The next book in Challenge 2020 is from ‘a classic’ section and for this one I chose – Wuthering Heights.
I started this book for A level English but I dropped this subject as taking 5 A levels got a bit on top of me! Now is my opportunity to re-read it and finally finish it!
So let’s begin.
Wuthering Heights is set in the north of England on the stormy Yorkshire moors and is told through various narrators throughout but primarily through housekeeper Nelly Dean to Lockwood. It tells the tale of Heathcliff and Catherine.
“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same”
Between the dwellings of Thrushcross Grange (the estate of the Lintons) and The Wuthering Heights (estate of the Earnshaws), we see them grow together (and apart) as children to lovers; how their relationship ruins the lives of those around them. Two families bound together in a way that whatever affects one will affect the other.
“Terror made me cruel . . .”
Catherine was a rebellious young lady in Victorian England who rebelled against the norms of femininity that Victorian society has dictated but is utterly in love with Heathcliff. Heathcliff is brutish and selfish but completely and utterly in love with Catherine.
“Be with me always–take any form–drive me mad. Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! It is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!”
Whilst short in length, this book is like the literary TARDIS (bigger on the inside to all you non-whovians out there). This is not a conventional love story and I wouldn’t be too adverse to say that this isn’t a love story at all.
““He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
Cycles of abuse is the key them and how the abuse can impact on many hearts and so many generations. Each character the story focuses on is a little bit rubbish in their own ways. There is poison in this book and it isn’t perfect by any means (but then what is)…
“I hate him for himself, but despise him for the memories he revives.”
but there is hope and goodness in Wuthering Heights too and that shouldn’t be overlooked!
“Honest people don’t hide their deeds.”
The most important thing or rather person, that should never be overlooked is the author herself. When Wuthering Heights was published in December 1847, it was published under the male pseudonym Ellis Bell to preserve privacy but also to avoid the prejudice of writing as a women in the 1800s. Wuthering Heights was Emily Brontë’s only book.
“The entire world is a collection of memoranda that she did exist, and that I have lost her.”
A year after Wuthering Heights was published, a year where reviewers and readers didn’t know what to make of the book, Emily came down with tuberculosis. Emily didn’t go down without a fight though, she insisted on getting out of bed to walk her dog and had a lot of stubborn self-discipline but that unending sprint finally broke and once she succumbed to a doctor’s attendance, the damage had been done. Emily Brontë died on 19th December 1848 due to tuberculosis, only two months after her brother died of the same disease. Her sister Anne died of the same disease in May 1849.
“She burned too bright for this world.”
I personally love the Brontë’s – all of them, their story, their tragedies and their pieces of work! Keep an eye out for more of their work in my reviews for sure!
“Existence, after losing her, would be hell”
You can find this wonderful and dark classic on Amazon now.
Until next time,
Stay safe and keep reading,