Title: Wuthering Heights
Author: Emily Brontë (originally published under the pseudonym Ellis Bell)
Year Published: 1847
Genre: Romance, Classic
My Rating: 2 on 5
What is it about me and classics? When the entire world is raving about classics, I only end up getting disappointed. After having many bad experiences with classics before, I vowed never to read one again, but I did it anyway hoping atleast this time, I will be proved wrong. I wasn’t.
Wuthering Heights is the name of the house where most of the book is set in. This is where Heathcliff is brought in as an adopted orphan and takes a more important place in the household and thus invokes wrath from the natural heirs of the property – Hareton and Catherine, which eventually turns into a blooming romance between Heathcliff and Catherine. Though the couple is very much in love, Catherine ends up marrying another guy and Heathcliff takes that as a personal insult to him and vows to take revenge. The story continues to the next generation where Catherine’s daughter ends up getting married to Heathcliff’s son and what happens later on.
Wikipedia says wuthering means turbulent weather in Yorkshire and this best describes the happenings at this bizarre house. Heathcliff, whose love for Catherine takes the centre stage in the initial part of the book and his hatred and revenge forms the later part, is one strange character. He starts off as being innocent and guileless, who then turns into a headstrong teenager who thinks the entire world is against him, who then turns into an out and out monster. Without marking this review as spoiler, I can’t reveal his heinous crimes, but it’s suffice to say I was revolted and disturbed by certain parts of the story. I had to pause and ask myself if this character is for real – I mean, this person is too evil even for a fictitious character. Most of the characters in the prologue are like this – evil, sharp tongued, foul mouthed – I thought the name ‘Mad House’ was a better name for the novel.
I fail to see why this novel has this amount of attention and praise. It is a decent novel, no doubt, but what is so great about it that it has to be listed as one of the must reads. I have a similar opinion about Jane Eyre and most of the other classics, so I guess it’s just me. Go ahead and enjoy reading this classic while I figure what gene is responsible for appreciating classics and how do I go about procuring it.