Patrick's Reviews > Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
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's review
Feb 23, 2012

really liked it
Read in February, 2012

Wuthering Heights paints a portait of the vast and vivid differences between the classes. The oppositions between Thrushcross Grange and the Heights enumerate the specific differences in actions and oppurtunities between classes. The novel is, in many ways, a study of oppositions: Old Testament values versus New Testament values, old money versus new money, upper class vs. peasant class.

Emily Bronte creates a story with an impressive bad guy, Heathcliff. Mr. Heathcliff is depraved to the point that the novel is difficult to read at points, but the character is genius in how he manipulates the social system and conventions to gain his own ends. The ascention and decline of Heathcliff is one of the most interesting talking points about the novel. What is Bronte saying with the ending? Is it the failure of Heathcliff or the victory of Hareton and Catherine? The tunnel vision of Heathcliff blinds him to the world surrounding him. Hate drives his actions throughout the plot, but flames out in the end. The bitter exchanges between Nelly/Isabella/Catherine 2 and Heathcliff is great give and take. I wish the sections of the women going directly after Heathcliff, attacking his ego and his actions would have been expanded. The incisive comments from Nelly to Heathcliff are particularly important to allow the reader a different viewpoint.

Emily Bronte does an excellent job of framing the box that women of the era are confinded within. The few choices availabe to unmarried women and, especially, married women are a substantial focus of the action and turning points in the plot. The many in which ladies were exploited for property and gain are introduced in thorough detail. The reverse is shown also, through the marriage of Edgar and Catherine.

p.1 "Mr. Heathcliff and I are such a suitable pair to divide the desolation between us."
p.83 "The tyrant grinds down his slaves- and they don't turn against him, they crush those beneath them."
p.132 "I was in the condition of mind to be shocked at nothing; in fact, I was as reckless as some malefactors show themselves at the foot of the gallows."
p.160 "Do you know that, twenty times a day, I covet Hareton, with all his degradation? I'd have loved the lad had he been some one else."
p.237 "I have lost the faculty of enjoying their destruction, and I am too idle to destroy for nothing."
p.245 "My soul's bliss kills my body, but does not satisfy itself."

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Reading Progress

02/12/2012 page 100
40.0% "Heathcliff seems to be the antecedent of the modern antihero. He is not easy to like, but understanding the origins of his anger is apparent."

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