Rating: 4 out of 4 stars
Title: Wuthering Heights
Author: Emily Bronte
My little sister read this recently and told me how great it was, I did not believe her. I have tried to read this numerous times but never succeeded. Well, I have this time and I loved it! I finished this book in a day. I loved it from beginning to end. The beginning was a bit slow, but once it got into the story of Wuthering Height’s past I couldn’t put it down. After reading it there is much about their society and times that I better understand.
One of the biggest things I noticed was the way they treated outsiders. If someone was not from their area or different in looks and character they were quick to dismiss them. This seems to have carried over into our current society. While of course, differences are better accepted, if someone does not fit a particular mold they are often shunned and bullied. This is seen in young Heathcliff and later Hareton. I felt much sympathy for them. The lack of blonde hair and at one point inability to read left them open to ridicule by not only children, but adults.
Money was also a much valued commodity. Money meant everything to them. Marriages revolved around it. For the “Masters” of the house, they needed to have money. If one did not have money they were not welcome or quarantined to the kitchen with the servants. It was odd because characters such as Hareton accepted this and did not fight it. It goes to show how ingrained a custom can be.
One of the toughest things for me to swallow was the life of women. Women such as Catherine and Cathy were expected to sit inside and be dainty. Being outside was deemed an unacceptable activity for a lady. Up until she spent 5 weeks away from home with the Linton’s, Catherine was seen as unruly and naughty. Upon returning she was then looked upon as a lady. They mentioned how her pale skin was perfect indication that she no longer ran about outside.Once being married, nothing belonged to women either. They were deemed unfit to own anything and take care of affairs, without a man in her life a woman was seen as worthless.
Reading this tale left me with a greater appreciation for women writers of this time. It must have taken great strength to do something that they were seen as unfit to do. I often dismissed these older texts, particularly by women, because I found them boring. I felt that there was nothing about that that I could relate to, but I am finding that to be untrue. This novel shows that the issues in our society are nothing new, they have been around for a long time.
One thing that I truly loved about this novel was the love story aspect. Yes, Heathcliff was a grouchy horrible man, but his loss of love was the cause of his strife. I could not imagine pining for years to then have it taken away from you. His love for Catherine was something beautiful. I find that love stories nowadays are all about instant connection and instant romance, but these older takes have a true understanding of what love is. Love takes time and patience.
As aforementioned, I loved this book. Although a work of fiction, authors write what they know. The society and characters that Bronte wrote about were true to their times. I am sorry it took me so many years to finally read it! I would recommend this book to anyone who has not read it.
Have you read Wuthering Heights? If so, tell me what you think of it!