Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte: A review

Fifty-second book reviewed as part of the 130 Challenge.

It seems that one can only despise someone with true passion, if they have once loved them just as much. And there is no story that can equal Wuthering Heights when it comes to passion. The story is tragic, but beautifully so and the reason why tragedy is such a thing of beauty is because it takes much loving and longing to make a tragedy.

wuthering heightsNothing that happens in Wuthering heights is subdued. There is unabashed love, longing and despair and so there is unmasked humiliation, rage and retribution. While Catherine is consumed by her love for Heathcliff, he himself is consumed by his intense desire for vengeance. They love and hate with the same intensity. Everything is extreme and there is no moderation. These emotions are brought out in even more vividly against the backdrop of the silent moors that are vast and all encompassing.

In some places it seems that the characters could have been a little more pragmatic or perhaps logical and resolved their disputes. After all, they did love each other just as much as they come to hate each other. But passion knows no logic. It is scary to see how far someone can be altered by their relationships with people and their experiences in them.

But good or bad, one thing that we can learn from the story is that all of us are just victims of the vicissitudes of fate. It is chance that brings Heathcliff to Wuthering Heights and thus, makes him the object of envy for Hindley. It is by coincidence that Catherine and Heathcliff are brought together and fall madly in love with each other. It wasn’t deliberately that Catherine laughed at Heathcliff and hurt his pride and thus, set the stage for Hindley to humiliate him. And it was completely by sheer luck that Heathcliff came back to become the master of both Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange.

With each of these twists of fate, I was plunged into different emotions. I have experienced sadness, joy, frustration, anticipation, exasperation, hope, sympathy, fury and even acceptance. This story will take you through an entire spectrum of emotions and towards the end, it will not give you what you expected, but you will learn to make peace with that, as Heathcliff made peace with the fact that he will never have his redemption.

wuthering heights fb cover

If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.

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