Jun 15, 12
Read in September, 2011
I went into this book with very high expectations, and I wouldn't say it fell short, but I think I had the wrong expectations. I was expecting the atypical love story, only with slightly more angsty characters. Boy, was I wrong. This is an amazing book, but very depressing. Catharine was my least favorite character. She was amazingly written, but very dislikeable. To me, she is weak-willed, ruled by her need for acceptance and to be seen as perfect, instead of following her beliefs or her heart. Heathcliff was frightening, captivating, and extremely deep. The depth of his emotions was really amazing, and I enjoyed the parts of the book when he was the star. Edgar is also very dislikeable, and to me is very weak and wimpy, and almost foppish, and he doesn't fit Catharine's personality at all, so I wasn't pleased when she marries him. Young Catharine is the opposite of Catharine. She totally belongs in Edgar's world, but is put with Heathcliff, and ends up turning into one of them, mean-spirited and unlikeable. I thought that the houses were characters in their own way as well, Wuthering Heights was the seed of all the bad things, the corruption, while Thrushcross Grange is the civilized house, the pure, and I found it really interesting how the characters changed as they changed houses. The ending was depressing, as one would expect from the overall tone of the book, but I really enjoyed it. It showed me a new perspective on the world, one that I didn't really like, but which certainly provoked thought into my own worldview.
People say they don't understand why it's a classic. I'll give my opinion. It's a dystopian universe where negativity is the norm. The characters are so horrible and depressing because they're stuck for all their lives in these two houses. They are practically predestined because of where they're born. Wuthering Heights is the house of corruption, and if you're born there, you're born angsty, depressed, and cynical. Thrushcross Grange is the "pure" house. People born there are NOT pure in character, but think they have to act like it, and so become snobby and insufferable in their weakness. Looking in to this world as an outsider not born into this, you're supposed to hate the people, and hate what happens to them, but the real thinking comes when you realize that. Then you can look on it as an outsider, like Lockwood, and it will change your perspective of the world, like it did to Lockwood. You're at once intertwined in the book and also distanced from it because you are not like the characters. The people that like the book, from my perspective, seem to think that it's so wrong it's right. You hate the dry descriptions of everything so much that you love the descriptions of the things actually described well, like the characters, even though morally they're horrible. You want them to end well, but when you really think about it, it would be a horrible ending to the book if Heathcliff and Cathy lived happily ever after. It's not even a possibility to them, because they're such bad people, and could never magically transform into good, happy people no matter how much you want them to. That's really the heart of why I love the book....because in way, it IS a happy ending. It's THEIR happy, which to everyone else is horrible. Jeez, I don't even know if anyone can understand this. I don't even know if I can understand this! I think what I'm trying to get at is...read this book. :)