I finally managed to finish Wuthering Heights a couple of days ago, which was my brave second attempt. My first one was over six months ago, the day the book was delivered from Amazon, and I’d had an eye on this classic for a long time before that, courtesy of Eclipse of the Twilight Saga. Though the impact created from it was negative, as both Edward and Bella claim Catherine and Heathcliff to be monsters wildly in love, I’d been wishing to know just what these two notable characters do in Wuthering Heights to create that effect. So as the book finally reached my hands, I sat down with it, clueless of what was going to happen.
A week later, I didn’t even finish half of the book before the last ounce of my patience waned and I snapped it shut, keeping Emily Bronte and these hideous psychos away from me as far as possible. What in the world was going on? Every single person was in need of a highly secure asylum! I’ll except the narrator, because she was the only sane person, and I really don’t know how she survived the madness surrounding her. Heathcliff and Catherine turned out to be so appalling that I couldn’t believe someone would want to star the lead couple like that. I even wondered if Emily Bronte was mentally ill while writing this story. Or did she go through something like this or witness it in person? Whatever it was, reading the rest of the book was a very dangerous thing to do. No way was I finishing Wuthering Heights. I couldn’t care less whether Heathcliff and Catherine got together or ended up setting fire to themselves.
I didn’t hesitate to give it a one star on Goodreads and be done with it.
But after a few months, as I fell in love with Jane Austen (read Lizzie and Darcy), my eyes began to stray back to Wuthering Heights gently flapping in the breeze from my fan. It sat beside the rest of my classic collection, eyeing me innocently yet in a way it kept seeking my attention. In the midst of my continued ignorance episode, I had a phone call with my bestie, who claimed to be head over heels in love with Wuthering Heights. In complete shock, I asked her why, and she gushed about it in a way that switched on a light above my head.
If there’s anything I hate other than lies and ungratefulness, it’s giving a book a one star. It’s really like murdering a great piece of work. But with my best friend’s review, I was glad to find I suddenly had an idea to view Wuthering Heights in a different way. Maybe I could read it again and look at it from her perspective? Why don’t I give it another try? So after I finished Jane Eyre (which is another book I love), I cleared the one star rating from Goodreads and re-opened Wuthering Heights with a silent prayer, hoping I find one reason to love it. I really didn’t want to hate a well written book. So I began reading and as the story progressed, I was hit with the realisation of just how much of a genius Emily Bronte was to create such monstrous characters. Let me explain before you start worrying about my sanity.
Is Mr Heathcliff a man? If so, is he mad? And if not, is he a devil? – Book Excerpt.
Heathcliff and Catherine are the most insane souls to exist. Totally. Hands down, they are destructive, selfish, dark, possessive and wrathful. Anyone who gets close to either of them is crazy. No author in her/his right mind would really want characters like this as their lead hero and heroine, and it would have been the same attitude back in Emily Bronte’s time. But to see her take on this incredible dare devil avatar and allow herself to give birth to such psychos is extremely commendable. I mean, just look at her guts! I was so impressed with how well she executed the idea of a very dark story. It’s like she’s done the job flawlessly. In every character, there is darkness and a different dimension of monstrosity. In every chapter, something hideous happens. You just want to know more about just how much psychotic these weirdos can get, and it provokes you into devouring the pages. The effect was such that I either loathe it or love it to pieces for the same reason, so it was like I give the book either a one star again or hit that five star. With each chapter though, I was inclined more and more towards the latter. Heathcliff really rocked. I wanted to burn him in hell; I wanted to strangle Catherine; and I wanted to do something similar to the other characters, but I was actually enjoying the story . I’ve never felt this way about any book before, and I’m highly amused with myself for doing that. It really was a thrilling experience and this time, I didn’t hesitate to award Wuthering Heights a five star on my Goodreads.
I felt compassion towards only three characters – the narrator – Nelly Dean, Little Catherine Linton and Hareton Earnshaw. The one small set back is that Nelly Dean really needn’t have been the narrator and letting the story unfold as a flashback. Because some of the suspense was sort of killed, but it was all right. As she is the only sensible person, nearly everyone vented out their vehemence and feelings to her and she fit the role of narrating it to us.
Overall, I liked my new vision of Wuthering Heights and it may go through a re-read after a few months. What was your experience of this book? Feel free to share it in the comment section.