Thursday, January 28, 2016

Classics Challenge: "Wuthering Heights"

January is practically over, and I'm finished reading "Wuthering Heights." This post might be a little confusing because, at least for me, the book was confusing. Here's a quick summary for you:

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.

First off, I wouldn't say it was a "wild, passionate" story. More like a story of five children who weren't taken care of in their youth who went on to have a painful future. The book itself moved very slowly, but the intense foreboding leaking through the typed script had me reading frantically. Things couldn't end well, I knew. Little did I know how bad they could get!
Heathcliff. Before I started "Wuthering Heights," I figured Heathcliff was some roguish, but romantic guy. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Heathcliff was a total villain throughout. I kept waiting for him to be "saved."
He wasn't. And his death was so unsatisfying.
Believe it or not, Heathcliff didn't earn the "Emily's Least Favorite Character" slot. The maid, Ellen Dean did. She went along with things so easily and allowed them to spin out of control. If anything, a majority of the tragedies in the book can be linked back to her! I also didn't like Lockwood. He wasn't the "hero" I was hoping for.
The story weaved through different time periods in different point of views--which made the plot all the more interesting. It wasn't something I expected from an older novel.
All in all, "Wuthering Heights" is worth the read, just be prepared not to encounter any "real" heroes throughout. The characters are forced to make their own happy endings from what life gave them. Some of them succeeded and some of them succumbed to the darkness that's in all of us.
In the end, I suppose "Wuthering Heights" has human nature woven through it, which might explain why it's such a cherished classic today.
Up next, "Pride and Prejudice," just in time for Valentine's Day!
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