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He loves me...he loves me not....She loves me...She loves me not....
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Member Name: Kat1987
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Advantages: It's a classic. Language isn't too difficult.Surprising. Good exploration of 'love'
Disadvantages: Pace is too slow. Drawn out. Not gripping enough.
By Emily Bronte
Heathcliff is a wild, untamed boy brought in from the cold and into the heart of the Earnshaw family. The young boy grows to be a catalyst for extreme reactions and his presence unleashes a myriad of human emotions within the family, from jealousy to love to hatred. Heathcliff abandons his former home and in his absence many things change but on his return passions are reignited and they provoke far reaching consequences for generations.
I must be the only literature student who has managed to avoid having to read 'Wuthering Heights'. It has never featured on the syllabus of any of the courses I have studied so far and I think that places me in a good position in terms of review writing. This review will be based on my experience of 'Wuthering Heights' as a reader, rather than a student. I think being forced to read a book at school alters your perception of it and so I am pleased to be writing this review without any educational preconceptions.
Despite never having read the book I knew it was about Cathy and Heathcliff-everybody has heard of them, right? I have constantly heard about those two characters and the intensity of their love for one another. I expected this to be a classic love story, along the line of 'Pride and Prejudice' and I expected Heathcliff to be a strong and silent Darcy-esque kind of guy. I couldn't have been more wrong. The characters throughout this novel were definitely surprising. Human nature has been captured perfectly by Emily Bronte. She highlights the human condition in various forms throughout the characters from the rough and ready worker, Hareton to the ever forgiving, gentlemen Edgar Linton. There are a wide range of characters throughout this novel, all well established, believable and more importantly, all dislikeable in their own way. This novel is a great example of how to create sturdy characters. The novel is primarily narrated by Nelly Dean, Catherine's aide. A judgemental character who I wasn't always sure I could trust-a very interesting choice of narrator.
The plot concerns the repercussions of a great love affair. The plot was far more sinister in places than I had anticipated and it is much more than a love story, in fact I wouldn't describe it as a love story at all. It is a novel about the effects of love, both good and bad. It is a slow moving plot, partly due to the long-winded style in which the novel is written and partly due to the fact that I lacked the motivation to pick it up. Once I got reading I found it quite easy to get involved but it wasn't a gripping page turner where I couldn't wait to get home and start reading. I plodded along rather than raced. When I read I want to enjoy a book so much I can't put it down-this didn't do it for me. The language was a little tough to get to grips with but a few pages in and I had got the hang of it, it wasn't the language itself what bothered me, it was the pace.
The book is famed for it's descriptions of the moors and I feel the novel deserves this praise. Emily Bronte has done a fabulous job with the imagery in the novel. I have a clear idea in my head of what the houses look like, what the grounds are like and what the characters look like. I even have an idea of what the places smell like.
In conclusion, the setting for the story is very emotive, the characters are strong and believable and the language used isn't too much of a barrier. The things that let it down for me are the pace and the length. It felt like it took an age for anything to happen and when it did, it felt like it was talked about too much. I didn't find the book a page tuner but I enjoyed discovering the truth about Cathy and Heathcliff and I do think the novel explores the psychology of people in relationships very well. It was darker than I expected and it surprised me and has led me to believe that Emily Bronte was a wise, if not troubled, woman. I would recommend it as classic literature but I wouldn't recommend it you are looking for a light hearted, entertaining read. If I could give it a bang in the middle 2.5 stars I would but I can't so I'll be generous and give it 3 stars.
My specific copy.
There are some wonderfully elaborate editions of 'Wuthering Heights' available- mine is not one of them! My version is the Penguin Classics edition (ISBN: 978-0-140-62012-2) and cost me £2 from Amazon. It has a bright green front cover and is quite flimsy. The text is quite dense and could be difficult to read for some. It's fine for a one time reading but it won't stand up to much wear and tear. I imagine for a one time read you could try your local library. Those with a kindle can get a free copy of 'Wuthering Heights' via Amazon.
Summary: Nice to put a story to a name but I won't be re-visiting the Heights anytime soon.