Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Wuthering Heights

Author: Emily Bronte
Publisher: Vintage Classics
Published: 7th February 2008

  I first read this book in my early teens and although at this age I found it a little hard to get to grips with, I was immediately drawn by the mood that is created in the atmospheric Yorkshire moors.  Since reading the book again (and again and again and again) I have found much more to offer than the mere solemnity of the setting.  The book is the diary kept by Mr Lockwood who arrives at Thrushcross Grange and ventures to neighbouring Wuthering Heights to meet his landlord Heathcliff.  A storm results in him getting ill and being bedridden in Thrushcross Grange and the maid Nelly proceeds to tell the story of Heathcliff and how he came to become such an abrasive character.   Essentially it is a twisted love story in which the wild youths of Heathcliff and Catherine become lovers, separated by their own stubbornness.  

  Although written over 150 years ago, I don’t believe it has dated.  It contains much of what we see in soaps on television today; love, lust, violence, alcoholism, grief, abuse and death and remains relevant to many people’s lives.  Although Heathcliff and Catherine are not the stereotypical romantic couple and are repulsive and dislikeable in many of their actions, I feel they are easy to relate to because they come to represent those dark parts of ourselves which we often try to hide.  In fact, as the story progresses, you begin to feel great empathy with the characters, particularly at the death of Catherine where the heartbreak and turmoil that Heathcliff is left feeling becomes almost grotesque in its extremity.   I believe it is impossible to be disappointed with this book, the characters feel so real, from the aggression of Heathcliff and Earnshaw to the humour provided by Joseph and his strong Yorkshire accent and the dramatic story line grips you from page one.
Rating: 10/10