After reading Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, the overall book was dark and sad. It was a book that you rarely found good outcomes to any hopeful situation. Given that this book was set in the 1800’s I imagine living back then was in itself hard like people dying at early ages. Characters in the book that develop diseases or suffer from mental illnesses get the lowest amount of proper treatment that they needed.
The main character of the book is Heathcliff. Who was found as a young boy by a passerby lonely in the streets not knowing any blood relatives. This man who brought him to his house already had two children of his own a daughter and a son.
They also lived with a grumpy old man named Joseph who is almost impossible to figure out what he saying. Even in the book the author writes his speeches just as he talks. For example, page 337 paragraph 3:
“Aw’d rayther, by th’ haulf, hev ‘em swearing i’ my lugs frough morn tuh neeght, nur hearken yah, hah-siver!”
I mean I have no idea what he’s trying to say here. By the exclamation point I can see he’s yelling or very angry about whatever he’s saying. I have tried to read his speeches slow and comprehend what he’s saying. But after awhile I just skim through what he says because he usually doesn’t have anything nice to say.
Anyway, as Heathcliff grows up in his new home, his adoptive father figure in a way dies. The son, Hindley Earnshaw abuses him and hates him, as does Joseph. The daughter Catherine Earnshaw treats Heathcliff as her equal. Although they spent a lot of time together I never felt they really showed much affection or support towards each other.
Skipping ahead Catherine decides to accept Edgar Linton’s hand in marriage. Heathcliff gets so mad that he runs off and eventually comes back a rich man. But where he gains his wealth is a mystery. Catherine explains that she married him because of Heathcliff to she could protect him in a way. She meant to marry him out of goodwill to Heathcliff but he did not take it that way.
This is just one example where good intentions are there (I guess) but they go unnoticed.
There are times when I really have to focus on reading this book because it is hard to understand what’s going on or the vocabulary the author uses. However, it is cool to read how people talked during this time. This book was originally published in 1847. Probably the oldest book I’ve read to date.
Anyway, Edgar has a daughter Isabella who Heathcliff marries just to get revenge on Edgar for marrying the love of his life, Catherine.
While Heathcliff is gone, Catherine starts to go mad. She hallucinates, she’s weak and she’s depressed. Edgar in the meantime really loves her but he finds himself reading in his study a lot.
The maid Nelly, tries to help Catherine through this hard time the best she can by keeping it from Edgar until he finds out how mad Catherine really is and then gets upset at Nelly. Rightfully so.
Heathcliff comes to visit Catherine in secret where he holds her close as sick as she is and weak and kisses her, while Nelly is supervising. Shortly after this Catherine dies and not sure when this happens but she has a daughter and Edgar names her Catherine too.
In the meantime Healthcliff married Isabell while she was so young and starts to abuse her and doesn’t love her at all. Then she leaves him.
As time goes on, Heathcliff finds out he has a son Linton that his ex-wife, as he refers to her as a slut, was keeping from him. Rightly so since he abused her and neglected her and the only reason he married her was for revenge.
Okay, I’m going to wrap it up here. Edgar’s daughter Catherine grows up and discovers Heathcliff and her cousin (Heathcliff’s son Linton) Linton is very weak and sick most of the time. He stays indoors and can’t walk anywhere far without getting exhausted.
( In the meantime, Hindley, Catherine’s brother, the one who abused Heathcliff as a boy, had a son of his own named Hareton, he was not loved at all as a child and no one taught him any life lessons or even how to read, so sad)
Then Heathcliff forced Catherine into his home and kept her there until she agreed to marry Linton who she kind of liked but her Dad was dying at the same time and wanted more than anything to see him before he died. She did marry him and she did escape just so she could see her Dad before he died. So sad.
Then Heathcliff forced Catherine to move back to be with Linton (her forced husband) who died as well and Catherine was all alone. But Catherine was strong and stood up for herself, but if she ever tried to defend herself too much Healthcliff would abuse her.
Terrible right. Heathcliff is a real asshole.
But there was light at the end of the tunnel. The only good thing was Catherine and Hareton started forming a bond, which wasn’t easy. Given that everyone was surrounded by negativity, abuse and harsh winter, I can see why there weren’t a lot of friendships.
She was 17 I believe and Hareton was 20, the fact that these two were actually happy and enjoyed their company was rare in such a lonesome angry household.
I think was Heathcliff saw that they were happy and that he finally realized he has been mad all his life. And he spent his whole life getting even and wasting away his and other peoples lives.
At this point I was waiting for some to murder Heathcliff since he was the only thing left that that was causing anguish, to literally, everyone.
But he starved himself to death and he finally died and Catherine and Hareton married. It was such a sweet love story with these two because Hareton couldn’t read at all and they bonded the most when Catherine taught him how to read and stand up for himself to Heathcliff.
So I’m glad I finished reading this book because I had to really focus on the story. Not gonna lie, anytime I read this book at bedtime, I got so tired and slept right away. Recommended to help you fall asleep, but then again all reading mostly makes me tired.
I’ll end it here on page 370 the last paragraph.
“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 anyone could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.”
Emily Bronte “Wuthering Heights”