Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights - John S. Whitley, Emily Brontë

I've had to re-evaluate my opinion about this novel. I first read it last year (I think) and found it, well, "meh". I didn't care that much about it either way. It was fine.


Now, however, I've had to re-read it for an essay, and I enjoyed it considerably more. To be strictly fair, I think that was mostly down to the fact that I was reading it critically, analytically, not just for pleasure. I enjoyed thinking about the different kinds of narration in the novel - diary, epistolary, oral. I loved Bronte's descriptions of the moors and of the tempestuous relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff - "I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!" was a quotation that just wrenched my heart, which is a pretty big achievement when the person saying it is about the biggest dick in the whole of literature. I really felt sorry for him. That's amazing, when you think about it.


The thing that really brought it down, in my view, was the naming business. Eight different characters share about four names, which makes the family tree, not to mention the novel, fairly impenetrable at times. "His cousin," says the book - and you have to stop reading to think, "Hang on, who IS his cousin again? Is it her? Oh, no, that's his mother." And things of that sort.


A good book that's annoying to read. You don't see many of those around.