The characters in Wuthering Heights are uncivilized, disturbed, and repugnant. Although it is distinguished as a Victorian romance novel, it is impossible for these characters to genuinely love. They are manipulative, self deprecating, and pathological to the point of the readers amusement and wonderment. Very few readers will enjoy this novel, but many cannot help being in awe of Bronte's literary skill. It is intriguing that Emily Bronte, in her 20's, was able to articulate the depth of human depravity and psychopathology with such profound perception. Through her writing, we learn something about her; she is passionate and intense, but there is still so much more that I want to know about her...the author. This is one of my favorite parts of the narrative.... it beams with imagination, brilliance and eloquence. "Heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy" (Chapter 9).
When I selected this book to include in the novel class I began teaching this year, my husband predicted that boys in the class (all juniors and seniors in high school) would hate it. But they didn't. The book inspired passionate discussions about the characters and the events. Did the books love the book? No. But neither did all the girls. I thought the book was successful because it inspired such strong emotions among all the students.
If you are unfamiliar with the story, I'd describe it as a light gothic multigenerational romance. There's something in here for everyone: the dark Byronic hero, unrequited love, supernatural happenings, and treachery. The book is very readable as entertainment and can also be read more deeply.
This story stands alone and withstands time. I did a high school book report in the 50's. I was enthralled by the beautiful love story of two star crossed lovers and mesmerized till the end. Suffice it to say I got an A+ on my report. It stands alone and in a class all by itself.
I found that the storyline was well written and kept the reader's interest but the charcters were very easy to dislike, and by the end of it I hated most the people involved. Also the whole incestuous relationships bugged me. But overall, I'm glad I read it.
Published in 1847, WUTHERING HEIGHTS was not well received by the reading public, many of whom condemned it as sordid, vulgar, and unnatural--and author Emily Bronte went to her grave in 1848 believing that her only novel was a failure. It was not until 1850, when WUTHERING HEIGHTS received a second printing with an introduction by Emily's sister Charlotte, that it attracted a wide readership. And from that point the reputation of the book has never looked back. Today it is widely recognized as one of the great novels of English literature.
Even so, WUTHERING HEIGHTS continues to divide readers. It is not a pretty love story; rather, it is swirling tale of largely unlikeable people caught up in obsessive love that turns to dark madness. It is cruel, violent, dark and brooding, and many people find it extremely unpleasant. And yet--it possesses a grandeur of language and design, a sense of tremendous pity and great loss that sets it apart from virtually every other novel written.
The novel is told in the form of an extended flashback. After a visit to his strange landlord, a newcomer to the area desires to know the history of the family--which he receives from Nelly Deans, a servant who introduces us to the Earnshaw family who once resided in the house known as Wuthering Heights. It was once a cheerful place, but Old Earnshaw adopted a "Gipsy" child who he named Heathcliff. And Catherine, daughter of the house, found in him the perfect companion: wild, rude, and as proud and cruel as she. But although Catherine loves him, even recognizes him as her soulmate, she cannot lower herself to marry so far below her social station. She instead marries another, and in so doing sets in motion an obsession that will destroy them all.
WUTHERING HEIGHTS is a bit difficult to "get into;" the opening chapters are so dark in their portrait of the end result of this obsessive love that they are somewhat off-putting. But they feed into the flow of the work in a remarkable way, setting the stage for one of the most remarkable structures in all of literature, a story that circles upon itself in a series of repetitions as it plays out across two generations. Catherine and Heathcliff are equally remarkable, both vicious and cruel, and yet never able to shed their impossible love no matter how brutally one may wound the other.
As the novel coils further into alcoholism, seduction, and one of the most elaborately imagined plans of revenge it gathers into a ghostly tone: Heathcliff, driven to madness by a woman who is not there but who seems reflected in every part of his world--dragging her corpse from the grave, hearing her calling to him from the moors, escalating his brutality not for the sake of brutality but so that her memory will never fade, so that she may never leave his mind until death itself. Yes, this is madness, insanity, and there is no peace this side of the grave or even beyond.
It is a stunning novel, frightening, inexorable, unsettling, filled with unbridled passion that makes one cringe. Even if you do not like it, you should read it at least once--and those who do like it will return to it again and again.
Helen B. reviewed Wuthering Heights (Dover Thrift Editions) on
Helpful Score: 1
LOVED IT! I have to say I am so glad I gave this book a chance. In the past, I never had an interest or patience to read books in that "old English" type language, if you know what I mean. It just seemed that it would be too much hard work and I just wouldn't "get it". But I was wrong. Give me a good book and a good story and I get lost in it. Well, to my surprise and delight, that's what happened with Wuthering Heights. Emily Bronte certainly has a way with words and she certainly can tell a story, and what a story it was. The main characters, Catherine and Heathcliff are your classic characters that you love to hate, and at the same time you are so compelled by them. They are so self absorbed, yet you feel for them because you know what they've been through. Anyway, again, I am so glad I gave this book a chance because I ended up loving it.
MSCOZY reviewed Wuthering Heights (Dover Thrift Editions) on
Helpful Score: 1
Who has not heard or read about the love torn couple, Catherine and Heathcliff? I saw the black and white movie, then read the book. Both made me cry. Catherine and Heathcliff grow up together, although they are not related, on the Moors. One day, Catherine wants to peek at the nobs living next door and falls from their fence into their backyard. She is immediately rescued by the brother inside and he falls in love with her. He asks for her hand and she accepts, looking at all the finery and luxury around the home. When Heathcliff is told of her upcoming marriage, he flees from her. Years later, he returns, a gentleman of means most obviously. What happens next is anybody's guess but is a beautiful appropriate ending for the times. A sad somewhat dark read but very enjoyable.
I must say that when I first started reading this book it took me a while to get into. Mainly because they use a lot of old English in it (the book was written in 1847) and because Joseph's dialect was hard to decipher. As the book progressed I started to fall in love with the most heartbreaking and tragic love stories I have ever read. Talk about obsessive love. The ironic thing about this story is everyone consistently makes decisions that they think will bring them happiness or in some cases peace and it ultimately leaves them miserable and bitter. Even though this book was written well over a century ago and poorly received at first. It is one of the most amazing if not the best book I've ever read. She definitely knew the ingredients for a good drama. Bad Timing. Had it not been for the timing in most of the characters decisions things may have turned out completely different. I will say I will never forget one of the most compelling love stories of all time. That is Catherine and Heathcliff.
Yes, it's a classic....a very confusing classic. I didn't have too much trouble following the actual plot but I had difficulty keeping track of the characters for some reason. I'm glad I read it but I don't see myself reading it a second time.
Simply amazing. Call me a fan-girl if you will, but I refuse to villainize Heathcliff, and I'll even admit to having a bit of a crush on him. All that aside, I don't think I've ever felt such an intense relationship with the characters (love AND hate) as I have with Wuthering Heights. One of my all time favorites.
This classic novel surprised me in many ways. First, the story is told by the nurse, which made me question whether or not I could trust all she was relaying. Second, it is dense with prose, dense with description, and dense with emotion. You'll need to invest some time in reading this. Third, Heathcliff is not the man you think he is.
I found myself shaking my head at Heathcliff's actions - Initially, I loved him - I didn't think I'd ever find a man like him. I loved Catherine, too. Then, I hated him - worse than I'd ever hated a live, human being, and Catherine was the most despised woman on earth! By the end, I realized something about love I'd never thought about. Highly recommended for anyone curious about the terrible and wonderful things love does to a person.
I've read tons of classics and loved them, but this was a different experience. The story was so dismal and pointless that finishing it was more of a chore. I absolutely hated every second of this book.
Laura C. reviewed Wuthering Heights (Dover Thrift Editions) on
Wuthering Heights is an amazing treatise of the depravity of man and the glory of God's good shining forth and prevailing even in the face of its mockery by man. The glorious and the awful passions for both good and evil are so poignant in this tale. What is written as a novel does not fail to be truthful to the general condition and sentiments of the time and place - such pride and prejudice and passions and their consequences as Jane Austen describes, only in a somewhat baser and isolated context that author Emily Bronte obviously knew well. Every emotion, though separated by characters in the story, the reader can find inside themselves, which drives one to desire the happiness of all, even for the vilest. I was riveted to the end.
This book is definitely a classic in its own right. It
tells of the love between Catherine and Heathcliff which
isn't a easy one. She rejects him for someone else, and
in despair, he takes vengeance on those who are her
The only book I hated more than this was Catcher in the Rye. Ugh.. The characters are horrible! I mean, it's a well written classic, not arguements there.. but geeze.. the people are just rotten to one another. PASS.
I started this book 3 times and still I couldn't get through it... It is a very difficult read. I was surprised because I have read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, her sister and found it to be very entertaining and one of my favorite books.
very romantic style of writing, which i love.. but there was extreme amounts of detail in parts that would put me to sleep. the beginning and end of this book are the best parts because the middle seems to go on forever and was the most difficult part to get through. i am glad i can say i have read this book though.
This was one of the worst books I've ever read. There are absolutely no likable characters and the book didn't peak my interest at all until people started dying. At several points during reading it I wanted to throw the book into a fire and I considered starting a different book and coming back to it. I don't understand in the slightest why it's considered a literary classic. It was boring and agonizing. I don't recommend it to anyone.
Although "Wuthering Heights" is written in very old English and is not easy to read, it is a worth the effort. It is a well written, dark, twisted moving story of obsession, greed and lust that spans beyond the grave.
"Charlotte Brontë's novel about the passionate love between Jane Eyre, a young girl alone in the world, and the rich, brilliant, domineering Rochester has enthralled every kind of reader, from the most critical and cultivated to the youngest and most unabashedly romantic, ever since its publication in 1847. It lives as one of the great triumphs of storytelling and as a moving affirmation of the prerogatives of the heart in the face of disappointment and misfortune. With an introduction by Lucy Hughes-Hallet."
I think this book was pretty good. I'm in eighth grade and read it just for fun, and i thought it was well written, but a bit hard to follow during some points. I think another thing I really like about this book is that the author only wrote one in her life, and its a good one. I also like how the story goes in generations, and in each one all the characters still hate each other...so yeah. That's my review.
This is one of the best books ever written, it is a must read Book.... Heathcliff, an orphan, is raised by Mr.Earnshaw as one of his own children. Hindley despises him, but wild Cathy becomes his constant companion, and he falls violently in love with her. When she will not marry him, Heathcliff's terrible vengeance ruins them all--but still his and Cathy's love will not die.
Considering lurid and shocking by mid-19th-century standards, Wuthering Heights was initially thought to be such a publishing risk that its author, Emily Bronte, was asked to pay some of the publication costs. A somber tale of consuming passions and vengeance played out against the lonely moors of northern England, the book proved to be one of the most enduring classics of English literature.
The turbulent and tempestuous love story of Cathy and Heathcliff spans two generations--- from the time Heathcliff, and strange, coarse young boy, is brought to live on the Earnshaws windswept estate, through Cathys marriage to Edgar Linton and Heathcliffs plans for revenge, to Cathys death years later and the eventual union of the surviving Earnshaw and Linton heirs.
A masterpiece of imaginative fiction, Wuthering Heights (the authors only novel) remains as poignant and compelling today as it was when first published in 1847.
Didnt even finish the book :( Very confusing multi-generational drama about 2 competing families in 18th century English countryside. I had to read a summary and analysis of the book on Sparknotes to understand it. I guess I couldnt grasp the epicness of Heathcliff and Catherine's love story... I also found it to be slow moving and increasingly confusing as some characters died and their offspring were added to the story...
I'm surprised that so many people seem to think this was a difficult read. I didn't feel it was, but maybe it's because I had a quiet space to get into it. My main take-away was that the characters seemed a bit unrealistic, but possibly that they weren't fully intended to be anything other than a thought experiment on morality.
I am a huge fan of classics, but I am afraid that I hated this book. Very dark and depressing and as there were really no likeable characters, I found myself reading just for the sake of getting it over with. I only finished so that I would be able to say that I had read it.
one of my favorite of all time, heck it might even be the favorite!
Bronte developed complex, very human characters that express the basic human desire to be loved. fraught with love triangles and misunderstandings, there were parts that made my heart ache for Heathcliff.
this is definitely one of those books you either love or hate, but you have to read to find out!
Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before: of the intense passion between the foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, and her betrayal of him. As Heathcliff's bitterness and vengeance are visitied upon the next generation, their heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past.
The introduction to my copy of this book said something like: "it's amazing that a 17-yr-old virgin could have this much insight into the depths of the human heart." To me, the book shows exactly the lack of insight into relationships that most sheltered, 17-yr old virgins have.
Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, is not a book to read before you go to bed at night. In fact, it's one of those books that look nice on your shelf because it's a classic but has little value in helping you live a good, upright life. Vanity, love (or should I say lust), obsession, greed, self-centeredness, rivalry, and death: these are the themes of Wuthering Height - a most tragic "love story."
I do enjoy E.Bronte's style of writing, and how she goes about telling the story. It certainly keeps one turning the pages, but in horrid fascination. You must know what happens, but you fear to learn. I commented after I finished reading the book (with a huge smile on my face) that it is awful when one finishes reading a book and is that glad to have finished (for finishing the book was the reason for my smile). I had accomplished my goal. Oh yes, a depressing work indeed. Do not recommend it for young folk, and I am glad I did not read it sooner than I did.
The back cover describes Wuthering Heights in this way:
With its freedom from social convention and its unparalleled emotional intensity, Wuthering Heights is a highly original and deeply tragic work.
5 stars for writing style 1 star for content Average: 3 stars
This book has so much hype, so I expected it to be amazing. Boy was I let down! I didn't really care for this book at all. And people say that Heathcliff and Catherine's love was so epic, but he was a horrible person who did nothing but torment others. I don't know, maybe I just didn't get it, but I was not impressed in the slightest.
Heathcliff comes to the brooding mansion of Wuthering Heighths as an orphan child. Cathy is the daughter of the wealthy family that takes him in. They are drawn together from the moment they meet, their love consuming, destructive, and full of desire. They cannot be together, and yet they cannot stay apart. The consequences will haunt generations. This is the chilling story of two people who experience love and all its intense complications. It is a story readers will never forget.
Before I read the book I read many reviews. The most common was that you either love this book or hate it. I can see why. However, I fell somewhere in between love and hate. I appreciate how well written the book is and the complexity in context. It is a very bizzare book but once you start reading it you have to finish. I believe that everyone should read it because it is a literary classic.
From the book back:
"Wuthering Heights...the haunting story of Heathcliff, who came to the brooding mansion of the Yorkshire moors as an orphan-and Cathy, the daughter of the wealthy family that took him in. The gypsy waif and the bright-eyed beauty were from different worlds, yet were drawn together from the moment they met. The cruel twist of fate that parted them resulted in tragedy for two generations. But even death could not break the bond between them, for their love was stronger.
First published in 1847, "Wuthering Heights" is a classic of English literature, and one of the most unforgettable romances of all times.
It is hard for me to enjoy a book where I cannot relate to the characters. This is a prime example of such a one. All the main characters in this book cause their own suffering and then spend hundreds of pages being miserable and whining about it!