~Zoe~

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Kindness is choosing love over hate, light over darkness, and compassion over judgment.
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est. 8.17.20

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"I feel there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people." -Vincent Van Gogh

ʙᴜᴛ ʙᴇꜰᴏʀᴇ ɪ ɢᴏ, ʀᴇᴍᴇᴍʙᴇʀ ᴏɴᴇ ᴛʜɪɴɢ,
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ʙᴇ ʙʀᴀᴠᴇ ᴡʜᴇɴ ʏᴏᴜ'ʀᴇ ᴀꜰʀᴀɪᴅ.

Wuthering Heights By Emily Bronte

January 19, 2021

If there is one novel that everyone should read at least once in their life, it would be Wuthering Heights. Emily Bronte’s masterpiece is one of the most revolutionary books of all time, thoroughly unexpected and a complete work of art. 

Wuthering Heights is a combination of gothic fiction, romance, and tragedy. It will leave you crying at the captivating diction and writing style. Written in the 19th century, Wuthering Heights differs from other literature of its time due to its depth and intensity. Other novels such as Little Women or Pride and Prejudice, are lighter and happier, making them easier to read.  Bronte’s novel is a book that challenges you to keep reading. It explores human connections, pain, the cycle of aggression, and then finally hope. I love the book and I recommend it to everyone; the emotion made me catch my breath, and it changed my perception of the world and other people completely. 

I am now able to realize more about how people's past situations create who they become.  I believe that some people in the world today do not realize or understand that cycle. Although there is no excuse for violence or abuse, this novel can help us to understand the reasons behind it. 

Furthermore, I have always been interested in the psychology behind aggression and anger. Wuthering Heights explores that psychology within a story of love and heartbreak; as well as life and death. It shows how easy it is to break or to lose control of a situation, as well as explaining the thin line between strength and fragility through the characters’ experiences. 

“I’m wearying to escape into that glorious world, and to be always there: not seeing it dimly through tears, and yearning for it through the walls of an aching heart: but really with it, and in it.” -Cathy

The story focuses on two families living in a desolate moor in the middle of England. The Earnshaws live in a manor known as Wuthering Heights, and the Lintons in Thrushcross Grange, another mansion similar to Wuthering Heights. When the story begins, the main characters are Isabella Linton, Edgar Linton, Cathy Earnshaw, and her unofficial adopted brother, Heathcliff.  Over the course of Heathcliff’s life, he is obsessed with revenge after Cathy, who he now loves, moves on to marry someone else.  His ambition in life is to ruin the lives of everyone he thinks responsible for this tragedy,  including those of the next generation.
 
“I have not broken your heart - you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine.” -Heathcliff

Wuthering Heights is a simple story. Two families. Two houses. One bleak moor. However, the emotion expressed is complex and completely unforgettable. The two main characters, Heathcliff and Cathy are selfish, malicious and almost every other negative quality a person can possess. It is definitely a story of unlikable characters, whose actions are pathetic and dishonorable, but somehow Bronte still writes in a way that enables the reader to pity them.

“I gave him my heart, and he took and pinched it to death, and flung it back to me. People feel with their hearts, Ellen, and since he has destroyed mine, I have not power to feel for him.” -Isabella Linton
  
When published in 1847, Wuthering Heights faced confusion and anger because of the despicable characters, how dark the plot was, and how unexpected and different the style was. Only now, is it recognized and loved.  In my opinion, Bronte is one of the greatest authors ever because of her ability to create such an impactful story despite such appalling central characters. Her book is revolutionary because she created characters who are imperfect and flawed to an extent that had never been seen before in her time. 

“Your presence is a moral poison that would contaminate the most virtuous.” -Edgar Linton

Unlike some readers, I do not view Heathcliff as a tormented hero.  He is not a hero, he is merely someone who has been hurt and abused to a point where he clings to the only person who has ever been kind to him. His obsession with Cathy is the result of years of emotional and physical abuse. Heathcliff is a prime example of an individual formed by the destructive cycle of violence and aggression. 

 So why is it such a great book?  It is a novel of violence, one that deals with very emotional and complex human beings. But despite all the negativity, there is a sign of hope. A possibility that in the end,  the characters will be together in another world where they can become better human beings, and let go of the desolation that they felt in the natural world. I love the book because it is a reminder that through even the darkest, most turbulent times, there can still be a bit of hope left for the future to get better. 

Although it is a hard read, excruciatingly painful, and perhaps dense for people not used to reading classical literature, Wuthering Heights is completely and wholly worth it in the end as there is nothing like it in the whole of classic or modern literature. 
Word Count: 863

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1 Comment
  • amaryllis

    huh. i really did not like this book, but until now, i also did not realize how many gorgeous lines there were too. your review almost makes me want to go back and reread the thing to see if i misjudged it


    over 1 year ago