Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Amanda Grange

Wuthering Heights

Recommended Posts

I went on a little road trip to Howarth yesterday and for the first time in about 10 years actually felt like I should try reading classics again. Apparently Yorkshire is inspiring like that... :confused: Anyway I've found my copy of Wuthering Heights that I bought as a teenager and have made a start on it. Back then I think it made it through a couple of pages before deciding that it was too 'difficult' to read and went back to something easier, but this time I've actually made it a few chapters in without getting bored. I'm feeling hopeful that I actually make it through this time though! Despite not having read it before, I do kind of know the story (doesn't everyone?) and I'm hoping for a happy ending regardless. Maybe I should stop reading now...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Opal, I did the same as you - read a few pages when I was a teenager and found it too difficult, but I went back to it many years later and enjoyed it very much.

 

I wonder what you'll make of it. I found it a very intense kind of book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!

 

This book is one of my all time favourite novels, it blew me away when I read it, it has a raw emotional power which I have not discovered in any other book I have ever read.

 

The intensity of if just takes your breath away, it has so many layers and different levels. When I started reading it I thought it was a story of an ophan waif being mistreated by his adopted family, and getting his revenge on them, when he reached adulthood. There is a slight supernatural connection a hint at the beginning of the story when the supposed ghost of Cathy appears at the window but is not mentioned again until the end of the story, but then it turned into a love story of the obsessive destructive love between Cathy and Heathcliff. Then another twist we had the revenge story back again Heathcliff taking revenge on Cathy's daughter and the relations of everyone who had wronged him. But then at the end the supernatural theme came back with a vengence. We have the part where Nelly looks at him and his features take on those of a goblin, and his death, which I am assuming here that the ghost of Cathy came back and drove him insane and he killed himself and they were reunited and their ghosts haunt the moors, or maybe did the ghost of Cathy kill him? Was Heathcliff himself a supernatural being when he lived as it was never mentioned where he originally came from but right from the beginning Heathcliff had a strange menacing aura bout him, which progressed to sheer evil.

 

I loved the way the story was told, through a third person Nelly) telling a story to another (Mr Lockwood) and how it changes at the end slightly to the observations of Mr Lockwood and then reverts back to the story telling Nelly telling Mr Lockwood of Heathcliffs demise.

 

My favourite characters were funnily enough Edgar Linton he had the misfortune to marry Cathy when she was in love with someone else, and loved her with all his heart and ended up through no fault of his own other than for loving Cathy an object of hate and revenge for Heathcliff and Hareton Earnshaw, he was such a complex character who I believe Heathcliff grew to love despite himself.

 

The destructive love story of the obsessive hold Heathcliffe has over Cathy is quite disturbing in places and her descent into madness is quite dark. There is no other book out there which has the content, emotion and raw intensity that Wuthering Heights has and to me it is one book which has earned the title of a Classic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The intensity of if just takes your breath away, it has so many layers and different levels.

 

I agree with that, it has so much for you to think about after you've read it. It just has that mystery, something you can't figure out, so you remember it for the rest of your life. Plus the lifestyle of those people too, I mean they must have been FREEZING when they got out of bed in the morning, unless they had like some seriously fluffy socks or something. Joseph is funny, I remember trying to talk in the yorkshire accent while reading his parts in the book, and once you do that you understand what he's saying! Some of it is hilarious.

 

Cathy is a bit scary sometimes but I really liked her, she reminds me of one of my aunties. I think all in all her problem was that she took herself too seriously and went for the money over love, big mistake. I always want to shout at her for that! I don't think Heathcliff was evil. I think he was treated really unfairly and that can poison a persons mind. Theres a lot of nature vs nuture in the book. I think a main underlying theme is human character and how it can develop good and bad qualities under certain circumstances.

 

I liked this book so much, it is still my favourite. I have listened to Kate bush's Wuthering heights. I like kate bush and i have two of her albums but the song didn't fit the book for me. Ok sorry this is about books :S. I actually don't know if I like Jane Eyre or wuthering heights better to be honest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But then at the end the supernatural theme came back with a vengence. We have the part where Nelly looks at him and his features take on those of a goblin, and his death, which I am assuming here that the ghost of Cathy came back and drove him insane and he killed himself and they were reunited and their ghosts haunt the moors, or maybe did the ghost of Cathy kill him? Was Heathcliff himself a supernatural being when he lived as it was never mentioned where he originally came from but right from the beginning Heathcliff had a strange menacing aura bout him, which progressed to sheer evil.
My word, Apple, you read a load more into the story than I did!

 

Perhaps that is why so many people just love it, and I really don't - they have vivid imaginatons, and I am just too literal and prosaic :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Megustaleer Wrote:

My word, Apple, you read a load more into the story than I did!
Sorry I do get a bit carried away when I am talking about a book I love and tend to rave a bit!

 

When I find a book I really like I sort of become immersed in it and take whats written on the page as a starting point and take it further and look deeper into it. For example where Nellie is describing the noises coming from the room the night Heathcliffe dies I am picturing him on the bed thrashing about with Cathy there tormenting him and sending him into insanity, and then maybe actually killing him.

 

MAY CONTAIN MORE SPOILERS

But I do love the strong gothic feel to this novel and the supernatural hints in it especially at the end where it is written that the animals can sense Heathcliffes ghost. If you think about though, despite how it first looks this story does actually have a happy ending, not the in the traditional sense but nothing about this book is traditional. But the fact Heathcliffe and Cathy's spirits have been seen on the moor, perhaps says that although they are not resting in peace, they are reunited and together in death.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read Wuthering Heights for the first time when I was sixteen and didn't appreciate it at all. I found it difficult to get to grips with the dark characters and I found it hard to care about what happened to them. However I have since reread the novel a number of times and with each reading I seem to appreciate it more and more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grace a88 Wrote:

I read Wuthering Heights for the first time when I was sixteen and didn't appreciate it at all. I found it difficult to get to grips with the dark characters and I found it hard to care about what happened to them. However I have since reread the novel a number of times and with each reading I seem to appreciate it more and more.

 

I am normally like that with dislikable characters and you don't much more dislikable than Heathcliffe but there was such an intensity and range of emotion there from hatred towards the people who had wronged him to his obsessive love for Cathy, which took on many guises, and yet somewho you can't help but feel a little for him despite his reprehensible behaviour, there are glimpses of kindness and compassion very briefly at points in the story and you are always left with the wondering of where he actually came from in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heathcliff is a sort of Gothic monster as well as a working-class hero taking revenge on the gentry. We are not expected to 'like' him, but to be overwhelmed by his power and personality. I think he's my favourite anti-hero beating even Satan in Paradise Lost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Perhaps that is why so many people just love it, and I really don't - they have vivid imaginatons, and I am just too literal and prosaic :rolleyes:
I think that's it. I'm not into fantasy or science fiction either. Or maybe there is a frame when you should read it, maybe in your twenties or even thirties, not too young any more, not too old, though I don't think so. Sometimes you might be too young but I don't think you can be too old to enjoy a book. I've read a lot of children's books with my boys and thoroughly enjoyed them. Can't say it works the other way around, though. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having read through the posts and if you don't mind me saying some of you are a bit obsessive about this book, or at least that's how it appeared to me.

 

I didn't like the writing, the characters or the story. This is neither the greatest nor the worst English language book, it's just another boring one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
if you don't mind me saying some of you are a bit obsessive about this book, or at least that's how it appeared to me.
Not at all, and isn't that true of most often cited 'favourite' books? Fans of a book (or film, band...) tend to be obsessive. And because something is cited as a favourite, it doesn't always follow that the thing is the best example in its class. A strange, inexplicable thing happens, an alchemy of sorts that creates favourites.

 

In fact it is often true that books that top 'favourites' will also top 'most hated' lists. Certainly true of Lord of the Rings. Not well-written and yet inexplicably a favourite, cherished book. I hate it.

 

Some of my favourites books or films don't stand up critically, but who cares?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not at all, and isn't that true of most often cited 'favourite' books? Fans of a book (or film, band...) tend to be obsessive. And because something is cited as a favourite, it doesn't always follow that the thing is the best example in its class. A strange, inexplicable thing happens, an alchemy of sorts that creates favourites.

 

In fact it is often true that books that top 'favourites' will also top 'most hated' lists. Certainly true of Lord of the Rings. Not well-written and yet inexplicably a favourite, cherished book. I hate it.

 

Some of my favourites books or films don't stand up critically, but who cares?

 

I agree with you Hazel that when we 'love' some work of art it can affect our critical judgement of it.

 

But I've had bad things to say about a few of books on this site and yet this is the one that someone (just happens to be yourself) has virtually immediately replied to my comment (most have had no comments). Which does lead me back to the fact that people who like this book tend to be more than normally possessive about it. I don't mind that they are, I kind of like that people 'love' something, especially a book, that much. I was just mentioning it. Perhaps I should have added a smiley face to soften the impact. :)

 

As for favourites not standing up to critical judgement well as you know I like Stephen King and I'm sure some people could have a field day with his work, but as you say who cares. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But I've had bad things to say about a few of books on this site and yet this is the one that someone (just happens to be yourself) has virtually immediately replied to my comment (most have had no comments). Which does lead me back to the fact that people who like this book tend to be more than normally possessive about it.

:D You could be right there. WH is possibly my favourite book.

 

But then I commented on your point that people tend to be obsessive about things they regard as favourites - I didn't try and defend the book against your criticisms of it! I found your point interesting. I think if I was more "obsessive" as you put it, I would have started countering your criticisms and possibly being a bit hysterical at your libel of a brilliant book! But then, I'm not a mad obsessive. Really, I'm not. I'm NOT OKAY?!

 

As for favourites not standing up to critical judgement well as you know I like Stephen King and I'm sure some people could have a field day with his work, but as you say who cares. :D

Damn right. Who cares. I like what I like and I don't give a rat's ass who dares criticize it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:D You could be right there. WH is possibly my favourite book.

 

But then I commented on your point that people tend to be obsessive about things they regard as favourites - I didn't try and defend the book against your criticisms of it! I found your point interesting. I think if I was more "obsessive" as you put it, I would have started countering your criticisms and possibly being a bit hysterical at your libel of a brilliant book! But then, I'm not a mad obsessive. Really, I'm not. I'm NOT OKAY?!

 

Damn right. Who cares. I like what I like and I don't give a rat's ass who dares criticize it!

 

 

Thank you, you made me laugh here :D:D

 

But I shall await, anticipate, pause in the full expectation of the correspondence from your lawyer! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I need to read this again as it seems to come off better after a second read.

I first read it before my first Yorkshire holiday, I was staying just outside Haworth; I bought WH and Jane Eyre and read WH first cos it was shorter!!

JE is definitely my favourite, I remember wanting to bang Cathy and Heathcliff's heads together. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The character Heathcliff in the book "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Brontë is one of the most interesting characters in the book as he slowly deteriorates from a person into a shadow of someone he could have been. Heathcliff nearer the end of the novel shows pleasure in the pain of others and even harsher sadistic behavior, Lochwood the new tenant at Thrushcross Grange is greeted with this behavior when trying to leave the Heights in the storm:
"The vehemence of my agitation brought on a copious bleeding at the nose, and still Heathcliff laughed.'
This type of behavior is often linked with sociopathy. Heathcliff throughout the novel shows symptoms of being a sociopath. 
The first as just quoted is sadistic behavior in a minor way, nearer the end of Heathcliff it is worse, but another symptom is his grandiose sense of himself. Nelly tells us (Lockwood) as a child Heathcliff was brought home from the streets by Mr. Earnshaw.
This is not a happy event due to Mr. Earnshaw promising Cathy, Hindley and Nelly gifts from his trip, these not turning up due to Heathcliff. Mr. Earnshaw soon took a liking to his new son over his daughter and son. Heathcliff saw this and started to take advantage of Mr. Earnshaw, this is most likely due to Cathy and Hindley constantly tormenting him. This behavior can be seen in chapter 4:
"You must exchange horses with me: I don't like mine, and if you don't I shall tell your father of the three thrashings you've given me this week...'

This quotes also demonstrates the second symptom of sociopathy and this is child delinquency. At a young age, Heathcliff is extremely aggressive. Part of this could be explained by his street upbringing and again torment from Cathy and Hindley. He is already seeking revenge and cursing down on Hindley's downfall, which is extremely concerning for a child especially since he knows he can't say this in front of adults. The third symptom of Heathcliff's sociopathy is thinking the world is wrong not him. The third symptom of Heathcliff's sociopathy is thinking the world is wrong not him. This is seen many times throughout the book. This is extremely apparent after his violent beating with Hindley. After nearly beating Hindley to death and is called out by Nelly, Heathcliff blames Hindley for it due to the fact that Cathy is dead and he can't say her name, this can be seen as extreme grief or as psychopathic, either way, it is wrong and Heathcliff's fault. He also has no remorse after this beating, this is another sign of sociopathy:

"I gave him my heart and you pinched it to death and flung it to me, people feel with their hearts Nelly and mine has been destroyed!"

 

There are some areas in which Heathcliff does not fall into a sociopath, one of these areas is a capacity for love. The whole events of the novel happen because Heathcliff loves Cathy, although it is an obsessive love and debatable to be a real love, he shows devotion and platonic interest in Cathy:

"What kind of living shall it be when you are- (insinuated dead) oh god! Would you like to live with your soul in the grave?"

He also has a sense of shame. The only reason Heathcliff becomes rich is while ease dropping on Nelly and Cathy. If Heathcliff had not had shame he would not have cared if he was not as rich as Edgar Linton and would think that he was better in every sense. Instead, he runs away to make his riches:

"Having noticed a slight movement, I turned my head to him rising to  steal out, noiselessly."

again showing shame, he sneaks out rather than make a scene moments before leaving to make his riches in America.

 

Inconclusion Heathcliff is a shell of a person and is a personified demon, especially nearing the end of the novel. He does not show any knowledge of the meaning to the words, love, and care. As if those words died with Catherine. He took the lovely Wuthering Heights down with him in his degradation. He abused Hindley, Isabella and more but there is one character in the end that still looks up to Heathcliff and that is Hareton. Everyone see's Heathcliff as stone cold but Hareton still cares in the end, as a young boy he looked up to him. Hareton may show us a more hopeful side to Heathcliff that is not told to us by Nelly. 

Nelly gives us the evidence to a horrible sociopathy Heathcliff which may not be true.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

shauningt's post merged with this thread.

 

Hi! sorry for posting it to the wrong thread, new to the website and my report needed comments from people on the internet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By Dan
      I am 50 pages into Wuthering Heights now, and while I'm not loving it, I certainly don't dislike it. I've pretty much adjusted now to the odd phrasings and syntax of that era, and am starting to be able to overlook the Victorian tendency to histrionics and hyperbole. The story thus far is intriguing, although Catherine is the only primary character for whom I can muster much sympathy. There is some very evocative writing; "..
      for the whole hill-back was one billowy, white ocean; the swells and falls not indicating corresponding rises and depressions in the ground: many pits, at least, were filled to a level; and entire ranges of mounds, the refuse of the quarries, blotted from the chart which my yesterday’s walk left pictured in my mind."
      And even some humor;" He fixed his eye on me longer than I cared to return the stare, for fear I might be tempted either to box his ears or render my hilarity audible. I began to feel unmistakably out of place in that pleasant family circle. The dismal spiritual atmosphere overcame, and more than neutralised, the glowing physical comforts round me; and I resolved to be cautious how I ventured under those rafters a third time."
      And, describing Joseph; "He was, and is yet most likely, the wearisomest self-righteous Pharisee that ever ransacked a Bible to rake the promises to himself and fling the curses to his neighbours."
    • By Flingo
      While at my dad's over the weekend, I found a copy of this poem that I had set to music for my GCSE coursework. It reminded me that I had completely forgotten about the poetry of Emily Bronte - which is strange as I was completely obsessed for well over 18 months around my GCSE time.
       
      Anyway - it was obviously a favourite, so I thought I would share it with you, unfortunately I can't read it without hearing my tune now though!
       
      Come, Walk with Me
       
      Come, walk with me,
      There's only thee
      To bless my spirit now -
      We used to love on winter nights
      To wander through the snow;
      Can we not woo back old delights?
      The clouds rush dark and wild
      They fleck with shade our mountain heights
      The same as long ago
      And on the horizon rest at last
      In looming masses piled;
      While moonbeams flash and fly so fast
      We scarce can say they smiled -
       
      Come walk with me, come walk with me;
      We were not once so few
      But Death has stolen our company
      As sunshine steals the dew -
      He took them one by one and we
      Are left the only two;
      So closer would my feelings twine
      Because they have no stay but thine -
       
      'Nay call me not - it may not be
      Is human love so true?
      Can Friendship's flower droop on for years
      And then revive anew?
      No, though the soil be wet with tears,
      How fair soe'er it grew
      The vital sap once perished
      Will never flow again
      And surer than that dwelling dread,
      The narrow dungeon of the dead
      Time parts the hearts of men -'
×