Author: Emily Bronte (it was originally published under the pseudonym of Ellis Bell)
1st published: 1847
Gene: Gothic Novel
More info: The second was edited by Charlotte Bronte. It was originally written in three volumes. (the copy I read was edited by Charlotte)
My rating: 3/5
"Emily Bronte's only novel, Wuthering Heights remains on the literature's most disturbing explorations into the dark side of romantic passion. Heathcliff and Cathy believe they're destined to love each other forever, buy when cruelty and snobbery separate them, their untamed emotions literally consume them.
Set amid the wild and stormy Yorkshire moors, Wuthering Heights, and unpolished and devastating epic of childhood playmates who grow into soul mates, is widely regarded as teh most original tale of thwarted desire and heartbreak in Emglish language."
-from the back of the book, Barnes and Noble Classics above copy.
From the first few lines the book has a dark cloud hanging over it. The setting on the moor gives it a wild feel, and even the name of the house, Wuthering Heights, feels dark. This book really does deserve being categorized at gothic.
One of the things that I feel is important to understand this book; is to understand how drastically shocking this book was for the times. I love to read introductions in books(I tend to read them after I read the book, I find them more interesting then) so far I have found that Barnes & Noble books have the best intros. Anyway, when I read the Jane Eyre intro it mentions how Jane Eyre, and most especially Wuthering Heights, where so shocking to the culture into which it they where first published. I even remember reading that one reviewer called Wuthering Heights "immoral". I read this all with great interest, but did not fully comprehend why Wuthering Heights would be called "immoral", until I read the book. Then I understood, and though I would feel that perhaps immoral is a strong word I can understand why the reviewer felt that way. I was a little surprised at some of the things that happened in the books. It is not a "bad" book at all. I think the immoral part comes from the actions of Heathcliff.
Another thing that is surprising about the book is when you consider who the author was. Emily Bronte was the daughter of a minister. She grew up in a very secluded place. She had little to no contact with the world. She was a very quiet, shy person. I believe she was also very religious. She along with her other siblings where always writing from the time she was very young, and they had very wonderful imaginations. Another thing of interest is that Emily was obsessed with the after life, she looked forward to heaven in a way. Very little in general though is known about her though, we have some of her diary which suggest she was very involved in managing the family house hold (her fathers house, she never married), and she enjoyed cooking. When I think about this it is mind boggling to me how on earth she came up with the story that she did! Where on earth did it come from?
I felt that this book was not as well written as Jane Eyre. I found my self comparing it a lot to Jane Eyre, even though Wuthering Heights was written by a different author. I did love how she presented the story through the narrator Nelly. I was little confused for the first few chapters, but then got the hang of things. I was also confused about who was who, but my copy of the book had a family tree in it which made thing much easier!
I really really really did not like any of the characters! All of the seemed to me selfish and mean. There where only two that I like that was Haeriton (I think that is how you spell his name), and Catherine number 2 (there are two Catherines the book which can also make it confusing). They seemed like the only decent people there, though Catherine was very mean to Haereton for a while. I didn't like Catherine number 1 at all! I detested Heathcliff!!!!!! He was the most horrid person that any writer can ever come up with, even Charlotte said that she was not sure that such beings as Heathcliff should be created. He was selfish, vengeful, and really I think the meanest person that ever lived(or lived in a book). *Spoiler The only happy time in the book is the end when Heathcliff is dead! *End of Spoiler. If any girl thinks Heathcliff is dreamy(as I have heard some do) they must have a very weird idea of dreamy! And it anyone thinks this book is romantic they have not actually payed attention to the book. It is not very romantic at all! It is a revengeful, dark book.
I had a really hard time putting this book down. I wanted to read it all the time, even though I didn't like the characters, the story was very griping, I didn't wan to put down! I think that Every person should read this book because it is such a "one of a kind" kind of book. Over all I think I enjoyed it a lot.