Review: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

6147457Part of Penguin’s beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design. In a house haunted by memories, the past is everywhere … As darkness falls, a man caught in a snowstorm is forced to shelter at the strange, grim house Wuthering Heights. It is a place he will never forget. There he will come to learn the story of Cathy: how she was forced to choose between her well-meaning husband and the dangerous man she had loved since she was young. How her choice led to betrayal and terrible revenge – and continues to torment those in the present. How love can transgress authority, convention, even death.   (From: Goodreads)

I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath, and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers, for the sleepers in that quiet earth.

*Spoilers Alert!*

In my opinion, Wuthering Heights is a story filled with anger, sadness, agony, misery, vengeance, and madness. Not that there were no happy memories, just the negative thoughts far exceeded the positive ones. There weren’t many characters in the story, which made every single one of them had an unique personality. Among them, Mr. Heathcliff impressed me the most. To me, he was a man full of revenge. To begin with, because he was a poor orphan brought back to Earnshaw’s house(aka Wuthering Heights) since he was little, Hindley Earnshaw and Catherine Earnshaw disliked him at first. With the time passage, Cathy and Heathcliff started to become good friends and later grew on each other. At the same time, Cathy’s older brother, Hindley, still hated him to the core and thus after their father died, he treated Heathcliff as a servant and even worse. Besides, there was a decent man named Edgar Linton, living in their neighboring estate called Thrushcross Grange asked Cathy to marry him. Even though she loved Heathcliff deeply in her heart, due to all the consequences considered(wealth, properties, status…), she married him. That was when Heathcliff’s revenge started.

“Two words would comprehend my future-death and hell-existence, after losing her, would be hell.”

Sometimes I wonder why love could be so complicated, or even turned into something worth loathing? Perhaps it was about their future after marriage, either Cathy wanted to be as wild and treacherous as Heathcliff and begged for life or be with Edgar, for a better living. The natural barrier between them inevitably made their undying love hard to maintain in reality.

For every thought she spends on Linton, she spends a thousand on me.

In this story, I learned not only a tragic love but also appreciated the beauty of classic English. Even when the protagonists swore harshly, those terrible words were kind of beautiful, let alone the vivid depictions.

He had been standing a long time in that position, for I saw a pair of ousels passing and repassing, scarcely three feet from him, busy in building their nest, and regarding his proximity no more than that of a piece of timber.

↑This was the moment Heathcliff knew Cathy died.

For the last 1/3 part of the story, one of my favorite characters would be little Catherine. Especially when she started to teach Hareton Earnshaw how to read and spell, and they had a thing between them. That was the happiest moment in the entire book. Here’s a cute quote:

Catherine employed herself in wrapping a handsome book neatly in white paper; and having tied it with a bit of ribband, and addressed it to “Mr. Hareton Earnshaw,” she desired me to be her ambassadress, and convey the present to its destined recipient.

Another one from the narrator, Nelly Dean:

“I shall envy no one on their wedding day-there won’t be a happier woman than myself in England!”

Overall, reading Wuthering Heights is a special experience for me. It’s not just a sad story, but I see various characteristics in different people as well. Recommend to whomever loves classic English literature. It’s worth giving a try.


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