Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

“I am Heathcliff!  He’s always, always in my mind.” Emily Bronte from Wuthering Heights

From Lauren’s Perspective:

To me, when reading any book, I want to feel something.  A connection of some sort with the characters or the setting or the story.  I believe this is true for most readers.  We yearn to feel something, maybe something that is missing from our own lives.  Books have caused me to laugh, to cry, to fear, to rage, to yearn.  Wuthering Heights caused me to feel nothing, except perhaps a mild irritation.  While it is written beautifully, taking advantage of the potentially beautiful English language, it lacked any kind of emotional connection for me.

First off, I didn’t like Catherine.  She was selfish, she was rude, she was everything I never want to be.  Second, I loathed Heathcliff.  He was angry, he was wretched.  Their love does not come off as the eternal love I look to read about in this genre, instead their love is childish and unfulfilling.

And to make matters worse, the story’s secondary characters are equally as obnoxious.  You feel bad for them as children, but as each one grows up, the sympathy you  once felt leaves and you’re left instead with more characters you have no desire to know.   Even the story’s narrator, Ellen Dean, is nothing but a meddlesome woman.  She butts into every situation whether it is her place or not, and despite growing up with the two families, there is never a feeling of love or affection between her and the various people she serves.

Perhaps Bronte deliberately made all of the characters unlikable, as though she aimed to portray a message that life is hard and unromantic and full of death, sickness and unrequited love.  However, if that was her intention, while she managed to portray this view-point well, she does not manage to endear her readers to anyone or anything in the story.

When I read, I want to relate to characters, I want to give myself the life they are living and experiencing. This novel made me glad I wasn’t part of that world.  It left in me no desire to discover more of that world and the only thing that kept me reading outside of my obsessive need to finish every book I start, was Bronte’s ability to write.  Truly, the only beautiful aspect of this book was the words.

Rating

Plot – 1 out of 5
Writing/Style/Form – 4 out of 5
Characters – 0 out of 5
Enjoyment/Entertainment Value – 1 0ut of 5

Overall Score – 6 out of 20

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