Wuthering Heights ― My favorite book (#Worldbookday)
For the #WORLDBOOKDAY I thought it would be fit to discuss Wuthering Heights i.e. my favorite book of all time. This book is an English Literature classic and you might actually know about it because it is quite popular. The author Emily Brontë is the third of the 4 Brontë surviving siblings and this is the only the novel she published under the pen name of ‘Ellis Bell’. There are many books about the Brontë siblings and their works.
“He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
― Emily Brontë
This book fills you with awe and will leave you speechless. Here are a few reasons why I love this book and why you should read it if you haven’t already.
It is a gothic novel which tells the story of an intense relationship between Catherine Earnshaw and her father’s adopted child Heathcliff. But it is the furthest thing from traditional romance and wraps up so many emotions such as love, revenge, loneliness, obsession and all while being set in the moors, back and forth between two chaotic houses, far away from civilization.
It’s raw and unlikable
Unlike many classic novels, this one is wicked and there are no likeable characters. Not that I don’t have a favourite but creating perfectly flawed characters is the work of a genius. The flaws are specific to their characters and they make the novel an exceptional one. You are almost attached to the characters because you are in search of their redemption. And no the ending is not a happy one. For the most part, you are overcome by disappointment and pity because of how the characters end up but it is also something that you expect of them. People who love this book love it for how cruel but well written it is.
“I wish I were a girl again, half-savage and hardy, and free.”
― Emily Brontë
Among the Brontë’ siblings, Charlotte is the more popular and successful having penned classics such as Jane Eyre. But Emily Brontë’ is the one that took bigger risks with writing and it shows because although the themes of tortured romance, complicated families and seclusion are common themes among their works, Emily’s characters are wild, passionate and often completely unrelatable. Catherine and Heathcliff make up for the most memorable in classic literature because of how uninhibited and terrifying characters they were individually and so was their doomed affair.
The narrator Nelly is another interesting character that follows their entire trajectory and retells the story sometimes with pity, sometimes with rage but only with a sliver of neutrality that she feels towards them when she completely fails to understand them. Hindley and Edgar are other notable characters that you find almost as tortured but with dialed down destructiveness in comparison. Every character is worth dissecting in this book. It’s my favorite book in case you didn’t notice.
Drama and dialogue
Wuthering Heights summed up in one word is chaos. It is strange because the setting is the definition of calm, quiet and simplicity. It is realistic and at the same time the most dramatic book that I have ever read.
“Terror made me cruel . . .”
― Emily Brontë
The dialogue lacks decorum. It is unhinging how the willfulness of the characters is exhibited in some very passionate but outright brutal lines.
The intensity of the novel is especially iconic because it was Brontë’s first and only novel. Imagine publishing only once and completely changing romantic literature. She introduced to the literary world suppressed emotions, manipulative eroticism, unredeemable characters and truly destructive affairs.
“Be with me always – take any form – drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I can not live without my life! I can not live without my soul!”
― Emily Brontë
It’s not relatable and very few people have digested the complexity of Catherine and Heathcliff, the main characters. They are turbulent and it not entirely pleasant to read about. But you will be fascinated by the honesty with which complex themes are explored in an era that has produced largely a rose-coloured view of the world.
“She burned too bright for this world.”
― Emily Bronte
The best thing you can take from this book is that it is written beautifully. The plot is ironclad. The prose is draconian. The imagery is superior. You don’t just read about Catherine punching her hand through the window, you feel it. * Spoiler *
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