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).
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.
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.
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.