Donna's Reviews > Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
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's review
Jul 10, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: audiobook, classical-literature, romance, 2011-read, favorites
Read from May 16 to July 02, 2011

No offense to Mr. Shakespeare, but I think Heathcliff and Cathy, and not Romeo and Juliet, are the definitive star-crossed lovers of the Western literary tradition. Nothing in their lives allows them to be together, not society, not circumstances, not even themselves. Also, their love is destructive to both themselves and those around them, just as star-crossed love ought to be.

I won't provide a summary of this novel, as it is so well-known and well-read. For good reason too. The language in this book is at times so passionate, dark, and alive. It's fascinating to read about how much Heathcliff and Cathy feel about each other at every moment. Their speeches of devotion and all-consuming love make similar speeches made by Mr. Darcy and Romeo pale in comparison.

One other thing I particularly enjoyed about the novel was its framing narrative. The tragic story of Heathcliff, Catherine Earnshaw, and their progeny, is told through Ellen Dean, housekeeper at Wuthering Heights. Her story is in turn told through Mr. Lockwood, a resident at Thrushcross Grange, the former home of Heathcliff's mortal enemy, Edgar Linton. These layers of narrative cloaked the story and made it more interesting. Instead of a straight narration, the story is told through the biased eyes of Nelly Dean, who influences so many major events.

I've read some criticism of Wuthering Heights that names Nelly as the true villain of the piece. The articles claim that her real part in the story is someone who purposefully engineers and manipulates the others to create conflict and strife. I'm not sure if I agree with this interpretation, but it certainly sheds a different light on certain moments.

What made reading this book a true pleasure for me was listening to Juliet Stevenson's narration. She brilliantly brought each character to life through the use of accents and subtle shifts in tone and voice. Her reading was even and smooth, placing just the right amount of emphasis on each word.

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05/12 marked as: read
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