiters. Such an individual seated in his armchair, his mug of ale frothing on the round table before him, is to be seen in any circuit of five or six miles among these hills, if you go at the right time after dinner. But Mr. Heathcliff forms a singular contrast to his abode and style of living. He is a dark-skinned gipsy in aspect, in dress and manners a gentleman: that is, as much a gentleman as many a country squire: rather slovenly, perhaps, yet not looking amiss with his negligence, because he has an erect and handsome figure; and rather morose. Possibly, some people might suspect him of a degree of underbred pride; I have a sympathetic chord within that tells me it is nothing of the sort: I know by instinct, his reserve springs from an aversion to showy displays of feelingto manifestations of mutual kindliness. He'll love and hate equally under cover, and esteem it a species of impertinence to be loved or hated again. No. I'm running on too fast: I bestow my own attributes over liberally on him. Mr. Heathcliff may have entirely dissimilar reasons for keeping his hand out of the way when he meets a would-be acquaintance, to those which actuate me. Let me hope my constitution is almost peculiar: my dear mother used to say I should never have a comfortable home; and only last summer I proved myself perfectly unworthy of one.
While enjoying a month of fine weather at the seacoast, I was thrown into the company of a most fascinating creature: a real goddess in my eyes, as long as she took no notice of me. I 'never told my love' vocally; still, if looks have language, the merest idiot might have guessed I was over head and ears: she understood me at last, and looked a returnthe sweetest of all imaginable looks. And what did I do? I confess it with shameshrunk icily into myself, like a snail; at every glance retired colder and farther; till finally the poor innocent was led to doubt her own senses, and, overwhelmed with confusion at her supposed mistake, persuaded her mamma to decamp.
By this curious turn of disposition I have gained the reputation of deliberate heartlessness; how undeserved, I alone can appreciate.
I took a seat at the end of the hearthstone opposite that towards which my landlord advanced, and filled up an interval of silence by attempting to caress the canine mother, who had left her nursery, and was sneaking wolfishly to the back of my legs, her lip curled up, and her white teeth watering for a snatch.
My caress provoked a long, guttural gnarl.
'You'd better let the dog alone,' growled Mr. Heathcliff in unison, checking fiercer demonstrations with a punch of his foot. 'She's not accustomed to be spoilednot kept for a pet.'
Then, striding to a side door, he shouted again'Joseph!'
Joseph mumbled indistinctly in the depths of the cellar, but gave no intimation of ascending; so his master dived down to him, leaving me vis-a-vis the ruffianly bitch and a pair of grim shaggy sheep-dogs, who shared with her a jealous guardianship over all my movements.
Not anxious to come in contact with their fangs, I sat still; but, imagining they would scarcely understand tacit insults, I unfortunately indulged in winking and making faces at the trio, and some turn of my physiognomy so irritated madam, that she suddenly broke into a fury, and leapt on my knees. I flung her back, and hastened to interpose the table between us. This proceeding roused the whole hive. Half-a-dozen four-footed fiends, of various sizes and ages, issued from hidden dens to the common centre. I felt my heels and coat-laps peculiar subjects of assault; and, parrying off the larger combatants as effectually as I could with the poker, I was constrained to demand, aloud, assistance from some of the household in re-establishing peace.
Mr. Heathcliff and his man climbed the cellar steps with vexatious phlegm: I don't think they moved one second faster than usual, though the hearth was an absolute tempest of worrying and yelping.
Happily, an inhabitant of the kitchen made more dispatch: a lusty dame, with tucked-up gown, bare arms, and fire-flushed cheeks, rushed into the midst of us flourishing a frying-pan: and used that weapon, and her tongue, to such purpose, that the storm subsided magically, and she only remained, heaving like a sea after a high wind, when her master entered on the scene.
'What the devil is the matter?' he asked, eyeing me in a manner I could ill endure after this inhospitable treatment.
'What the devil, indeed!' I muttered. 'The herd of possessed swine could have had no worse spirits in them than those animals of yours, sir. You might as well leave a stranger with a brood of tigers!'
'They won't meddle with persons who touch nothing,' he remarked, putting the bottle before me, and restoring the displaced table. 'The dogs do right to be vigilant. Take a glass of wine?'
'No, thank you.'
'Not bitten, are you?'
'If I had been, I would have set my signet on the biter.'
Heathcliff's countenance relaxed into a grin.
'Come, come,' he said, 'you are flurried, Mr. Lockwood. Here, take a little wine. Guests are so exceedingly rare in this house that I and my dogs, I am willing to own, hardly know how to receive them. Your health, sir!'
I bowed and returned the pledge; beginning to perceive that it would be foolish to sit sulking for the misbehaviour of a pack of curs: besides, I felt loath to yield the fellow further amusement at my expense; since his humour took that turn.
Heprobably swayed by prudential considerations of the folly of offending a good tenantrelaxed a little in the laconic style of chipping off1 his pronouns and auxiliary verbs, and introduced what he supposed would be a subject of interest to me,a discourse on the advantages and disadvantages of my present place of retirement.
I found him very intelligent on the topics we touched; and before I went home, I was encouraged so far as to volunteer another visit to-morrow.
He evidently wished no repetition of my intrusion. I shall go, notwithstanding. It is astonishing how sociable I feel myself compared with him.
Yesterday afternoon set in misty and cold. I had half a mind to spend it by my study fire, instead of wading through heath and mud to Wuthering Heights.
On coming up from dinner, however, (N.B.I dine between twelve and one o'clock; the housekeeper, a matronly lady, taken as a fixture along with the house, could not, or would not, comprehend my request that I might be served at five.) On mounting the stairs with this lazy intention, and stepping into the room, I saw a servant-girl on her knees, surrounded by brushes, and coal-scuttles; and raising an infernal dust as she extinguished the flames with heaps of cinders. This spectacle drove me back immediately; I took my hat, and, after a four miles' walk, arrived at Heathcliff's garden gate just in time to escape the first feathery flakes of a snow-shower.
On that bleak hill-top the earth was hard with a black frost, and the air made me shiver through every limb. Being unable to remove the chain, I jumped over, and, running up the flagged cause-way bordered with straggling gooseberry bushes, knocked vainly for admittance, till my knuckles tingled, and the dogs howled.
'Wretched inmates!' I ejaculated, mentally, 'you deserve perpetual isolation from your species for your churlish inhospitality. At least, I would not keep my doors barred in the day-time. I don't careI will get in!'
So resolved, I grasped the latch and shook it vehemently. Vinegar-faced Joseph projected his head from a round window of the barn.
'Whet are ye for?' he shouted. 'T' maister's dahn i' t' fowld. Goa rahnd by th' end ut' laith, if yah went tuh spake tull him.'2
'Is there nobody inside to open the door?' I hallooed, responsively.
'They's nobbut t' missis; and shoo'll nut oppen 't an ye mak yer flaysome dins till neeght.'3
'Why? cannot you tell her who I am, eh, Joseph?'
'Nor-ne me! Aw'll hae noa hend wi't,' muttered the head, vanishing.4
The snow had began to drive thickly. I seized the handle to essay another trial; when a young man without coat, and shouldering a pitchfork, appeared in the yard behind. He hailed me to follow him, and, after marching through a wash-house, and a paved area containing a coal-shed, pump, and pigeon-cote, we at length arrived in the huge, warm, cheerful apartment, where I was formerly received.
It glowed delightfully in the radiance of an immense fire, compounded of coal, peat, and wood; and near the table, laid for a plentiful evening meal, I was pleased to observe the 'missis,' an individual whose existence I had never previously suspected.
I bowed and waited, thinking she would bid me take a seat. She looked at me, leaning back in her chair, and remained motionless and mute.
'Rough weather!' I remarked. 'I'm afraid, Mrs. Heathcliff, the door5 must bear the consequence of your servants' leisure attendance: I had hard work to make them hear me!'
She never opened her mouth. I staredshe stared also. At any rate, she kept her eyes on me in a cool, regardless manner, exceedingly embarrassing and disagreeable.
'Sit down,' said the young man, gruffly. 'He'll be in soon.'
I obeyed; and hemmed, and called the villain Juno, who deigned, at this second interview, to move the extreme tip of her tail, in token of owning my acquaintance.
'A beautiful animal!' I commenced again. 'Do you intend parting with the little ones, madam?'
'They are not mine,' said the amiable hostess, more repellingly than Heathcliff himself could have replied.
Table of Contents
Note on the Text
A Chronology of Emily Brontë
Biographical Notice of Ellis and Acton Bell
Edito's Preface to the New Edition
Extract from the Prefatory Note to 'Selections from Poems by Ellis Bell'
Selected Poems by Emily Brontë
Reading Group Guide
1. To what extent do you think the setting of the novel contributes to, or informs, what takes place? Do you think the moors are a character in their own right? How do you interpret Bronte's view of nature and the landscape?
2. Discuss Emily Bronte's careful attention to a rigid timeline and the role of the novel as a sober historical document. How is this significant, particularly in light of the turbulent action within? What other contrasts within the novel strike you, and why? How are these contrasts important, and how do they play out in the novel?
3. Do you think the novel is a tale of redemption, despair, or both? Discuss the novel's meaning to you. Do you think the novel's moral content dictates one choice over the other?
4. Do you think Bronte succeeds in creating three-dimensional figures in
Heathcliff and Cathy, particularly given their larger-than-life metaphysical passion? Why or why not?
5. Discuss Bronte's use of twos: Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange; two families, each with two children; two couples (Catherine and Edgar, and Heathcliff and Isabella); two narrators; the doubling-up of names. What is Bronte's intention here? Discuss.
6. How do Mr. Lockwood and Nelly Dean influence the story as narrators? Do you think they are completely reliable observers? What does Bronte want us to believe?
7. Discuss the role of women in Wuthering Heights. Is their depiction typical of Bronte's time, or not? Do you think Bronte's characterizations of women mark her as a pioneer ahead of her time or not?
8. Who or what does Heathcliff represent in the novel? Is he a force of evil or a victim of it? How important is the role of class in the novel, particularly as it relates to Heathcliff and his life?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I decided to read this book after I saw it mentioned several times throughout the 'Twilight Series' by Stephenie Meyer. In the book 'Eclipse', Bella compared herself to the character of Catherine and being that I had never read 'Wuthering Heights' I thought I would give it a go. I'll have to admit that it was hard to read at times because the language back then was so different yet beautiful as well. I could definitely see similarities between the love triangle that exists between Catherine, Heathcliff, and Edgar compared to that of Bella, Edward, and Jacob in 'Twilight'. I think it was a good story and I'm glad that I did read it because now I can go back through the 'Twilight' books and know what Bella means when she mentions the different characters from the story. Good stuff...
To read this novel is to succumb to a world that is strange and beautiful and cruel and mesmerizing. It reads like a dream written in poetry. It is not an easy read, but it is well worth the effort it takes to understand its complex structure, psychologically nuanced characters, and rich language. It's reputation as a love story is misleading. It is a story of love in all of its complex manifestations but not the romantic love of pulp fiction. The love Bronte refers to is love that is ambivalent, sadistic, obsessive, and, literally, maddening. Wuthering Heights is a true work of art that deserves to be read and re-read.
I'm generally not interested in the 'classic' genre and I was expecting a really slow start to Wuthering Heights, because that is what I discovered with reading Jane Eyre (I do understand that they are written by two different authors but I had expected their literary styles to be similar because the sisters were so close to each other). When I read the book for school over the summer, I was delighted to find the story fast paced, interesting, and simple yet still powerful. The intense, complex, (and somewhat boring) conversations that took place in Jane Eyre are absent from Wuthering Heights. The deeper meaning in the story is instead found more within the characters' actions, and relationships with one another. I found the characters loveable and memorable, though some of them were a little twisted.
All of my life, I had heard of the dark novel, Wuthering Heights. I had read reviews describing its complicated twists, evil characters, and intense plots. After years of putting it off, I bought it, not giving myself the chance to look back at the Classics section on my way out. I decided it was time. Cautiously opening the first page, I prepared myself. I prepared myself for a long, complicated, sometimes scary read. What I got was a hurricane of emotions that I believe every human being is capable of. Not only was it an absorbing, fascinating read, but it was a revelation. I realized for the first time in my life that every human has a dark side that he keeps hidden in the chambers of his heart. Yet what if we, the human race, were to let our emotions rule us? What if our passions were portrayed for all the world to see? I imagine that is what Emily Bronte had in mind when she first envisioned this novel, her soul masterpiece. She exposed the human race as it really is: Warm, Passionate, Tempestuous, Melancholy, and sometimes a bit Playful.
I actually got into this book by Stephanie Meyer's 'Twilight' series because they mentioned it a lot in those books. Im extrememly glad I did take the time to read this book though because it was fanominal. It's your classic love story, with a twist of evil you didn't think possible from one person [that person being Heathcliff]. The old english talk can get confusing, so it's definately one for the older readers. All and all, it's one of my all-time favorite books.
I am really passionate about Wuthering Heights. After reading it in 10th grade, it's been my favorite romance novel. It's so intensely intense. I actually don't have this version of the book, I have the Norton edition, but I really like this cover. To sum up Wuthering Heights in a sentence, it's a novel that tells the story of two people, Catherine and Heathcliff, who are fiercely, and almost violently, in love with each other but can't truly, physically be together until they are in the grave. It's simply phenomenal!
This is a great book, however, this version is sprinkled with typos. For example, every time there is an apostrophe followed by two "L"s, it comes out as an eleven. I.e., "We'll" becomes "We'11," etc. It's not exactly a deal breaker, given that it's a free copy. It does get a little taxing to try to figure out each typographical error.
i'v heard much about this book from many people,decided to finally read it. had a hard time keeping names straight and who's who. and who was the strory teller. once i finally caught on to how the book was written i enjoyed it the whole time. i didnt want to put it down. i cant believe how much drama was put into one book. i think i will read it again soon. it wont be a disapointment to anyone reading it.
the bronte's ha a darker style than the ever popular jane austen,however wuthering heights(and jane eyre) are wonderful books that are beautifully written. the first time heathcliff is really introduced,i felt my breath catch. if you want a good movie to put this book into full perspective,watch the 1939 version
I read this for the first time in high school, and I wasn't a fan. I came across the title again and thought I would give it a second chance. This story is incredibly moving. I love the interactions between Cathy and Heathcliff. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and would highly recommend it to anyone.
I love this book!!!
Many will find this book to be very dull and possibly pointless. I only found myself reading it because of an advanced literature class required me to do so. But, dragging myself through to the end, I actually enjoyed it quite a bit when I was finished. It's a good, classic romance for sure. So why might it seem boring? Well, it's not exactly modern. But that's certainly not always a bad thing. What I think gets people is the initial confusion of what's going on and the potentially not-so-thrilling plot. Both of these might sound like bad things, but the way it was written works well for what it's going for. The cruel, rich owner of Wuthering Heights named Heathcliff doesn't seem like a very likable character. Most of the book is a flashback, and it's revealed that he was very different in the past. Having almost nothing and taken in by a not so great individual, Heathcliff falls in love with a rich girl. An almost 'Lady and the Tramp' romance ensues in the moors between two estates as the romance between the two grows. Not to give away everything, but obviously things didn't work out so well. A heartbroken Heathcliff is driven to insanity by his love, and tries to make everyone as miserable as he is. If you've never been in love with someone, there is no point for you to read this. You'll have nothing to relate to. The bulk of this book is almost entirely emotion, and the plot itself can be summed up pretty fast (not to say it doesn't have a good plot). But if you feel all the emotion in the book, it's an engaging ride. I love tragic characters and empathizing with them, and this gave me a 'Sweeney Toddish' feel. If you let yourself get into it, you might very well enjoy this. I could really feel the misery and insanity in this, and for some reason that was enjoyable. I probably won't be rereading it any time soon, but it's a good book and I'm glad I read it. But if you only enjoy fast-paced books with more emphasis on moving plot, then you might want to pass this one up.
Wuthering Heights was an awsome drama that had a little action in it. The book had an intresting ending and heart breaking moments. I also recomend that you should be able to comprehend Old English and jummbled words. Enjoy!
Emily Bronte really captured The immensity of Love in this book. It is a great story of heartache, unbreakable love, and romance.
From a 14 year-old's point of view: Lately, I've been reading lots of classics for the sake of a wider vocabulary and knowledge for the future, blah blah blah. When I found 'Wuthering Heights', I made a point to read it. As I got into the story with Nelly as my guide to the past, I was hooked. Heathcliff's love for Catherine, spread over 3 generations, was unbelievable. Sometimes, I just wished that he'd die, but sometimes, I was swooned over by his undying love for Ms. Earnshaw. Basically, 'Wuthering Heights' was the best classic--not contemporary novel, mind you--I have ever encountered.
Wuthering Heights is in many ways a remarkable novel, but also a very dark one, which makes it difficult to really love. It centers on the relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff, or rather the lack of a real one...the basis of their passion for each other is pretty thin, which makes the depths of Heathcliff's obsession with her pretty hard to understand. That characterization didn't seem true to life to me anyway---rather than being passionate about one thing to the exclusion of everything else like that, people are usually passionate in general or mean all around, not this precarious mixture of the two.The story really picked up for me in the latter part, when Heathcliff attempts to continue taking out his grievances on the subsequent generation, whose ultimate fate redeemed the novel for me. So, definitely worth a read, just make sure to stick with it all the way through to the end. Still, I definitely didn't love it as much as I did Jane Eyre.
There seem to be three kinds of people in the world—at least as regards Wuthering Heights. Some consider it a swoony, romantic love story; others are appalled by the selfish and unlikable characters, and as a result come to hate the book; the blessed few appreciate Brontë¿s vision without allowing themselves to become prejudiced by either the lack of sympathetic characters or the strength of Heathcliff¿s romantic passion.If I had read the book in my teens, I might have fallen into the first camp, although I would like to think that I had too much common sense even then to mistake obsession for love. Ideally, of course, I would like to be part of that last, most select group, but I¿m afraid that for the moment I sympathize most with those who can¿t quite love the book on account of the characters.Almost everyone knows the story of Cathy and Heathcliff. What they don¿t know is that they exists as part of a larger framework (although, granted, Heathcliff is present more than any other character). Before we even meet them, we are introduced to our first narrator, Mr. Lockwood, who is Heathcliff¿s new tenant at the Grange. He has a strange run-in with the master and the other few people who live at Wuthering Heights, and afterwards questions the housekeeper Nelly Dean about Heathcliff¿s origins. It is from there that the story-within-the-story unfolds, a multi-generational saga about an endless cycle of obsession, hate, and retribution between three families: the Earnshaws, the Lintons, and the Heathcliffs.It has been argued that Nelly is an unreliable narrator, and more than a bit of a gossip. I like her, and think it is important to remember that she is very attached to the characters of her story, having grown up with some and helped to rear others. She may also be trying to distance herself emotionally from the story, afraid that she might otherwise be caught up in its torrid passions. Overall she strikes me as very level-headed and sensible, but that may be merely an illusion. It¿s an illusion I readily accepted, because level-headedness and sense are exactly what one craves when reading the book.The fact that there are Heathcliff fangirls is, I confess, mystifying to me. He¿s a villain pure and simple, not a misunderstood Byronic hero. But at least he is an interesting character. Cathy Earnshaw is another matter entirely. What is wrong with this woman? I kept asking myself. Finally, I concluded that she must have been dropped on her head when an infant. Her entire range of emotions consists of pouting, mewling, screaming, shrieking, raving, and declaring that everybody who gives her the time of day is really driving her to her death.One of the reasons I was excited to read Wuthering Heights was to compare it to that other great Brontë novel, Jane Eyre. But whereas Charlotte¿s main couple are physically unattractive, morally upright, and intensely likeable, Emily¿s are gorgeous, corrupt, and pretty dang annoying.I listened to Wuthering Heights on audiobook, read by Michael Page and Laural Merlington for Brilliance Audio. Both did a fine job, but the transitions between narrators were poorly handled. Moreover, I found having two narrators distracting, as no sooner than I became used to Page¿s voice for Heathcliff, I would have to readjust to Merlington¿s, and vice versa. The fact that I can¿t think of a preferable approach may indicate that Wuthering Heights just does not work as an audiobook.I suppose I have been rather intimate about all of the things I dislike, but despite that, I do not hate Brontë¿s book. I find it fascinating, if somewhat unlovable. Emily¿s prose is superb—just as fine and sweeping as her sister¿s—the narrative framework is deftly handled, and there is some unexpected redemption at the end. This is certainly a book I plan to return to, and I hope that a mature outlook will help me understand and enjoy it bet
I have never read anything like this book, it's so full of atmosphere and rich description. Reading it was like curling up under a big warm blanket. I read it slo-o-o-owly, making the most of every last melodramatic word.
I'd been told that if I enjoyed Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, I'd love Wuthering Heights - and I certainly loved the writing. This passed the "I don't want to go to sleep, I'm reading" test with flying colours.The characters were all delightfully complex - both female protagonists were wilful, impulsive and emphatically not a literary description of the author. As in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, the structure is that of a man narrating a woman's story, told from a woman's point of view for most of the plot, which I find ambitious but both Brontë sisters manage it beautifully.As in Jane Eyre, I found the intensity and the violence of the romance a little strange - but I suppose that's a function of taste and custom. I also had some difficulties with the length of the plot - the first half was much stronger than the second. The latter half neatly completes the plot circle, but I felt that a tragic ending after the first half would also have been possible.Of all the Brontë books I've read (so far I've skipped over Villette and The Professor), The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is still my favourite, but Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre vie for second place. Jane Eyre has a stronger plot, Wuthering Heights is much more fluently written - and all three thoroughly deserve their status as highlights of the literary canon.
I love this book so much! it is such an amazing intertwining plot that i was absolutley glued to it from stsart to end. it is quite confusing at first, but if you persiveir with it, you will grow to love it. i have read it countless times and the characteres Emily created never fail to amaze me/ make me cry! A great book that you really should read!!!
A classic, full of passion, madness and regret
SummaryWuthering Heights is a dark tale of enduring passion and violent love. Set on the wild, rugged Yorkshire moors of northern England, this classic gothic novel follows the story of Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, adopted siblings and lifelong lovers. Narrated through the diary of Mr. Lockwood, a tenant of nearby Thrushcross Grange, this strange and fantastic story tells of a love that transcends all boundaries¿even death.Mr. Lockwood is paying a polite visit to his landlord, Heathcliff, when he is expectedly stranded there during a snowstorm. Forced to stay the night at Wuthering Heights, despite Heathcliff¿s clear displeasure, Lockwood finds an unoccupied room in the grand house. Unable to sleep, however, he stumbles upon the diary entries of a young girl named Catherine Earnshaw, who writes of adventures with her young friend Heathcliff. After nodding off to sleep, Lockwood is awakened when the Catherine¿s ghost appears at his window, pleading to be let in.When Lockwood returns to Thrushcross Grange the next day, he asks his housekeeper, Ellen (Nelly) Dean, to tell him the story of Heathcliff and the others at Wuthering Heights. Nelly begins her story thirty years earlier, when Mr. Earnshaw brings home an orphaned Heathcliff to raise with his own children, Hindley and Catherine.Though Catherine and Heathcliff are, for many years, inseparable despite Hindley¿s cruel persecution, eventually the two seem to drift apart. Catherine becomes a proper young lady, and since Hindley forces Heathcliff to work in the fields after their father¿s death, Heathcliff becomes ignorant and angry. Catherine chooses to marry Edgar Linton, a rich neighbor whom she naively believes will take care of her and Heathcliff. However, Heathcliff interprets this move as rejection, and he runs away for several years.When he returns, he has mysteriously acquires wealth and prestige, though his brooding nature has not been appeased. He has vowed revenge against all of those who have wronged him. When Catherine is confronted by her two loves, Edgar and Heathcliff, she falls ill and dies after giving birth to Cathy. Before she dies, however, she and Heathcliff reassert their undying love to each other.Now, many years later, Heathcliff is more embittered than ever, and he lives to torment the offspring of his long-dead enemies. But he is constantly conscious of Catherine¿s post-mortem presence, and he is pulled toward eternal love and happiness with her beyond the grave.AnalysisDespite the many narratives-within-a-narrative (the story is a diary entry, often recording Nelly¿s narrative, who in turn often relates the detailed speeches of others), I found the story surprisingly easy to follow on audiobook. I enjoyed listening to the heavily accented speech of Joseph and other characters, though I also checked a paperback out from the library to understand what they were actually saying!Nelly¿s judgmental comments about the devilish behavior of Catherine and Heathcliff, which only seems to worsen with time, make the pair seem irresponsible and deserving of any punishment that they receive. Nelly supports this viewpoint with the opinions of Edgar Linton and Hindley, both of whom despise Heathcliff and become frustrated with Catherine, and she portrays the lovelorn couple as ungrateful and spiteful.It struck me as odd that such a seemingly selfish and cruel pair would feel so deeply for each other. In my experience, relationships between truly destructive people such as Catherine and Heathcliff never end well. But their love persists and even grows stronger with each passing year.All of the other characters in the story judge the actions of Catherine and Heathcliff quite harshly, but their persecution only serves to strengthen the depth of feeling between the two. Every time Nelly criticizes their irreverent and even cruel behavior, I felt more sympathy and understanding for them and I began identifying with the persecuted couple. No one believes in them but
One of my all-time faves.
A wonderful book. You will thoroughly enjoy reading this book.
I love this book because in the most of romances, the characters are almost perfect but in this case thei aren't! They have faults, tremendous faults and that's what makes the book interesting to see at what point the human nature can go and at what point pride and evil can make a love, possibly platonic fail!