Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

I don't know how I got to be 32 and have no idea of the general storyline of Wuthering Heights.
I knew Heathcliff was a dark brooding character and I knew Cathy was cold and wanted to be let in at the window (thanks to Kate Bush obviously).
So, when I came to read the book I was shocked to find Heathcliff wasn't the hero I expected. I thought that he would follow in the footsteps of Mr Darcy and Mr Rochester. I'm stunned at how wrong I was. I don't know that I've ever read a book where the hero is such a villain and I'm not sure how we ever romanticised him.

On the flip side it was really refreshing that I didn't know what to expect, that the whole story was such a surprise to me. I've since read an essay about whether Heathcliff was actually meant to be interpreted as a murderer too. It's clear he's violent, malicious and cruel but whether he's directly responsible for the death of Hindley is subjective, although I feel sure he was indirectly responsible.

After going to a lecture about Jane Eyre and hearing a little about Emily Bronte as well, I was even keener to read Wuthering Heights and I'm pleased I have done. I like the way that she develops her characters and I loved Joseph, even though I had to read his speech over and over to understand what he was saying.

I'm really enjoying catching up with some of the classics, interspersing them with contemporary fiction, it feels like opening more and more doors to more and more worlds.

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