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If you've read both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights - Rochester or Heathcliff?

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ERIN SCHMIDT Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is one of my favorite books ever. I've read it four times now, but I just read Jane Eyre for the first time. When I started 'Jane Eyre,' I was convinced there was no way I would like Edward Fairfax Rochester better than Heathcliff as a dark romantic hero, but 'Jane Eyre' completely changed my mind. Heathcliff was abusive to Isabella, but Rochester was never violent (negligent, perhaps) to Bertha even though she was violently mentally ill. If I had to choose between the two of them, I'd have to choose Rochester. Assuming you had to pick one, who would you pick?


Kressel Housman Rochester, hands down. But if you bring in Villette, then Dr. Graham wins.


☯Emily  Ginder Rochester, of course. I've never figured out why any woman would like Heathcliff.


message 4: by Anthea (last edited Dec 18, 2012 07:05AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anthea Carson Heathcliff! Ha ha, I just read the above comment, "I could never figure out why any woman would like Heathcliff."

Hmm... Interesting. Why do I like Heathcliff?

He loved Catherine so much he went out to seek the fortune she said the man she marries must have.

Gee, can't figure out why any woman would be attracted to that guy.


☯Emily  Ginder I see. It is like marrying a football player who makes a lot of money, but hits you every time you forget to pass the salt and then kills you one day in a rage.

Sorry, not convinced.


ERIN SCHMIDT Anthea wrote: "Heathcliff! Ha ha, I just read the above comment, "I could never figure out why any woman would like Heathcliff."

Hmm... Interesting. Why do I like Heathcliff?

He loved Catherine so much he went..."


Heathcliff is very attractive - except in the way that he treated Isabella. I love the intensity of his love for Catherine.


Mochaspresso Rochester. He never deliberatly tried to hurt anyone.


Adriana Anthea wrote: "Heathcliff! Ha ha, I just read the above comment, "I could never figure out why any woman would like Heathcliff."

Hmm... Interesting. Why do I like Heathcliff?

He loved Catherine so much he went..."


And when he was unable to have Catherine, he took it out on everyone around him.

When Rochester lost Jane, he continued providing for his lunatic wife, risking his own life to try to save her in the fire.

I have to agree with Emily on this: not convinced.


Lisa Rochester!


message 10: by Rachel (last edited Dec 18, 2012 09:03AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rachel Goodman Oh my gosh.. Rochester hands down. Love that man. LOL.

Yeah, as Adriana said, Rochester kept providing and living (though barely) even after he couldn't have Jane. He also genuinely showed love for people - regardless of Jane. And during the fire he could have just said: "Screw this woman, let her die... then maybe I can find Jane and marry her." But even then he risked his life for the mad woman, putting her first before his passions.

I'm about to start Villette... so we'll see how Dr. Graham factors into my opinion...


Leanne (Booksandbabble) Rochester any day.Every lady needs that dark Byronic anti-hero :D


Stephen Whaley Rochester, unless you're THE Catherine.


message 13: by K (new) - rated it 5 stars

K Rochester everyday of the week. There is no competition there. I have always been partial to Rochester.


message 14: by Nicole D. (last edited Dec 19, 2012 08:27AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nicole D. Rochester no contest.Like others have said after Jane left he still looked after his mentally ill wife and even risked his life to save her form the fire she started.
Heathcliff is a psychopath.He is an intersecting character to read about but not a dark brooding hero.I still love Wuthering Heights over Jane Eyre.


message 15: by Sara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara Rochester! Heathcliff is a man-child!


Maria Murdock Even though I know it's wrong, I like Heathcliff better. He's more exciting than Mr. Rochester.


Olivia Parsons Mr. Rochester. Just in general, I liked Jane Eyre better than Wuthering Heights.


message 18: by Anthea (last edited Dec 18, 2012 10:16AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anthea Carson Yea, I guess that's true, Heathcliff is not exactly a great catch for anyone but Catherine. I gotta read Villette now.


Anthea Carson ☯Emily wrote: "I see. It is like marrying a football player who makes a lot of money, but hits you every time you forget to pass the salt and then kills you one day in a rage.

Sorry, not convinced."


Adriana wrote: "Anthea wrote: "Heathcliff! Ha ha, I just read the above comment, "I could never figure out why any woman would like Heathcliff."

Hmm... Interesting. Why do I like Heathcliff?

He loved Catherine ..."


No way!! Nothing like a football player! No no no, and not for the money either. It's the fact that he was so passionately in love with her that he went out and tried to become what she wanted him to be. She wanted shallow things like money. If it was just the money, then she would have been happy and fine with Mr. Linton.


☯Emily  Ginder My point that only a shallow WOMAN could like Heathcliff. He had an obsessive love that destroyed everyone around him. He would have destroyed Catherine in a different way if he had married her.


message 21: by K (new) - rated it 5 stars

K "It's the fact that he was so passionately in love with her that he went out and tried to become what she wanted him to be"- Anthea

I never really thought about it that way but I actually like the way you put it. However destructive he tried to become what she wanted him to be. I'm still a Rochester girl but there's a sad nobility to that.


Anthea Carson ☯Emily wrote: "My point that only a shallow WOMAN could like Heathcliff. He had an obsessive love that destroyed everyone around him. He would have destroyed Catherine in a different way if he had married her."

Ha ha I'm not shallow, anything but. I wish I were.


Kressel Housman Rachel, if you're starting Villette, be forewarned: parts of it are very slow, but if you push on, you'll be richly rewarded.


RegencyEmma MR ROCHESTER!


message 25: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann Gimpel Rochester!


Serena Definitely Rochester. But there is something appealing about Heathcliff. If he had fallen in love with a better woman, maybe he would have been a better man. The guy was certainly loyal and ambitious and darkly romantic. Still, Rochester is the better man by far.


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

HEATHCLIFF!!! The whole time I was reading Wuthering Heights, I was just dying to jump through the pages and be Cathy! <3
And isn't Rochester, like, twice as old as Jane? Gross!


Rachel Goodman Kressel: thanks! That's good to know. I was worried that it was not going to be as enjoyable as Jane Eyre but I've seen really good reviews.


Andrea Rochester! I didn't like Heathcliff at all. Being in love does not excuse being abusive and tyrannical. Yes he went out to make something of himself for Catherine, but I didn't like her since her behaviour wasn't very good either. I enjoyed Jane Eyre much more than Wuthering Heights, although the latter did bring up some very interesting points about humanity and love.


Kressel Housman Other Villette warnings:

(1) If you don't read French, you might want to get hold of a copy with translations because the characters do sometimes converse in French

and

(2) You may be offended by some sections if you're a devout Catholic.


Rachel Goodman Thanks, Kressel! Boy does Bronte like to use French in her novels! :)


Jessica C. Wuthering Heights is my favorite novel from that period.

I too have read it four or five times, because the narrative completely engrosses me and the story is chock full of characters (like the old man whom his lines were about Christianity and were barely reader friendly for this day and age). Bronte helped me to SEE and FEEL this disaster progress, so I saw through it to the end. I'm so glad. I'd pick Heathcliff. I see the difference in temperment in the two men; this is about the two women really. Locking your ex wife in an attic type room and not at least sending her to a dreaded facility I always rated as poor judgement. That broke Rochester's character for me. Heacliff was a stable boy in love with the queen. Instead of mulling around basquing in his hopelessness he left for a good while and returned a more vicious and wealthier man. His handicap was that he "felt" with every cell in his body. Rochester, thought about love. It's a no brainer, a man whom is struck with the ache of not ever marrying the woman he loves, day after day, and is restless and irritable to the extreme cause he has no where to focus his astounding passion, I felt bad for him too.


The London Magazine Hmm, I would have perhaps said Rochester- but after reading the postmodern prequel to Jane Eyre- it's called Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys- I think I would have to say neither of them, really. But still, Rochester locked his wife in a basement and Heathcliff got rather creepy.


Bookishnymph *needs hea* Erin wrote: "Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is one of my favorite books ever. I've read it four times now, but I just read Jane Eyre for the first time. When I started 'Jane Eyre,' I was convinced there was ..."

Definitely Rochester. Rochester confined his wife to the attic with a keeper so she wouldn't be hurt. He didn't want to send Bertha to an asylum because asylums where good for mistreating people back then.
Heathcliff was just broody and creepy.


Bookishnymph *needs hea* ☯Emily wrote: "Rochester, of course. I've never figured out why any woman would like Heathcliff."


Agreed.


Bookishnymph *needs hea* ☯Emily wrote: "I see. It is like marrying a football player who makes a lot of money, but hits you every time you forget to pass the salt and then kills you one day in a rage.

Sorry, not convinced."


LOL


message 37: by Christie (last edited Dec 19, 2012 09:50AM) (new) - added it

Christie Meierz Serena wrote: "And isn't Rochester, like, twice as old as Jane? Gross! "

Oh but my dear, men are like fine wine: they get better with age. Trust me on this. Rochester is, presumably, 38 or so -- he's only just beginning to be interesting! Just wait until he's 45!

Edit: And my vote goes for Rochester. Negligence doesn't necessarily speak of irredeemable character defects -- striking a woman is an entirely different matter. Striking someone weaker than you are is despicable.


message 38: by ERIN (last edited Dec 21, 2012 04:43AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

ERIN SCHMIDT Lauren wrote: "☯Emily wrote: "Rochester, of course. I've never figured out why any woman would like Heathcliff."


Agreed."


It's a well-used trope in literature that the character who's outwardly the strongest - even the most brutal - is inwardly the one who's the most hurt. I've always been drawn to that character in literature, though not in real life. That's the fun of fiction - it's allowed to gloss over some of the things that would be dangerous/boring/obnoxious, etc., in real life. And I don't think that's a bad thing.

I think the moment in 'Wuthering Heights' that Heathcliff overhears Catherine talking about marrying Edgar Linton and why she could never marry Heathcliff is the moment the reader loses a lot of sympathy with Catherine and starts to empathize with Heathcliff. I think Heathcliff is a very attractive character, and despite Catherine, he might have turned out to be a much better person if he hadn't been so mistreated by Hindley. I've always found Hindley to be the one who's thoroughly unattractive, not Heathcliff.


☯Emily  Ginder Hindley is certainly despicable and unattractive. I felt sympathetic towards Heathcliff until he used and abused Isabella, Hareton, and young Catherine.


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

God, am I the ONLY one who likes Heathcliff?
For me, comparing JE to WH is like comparing cardboard to a thunderstorm. I felt nothing for Rochester, whereas my heart just broke for Heathcliff, over and over again. (That scene where he opens the window and calls Catherine's name then starts crying...oh!)


Serena Christie wrote: "Serena wrote: "And isn't Rochester, like, twice as old as Jane? Gross! "

Oh but my dear, men are like fine wine: they get better with age. Trust me on this. Rochester is, presumably, 38 or so -- h..."


Um... I didn't post that. Lol Brooke did. I don't think older men are 'gross'. In fact, they have far more appealing attributes than younger men.


fabby heathcliff because he was passionate he knew what he wanted and dint waver Rochester was in love but not enough to tell the truth and he was just to tame


Marian Rochester, of course.


Wanda The London Magazine wrote: "Hmm, I would have perhaps said Rochester- but after reading the postmodern prequel to Jane Eyre- it's called Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys- I think I would have to say neither of them, really. Bu..."

Actually, Rochester locked her in the attic :)


Wanda Rochester, then Dr Graham, and last of all Heathcliff. Never did like Wuthering Heights, too depressing.


message 46: by Joyce (last edited Dec 21, 2012 04:08AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joyce Rochester. It's a no-brainer for me, really. Think about it this way: Rochester loved Jane so much he would have let her go rather than make her stay and make her miserable, whilst Heathcliff kept pestering Catherine even after her marriage, unable to accept that fact that she had moved on whilst he had not.

Another thing, Heathcliff is abusive and he deliberately lures Catherine's daughter to his son with no thought of how her mother would feel were she alive, not to mention how he fought with Edgar Linton even knowing it would worsen Catherine's already frail mental state.


message 47: by Caz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Caz Rochester, without a doubt. Heathcliff always struck me as unbalanced and cruel, whereas Rochester did what he did to Jane because he was so much in love. Not that that makes it alright... and yes, what Joyce says in #47.


message 48: by ERIN (new) - rated it 4 stars

ERIN SCHMIDT Caz wrote: "Rochester, without a doubt. Heathcliff always struck me as unbalanced and cruel, whereas Rochester did what he did to Jane because he was so much in love. Not that that makes it alright... and ye..."

Heathcliff become unbalanced because he was so much in love. He literally felt like he and Catherine were one soul in two bodies and that it was inevitable that they would be married. When she sneakily decided to marry Edgar behind his back and he overheard her, it was an unimaginable betrayal. He snapped. Which is still no excuse for how cruel he is to Isabella - the point was that Heathcliff was as motivated by love as Rochester, if not more so.


☯Emily  Ginder Erin wrote: "Caz wrote: "Rochester, without a doubt. Heathcliff always struck me as unbalanced and cruel, whereas Rochester did what he did to Jane because he was so much in love. Not that that makes it alrig..."

I'm not sure that Heathcliff was in love. His behavior is more like one who is obsessed.


message 50: by ERIN (new) - rated it 4 stars

ERIN SCHMIDT ☯Emily wrote: "Erin wrote: "Caz wrote: "Rochester, without a doubt. Heathcliff always struck me as unbalanced and cruel, whereas Rochester did what he did to Jane because he was so much in love. Not that that m..."

I don't know that "in love" and "obsessed" are mutually exclusive.


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