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Wuthering Heights
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Archived Group Reads 2018 > Wuthering Heights - Week 6 -- Final Discussions and Movie/Book Comparisons

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message 1: by Cindy, Moderator (last edited Jul 12, 2018 10:54AM) (new) - added it

Cindy Newton | 423 comments Mod
I'm going to start this thread a few days early. You can discuss (or continue to discuss) the book as a whole here, or share your thoughts about any of the movie versions you have seen. How does the movie version compare to the book? If you've seen more than one movie version, how do they compare to each other? What elements were emphasized in each version, and how effective were the directors' choices? Wow, a search on my Roku just brought up six different versions! Where to start? :)

Please feel free to comment on any of the above topics, or any other questions or observations you care to share with the group!


Kelly 2009 2 part series with Tom Hardy as Mr. Heathcliff is the best. Both in acting and staying true to the book.


message 3: by Cindy, Moderator (new) - added it

Cindy Newton | 423 comments Mod
Kelly wrote: "2009 2 part series with Tom Hardy as Mr. Heathcliff is the best. Both in acting and staying true to the book."

I think I'll watch that one tomorrow. I watched the 2011 version today. It pretty much ended with Catherine's death. Heathcliff's son Linton and Cathy Linton never even entered the picture. Plus there was a little bit of necrophilia, so . . . yeah.


SherryRose | 68 comments I saw the old one with Lawrence Olivier and Merle Obourn before I read the book. I loved the movie. Heathcliff was a lovesick puppy and Catherine died in his arms so sweetly. That was old Hollywood and it was a feel good story. When I read the book it was a whole different story. I love the book. It’s one of my top favorites. I also love the movie but the two have very little in common.


message 5: by Renee, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Renee M | 1993 comments Mod
That’s the way I remember the 1939 version! And, yes, I was just as surprised to find there was essentially and whole second book after Cathy dies.

The other version I’ve seen is from 1992 with Juliette Binoche. I thought it was pretty close to the novel. Binoche plays both Cathys, and the scene where she says she’s “not afraid” of Heathcliff and the I’ll-teach-you-to-be-afraid beatdown is terrifying.


Charlotte (charlottecph) | 271 comments So far I have seen three versions and the version from 1939 is so much better than the others. (One would think that movies only got better and better, but the others are inferior.) The most important elements are included and intensified. Sometimes less is more.


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Cindy wrote: "... six different versions..."

and I never saw even one WH movie! It seems incredible, but it's true ... no explanation for that! :)


message 8: by Kerstin, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kerstin | 626 comments Mod
It is really amazing how many different reactions we all have to the book. There is so much to explore! No wonder this book became such a well known classic. I wonder about these designations sometimes, why is this book a classic? Some truly deserve the title, and others are just (perpetual) "cult" classics. If you look at the numbers here on GR, the book has over a million ratings and close to 30,000 reviews!

With a nod to Renee :), I chose to explore the book from a spiritual perspective.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Brittany (Lady Red) (ladyred19) | 152 comments I saw a version that I think was from the 80s but I can’t find it anywhere now. I saw it on tv and it was breathtaking


message 10: by Renee, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Renee M | 1993 comments Mod
Hahaha! Thanks, Kerstin! :D


SherryRose | 68 comments Kerstin wrote: "It is really amazing how many different reactions we all have to the book. There is so much to explore! No wonder this book became such a well known classic. I wonder about these designations somet..."

Excellent review! It’s perfect!


message 12: by Kerstin, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kerstin | 626 comments Mod
Thanks, Renee and Sherry :)


Michaela | 241 comments I haven´t finished the book yet, and I haven´t seen any of the films either, but I think the mini-series Sparkhouse very good (a kind of modern adaptation of WH, even if not so complexe), especially Richard Armitage as John Standring, who portrays a naive but nice and positive character in this. ;)


message 14: by Clarissa (last edited Jul 19, 2018 03:08AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Clarissa (clariann) | 535 comments Sherry wrote: "I saw the old one with Lawrence Olivier and Merle Obourn before I read the book. I loved the movie. Heathcliff was a lovesick puppy and Catherine died in his arms so sweetly. That was old Hollywood..."

I liked the old black and white film too, but I think it and the book are two different entities aren't they? I'd never cast Laurence Olivier as my version of Heathcliff! I don't know if it's been done yet, but it'd be interesting to see a filmed version explore the hints that he's of foreign origins.


Clarissa (clariann) | 535 comments Michaela wrote: "I haven´t finished the book yet, and I haven´t seen any of the films either, but I think the mini-series Sparkhouse very good (a kind of modern adaptation of WH, even if not so complexe), especiall..."

I hadn't heard of 'Sparkhouse' before, it looks interesting, is it worth buying?


SherryRose | 68 comments Clari wrote: "Sherry wrote: "I saw the old one with Lawrence Olivier and Merle Obourn before I read the book. I loved the movie. Heathcliff was a lovesick puppy and Catherine died in his arms so sweetly. That wa..."

Yes they really are two separate entities. Old Hollywood would never have gone with a darker skinned foreigner for Heathcliff. They were so racist. I’d like to see a darker skinned Heathcliff. It’s how Emily Bronte described him.


message 17: by Renee, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Renee M | 1993 comments Mod
Laurence Olivier, no. Not the way I see Heathcliff as written in the book. But it’s not just Hollywood’s prejudice at work. The English of this time of this time portrayed anyone on the Mediterranean as swarthy or exotic. Italians, Greeks, Arabians, etc. were seen as hot-blooded, violent, and unpredictable. Brontë’s description actually leaves interpretation of H’s background wide open to speculation.


Brittany (Lady Red) (ladyred19) | 152 comments The man who plays Dr. Jekyll in Penny Dreadful, that’s how I’ve always seen Heathcliff. I’ll look up the actor’s name, I’ve forgotten it.


SherryRose | 68 comments Brittany wrote: "The man who plays Dr. Jekyll in Penny Dreadful, that’s how I’ve always seen Heathcliff. I’ll look up the actor’s name, I’ve forgotten it."

I googled him. Great choice!


Laurene | 158 comments Kerstin wrote: "It is really amazing how many different reactions we all have to the book. There is so much to explore! No wonder this book became such a well known classic. I wonder about these designations somet..."

Love your comment!


Clarissa (clariann) | 535 comments Brittany wrote: "The man who plays Dr. Jekyll in Penny Dreadful, that’s how I’ve always seen Heathcliff. I’ll look up the actor’s name, I’ve forgotten it."

Shazad Latif? I've never watched 'Penny Dreadful', does he play mean and brooding well?


message 22: by Clarissa (last edited Jul 19, 2018 05:02AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Clarissa (clariann) | 535 comments Does anyone think the biography of Emily Bronte adds anything to their enjoyment of the story?

I don't know if it is accurate, but I saw in a telly production about the Bronte sisters' life that showed Emily getting the origins of the story from the true tale of a landowner who ended up leaving all his wealth to a foundling he adopted rather than his own son.

There are the possibilities that Hindley's drunkenness was related to her own brother Branwell's affliction and unpredictable behaviour. Though the surprises in the autobiography are more in the differences, how a single vicar's daughter from a small village, could conjure such violence and passion.

I am in such admiration for Emily's narrative intricacies and am amazed at how carefully constructed the book is too, how the dates are all perfectly thought out and how there are so many reflections, such as Catherine's diary which Lockwood finds at the beginning with Catherine Earnshaw and Catherine Linton scribbled in it which foreshadows Catherine's mistake, And how her daughter by the end of the novel takes the reverse journey from Catherine Linton to Catherine Earnshaw, righting the circle.

This is a link to an early critical look at how perfectly the novel is structured if anyone is interested:
https://www.wuthering-heights.co.uk/w...

and this from the same site is the family tree with dates:

https://www.wuthering-heights.co.uk/w...


Brittany (Lady Red) (ladyred19) | 152 comments I think he could, yes. Clari
He’s more of a sad figure in Penny, but I think he’d be a good choice.


message 24: by Charlotte (last edited Jul 19, 2018 10:02AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Charlotte (charlottecph) | 271 comments Clari wrote: "Does anyone think the biography of Emily Bronte adds anything to their enjoyment of the story?..."

I had that in mind all the time while reading. There are so many sweet and precise descriptions of children in the book that made me smile. I think Emily collected these moments from her years as a governess.

The brother Branwell must have been dominating and raving in the end. I guess she projected these scenes on to Heathcliff. Anne pictured a similar abusive character in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

There was so much illness in their family. Their mother died early and consumption dominated the village. They buried many neighboors. Maybe that’s why we read so many details about illnesses in the story.


Clarissa (clariann) | 535 comments Charlotte wrote: "There was so much illness in their family. Their mother died early and consumption dominated the village. They buried many neighboors. Maybe that’s why we read so many details about illnesses in the story. ."

I was struck by how quickly people die too, often there is just a sentence or two saying they've died, death is such an accepted part of their lives. Though the effects of loss on Hindley and Heathcliff is shown to be very brutal. And all these children without parents to protect and love them as well. There is no mums really in the novel, which is maybe a reflection of Emily not remembering her own mum? Though she did have an aunt that looked after the children I think?


message 26: by SherryRose (last edited Jul 19, 2018 04:15PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

SherryRose | 68 comments Clari wrote: "Does anyone think the biography of Emily Bronte adds anything to their enjoyment of the story?

I don't know if it is accurate, but I saw in a telly production about the Bronte sisters' life that s..."


I will look at those sites tonight. It really is so perfectly written. It’s been on my top favorites for a long time!

I have no real knowledge about the Brontes background but I do wonder how much of their stories come from real life.


Clarissa (clariann) | 535 comments Sherry wrote: " It really is so perfectly written. It’s been on my top favorites for a long time!.."

I think the intricacies of how it is planned out is a thing of absolute literary beauty. There are so many examples, but I like how in the first couple of pages we learn through Lockwood that 'Hareton Earnshaw' is above the door, and it doesn't seem particularly important compared with the oddness of his host and the rough descriptions of the location, but it is actually telling us how the story will end with Hareton back in control of the two properties.

I was interested in the significance of the three Hs at 'Wuthering Heights': Hindley, Hareton and Heathcliff. Whether it was symbolic that they're all mirrors of each other, Hareton is the good Heathcliff and Hindley is the drunken worse version who would have killed his own child in an alcoholic rage.

I found this site:
https://owlcation.com/humanities/The-...

I don't know if I agree with it all, but I liked the idea that Hareton could be pronounced to emphasise the 'heir' sound which is what he becomes in a restoration of the natural order after the disturbance of Heathcliff.
But I also somehow totally missed/forgot that Heathcliff was named after a previously lost son of Mr Earnshaw, which is maybe significant with the ghost theme? Or as the author indicates a hint that Heathcliff is his own child? I hadn't thought of that at all, but it obviously wouldn't be unheard of for someone to have an illegitimate child.
Wow, there are so many valid readings of this novel!


SherryRose | 68 comments I never thought of Heathcliff as being illegitimate but the thing that would make that seem plausible would be how Mr. Earnshaw treated him by favoring him. I missed the fact that Heathcliff was named after a lost son. How did I miss that?


Clarissa (clariann) | 535 comments Sherry wrote: "I missed the fact that Heathcliff was named after a lost son. How did I miss that?"

I know! And I thought I was reading so carefully too and making lots of notes :P
It gives another layer to the story thinking Heathcliff is illegitimate...and knows he is too.
And even if he isn't, it makes me feel sad for Mr Earnshaw who in a time of so much death still remembers a baby lost in childbirth and maybe fostered Heathcliff thinking that the was around the age his real son would be.


Clarissa (clariann) | 535 comments Cindy wrote: "I'm going to start this thread a few days early. You can discuss (or continue to discuss) the book as a whole here, or share your thoughts about any of the movie versions you have seen. How does th..."

Just wanted to say thank you for leading this discussion so well, it is the first reading group I've had both time and health to join for a while and I felt very welcome and have really enjoyed all the comments and different views.


SherryRose | 68 comments Clari wrote: "Sherry wrote: "I missed the fact that Heathcliff was named after a lost son. How did I miss that?"

I know! And I thought I was reading so carefully too and making lots of notes :P
It gives anothe..."


It sure changes perspective about Earnshaw and Heathcliff.


SherryRose | 68 comments Clari wrote: "Cindy wrote: "I'm going to start this thread a few days early. You can discuss (or continue to discuss) the book as a whole here, or share your thoughts about any of the movie versions you have see..."

I echo that! It’s been a great discussion! Thank you Cindy!


message 33: by Louise (last edited Jul 24, 2018 06:34AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Louise Culmer | 46 comments I saw the Laurence Olivier version years ago. it is a very good film, but Olivier is rather too much of a gentleman to play Heathcliff though, he is more suited to portraying more civilised heroes. I also saw the Timothy Dalton version which is very good, Dalton is excellent at being that sullen brooding type. NEither film bother to show us the next generation, and the Dalton version actually ends with Hindley and Isabella Murdering Heathcliff. while I don't blame them for wanting to do him in, it is too drastic a departure from the original plot. the only other version I have seen is the Monty Python version 'Wuthering Heights in Semaphore' which is excellent.


message 34: by Nina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nina Clare | 135 comments Sherry wrote:I echo that! It’s been a great discussion! Thank you Cindy!


Me too! Thanks Cindy for moderating, and I really enjoyed reading everyone's comments.



Brittany (Lady Red) (ladyred19) | 152 comments Me too! Glad I found this group.


Clarissa (clariann) | 535 comments Louise wrote: "I saw the Lauenve Olivier version years ago. it is a very good film, but Olivier is rather too much of a gentleman to play Heathcliff though, he as more suited to portraying more civilised heroes. ..."

Wuthering Heights in Semaphore does sound like the version that might be truest to the text :)


SherryRose | 68 comments Louise wrote: "I saw the Lauenve Olivier version years ago. it is a very good film, but Olivier is rather too much of a gentleman to play Heathcliff though, he as more suited to portraying more civilised heroes. ..."

LOL I had forgotten the Monty Python thing!


message 38: by Cindy, Moderator (new) - added it

Cindy Newton | 423 comments Mod
Thank you, guys!! I am so glad that you enjoyed the discussion--I had a great time reading all of your wonderful insights and observations. Thanks, Clari, for those links--they are awesome! I thought we could use a little comic relief after all that drama, so here's a quick recap from yet another perspective:

*Some minor profanity
WH Thug Notes


message 39: by Kerstin, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kerstin | 626 comments Mod
Louise wrote: " I have seen is the Monty Python version 'Wuthering Heights in Semaphore' which is excellent."

LOL! Once you have Monty Python's version in your head, the original sort of recedes into the background. So while reading it those flags danced in my head too from time to time :)


SherryRose | 68 comments Cindy wrote: "Thank you, guys!! I am so glad that you enjoyed the discussion--I had a great time reading all of your wonderful insights and observations. Thanks, Clari, for those links--they are awesome! I thoug..."

Too funny. Heathcliff was sippin’ on that hatorade haha! I will check out more of the thug notes channel!


SherryRose | 68 comments Kerstin wrote: "Louise wrote: " I have seen is the Monty Python version 'Wuthering Heights in Semaphore' which is excellent."

LOL! Once you have Monty Python's version in your head, the original sort of recedes i..."


Hilarious! LOL!


Michaela | 241 comments Clari wrote: "Michaela wrote: "I haven´t finished the book yet, and I haven´t seen any of the films either, but I think the mini-series Sparkhouse very good (a kind of modern adaptation of WH, even if not so com..."
It´s quite different from WH, and I mostly bought it because of RA, as he´s very nice in this mini-series, but it´s also a great watch and has got very good reviews on Amazon! Here´s the link (hope it works): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sparkhouse-D... It´s 8 pound, but there are also used DVDs; in the US it´s more than 20$, but on amazon.de it´s 7€ or less. Sorry for the late answer.


Michaela | 241 comments Finally finished the WH on Emily´s 200th birthday! What a coincidence! And then I found an article in one of our Austrian newspapers, which mostly deals with the contents of this book and the scandal it provoked in Victorian times, but to me still does, as nearly all the people are so "negative" and the "bad" ones are "winning". Not so easy to read and comprehend!

Thanks to the Moderators and all the readers who were participating! It added many ideas to my reading. Will also have a look into the films you proposed!


Clarissa (clariann) | 535 comments Michaela wrote: "Finally finished the WH on Emily´s 200th birthday! What a coincidence! And then I found an article in one of our Austrian newspapers, which mostly deals with the contents of this book and the scand..."

It is amazing to think Emily was born such a long time ago when the book still feels so modern and provoking to me! What a great time for you to read it. Is Emily Bronte well known and appreciated in Austria?


message 45: by Kerstin, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kerstin | 626 comments Mod
Clari wrote: "It is amazing to think Emily was born such a long time ago when the book still feels so modern and provoking to me!"

The truly great books are, all the way back to the Greek tragedies, Homer and Virgil. They tap into the human condition regardless of when they were put to page. And I find many of them highly entertaining.


message 46: by Cindy, Moderator (new) - added it

Cindy Newton | 423 comments Mod
Kerstin wrote: "The truly great books are, all the way back to the Greek tragedies, Homer and Virgil. They tap into the human condition regardless of when they were put to page...."

So true! Fashions and slang change--human emotions don't. The theme of rejection inspiring the desire for revenge can be traced through literature over the centuries. Who hasn't felt the sting of rejection in some form or fashion, and nurtured the wish (however secretly) that fate would provide the rejector with a comeuppance? That is something that everyone, from ancient times to today, can identify with. That identification is what makes the literature resonate with people, generation after generation. Of course, Heathcliff takes that desire to a whole new level! ;)


Michaela | 241 comments Clari wrote: "Michaela wrote: "Finally finished the WH on Emily´s 200th birthday! What a coincidence! And then I found an article in one of our Austrian newspapers, which mostly deals with the contents of this b..."
I guess if you´d ask after her name, you´d probably not get an answer from the average person, but WH is well known through the films, which apparantly only focus on Heathcliff. Upon more educated persons you´ll find the Bronte sisters well known and appreciated, more than Gaskell f.e., whom we´ve never heard at high school about.


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