A colleague of Hopkins once claimed that after reading The Wreck of the Deutschland, he got a very bad headache. I cannot disagree. Although I think i...moreA colleague of Hopkins once claimed that after reading The Wreck of the Deutschland, he got a very bad headache. I cannot disagree. Although I think its just that Hopkins might actually be too brilliant for the average mind. His works are weighted with metaphors, references, imagery and unorthodox use of language. One can research the crap out of a poem and still be missing a piece. It's quite mind-blowing. That's what the five stars is for. Not because I particularly enjoyed his poetry (I more respected, than delighted in) but because I acknowledge and appreciate his talent, his experimentation with poetic devices and what he ultimately did for modernist poetry (then again, I'm not much of a poetry junkie). Dare I say he was a genius? I think he might and truly have been.(less)
I understand why many people hate this book. Catherine and Heathcliff are monstrous. Monstrous. You won't like them because they are unlikable. They a...moreI understand why many people hate this book. Catherine and Heathcliff are monstrous. Monstrous. You won't like them because they are unlikable. They are irrational, self-absorbed, malicious and pretty much any negative quality you can think a person is capable of possessing without imploding. They seek and destroy and act with no thought to consequence. And I find it fascinating that Emily Bronte chose them to be her central protagonists.
When this was first published it was met with animosity because of how utterly repugnant these two characters were. The way they go about their business caring nothing for others but themselves was enough for me to shake my head in complete and total judgment, as if Catherine and Heathcliff could see me and are then effectively shamed by their actions.
Wuthering Heights is epic, in my humble opinion, because I believe that the scope of this story is monumental. Let me explain: it is a simple tale between two families that are bound in such a way that their fates are irrevocably linked. What affects one, affects the other. Its about Catherine and Heathcliff who fall in love and how their relationship ruins the lives of those around them. The book, all 400 pages of it, occur almost entirely at Wuthering Heights, the estate of the Earnshaws, and at Thrushcross Grange, the estate of the Lintons with only a couple of miles of land in between.
And yet it is not a small story.
The emotional magnitude of this book is great and far reaching. The provoking and unapologetic quality of Bronte's writing is seductive. The process of reading this story can feel so masochistic sometimes that its almost if she's daring us to stop reading and throw the book away. Like its a game of personal endurance to see how much we can take, how far we can go. She pushes at us, challenging us and all the while knowing that we have to keep reading because redemption awaits. It is nothing like its contemporaries.
The moors, the darkness of the moors, that curses the household of Wuthering Heights and its inhabitants is ever present. Nature is personified. It is its own character; its there, lingering and simmering ever so quietly, saturating every scene with its silent threats of doom...okay, I have to stop talking like this...what am I anymore?
There is poison in this book, but let me ease your mind by saying that it is balanced with goodness also. This isn't a perfect novel. There were still moments I found myself in perplexion (recently invented word). And while everything about Catherine and Heathcliff may be corrupt, there is hope in Wuthering Heights. If you can journey through the menacing forest of Emily Bronte's imagination, do it because the view is something to behold.
I cannot tell you how many times I've had to read this in life. Much to my dismay, it has grown on me. We are like old frenemies. One more read and I...moreI cannot tell you how many times I've had to read this in life. Much to my dismay, it has grown on me. We are like old frenemies. One more read and I might even give him a four.(less)