Sunday, July 3, 2011

Wuthering Heights - The Wrap Up

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. If you've not read Wuthering Heights and intend on doing so, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER.

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You know, I’ve done really well to keep things relatively professional on this blog, but it’s all about to go down the drain. I hope you’re ready for this. Because this time, things are going to get nasty…

I’m sorry, Aubrey. I really am. I just couldn’t bring myself to like Wuthering Heights.

Y U NO LET ME IN UR WINDO?

Let’s get to crux of why I really want to tear this book in half. And this is probably a review that isn’t going to win me any friends.



I loathed Heathcliff and Catherine. In all my years of reading, I have never come across a couple less likeable, and more self-serving and horrible to spend time with. They are truly two of the most self-centred characters I have ever come across, in fiction or the real world.

Not once does either of them think of anything save their own gratification, from Catherine choosing to marry Mr Linton based on money and status, totally ignoring the feelings of Heathcliff; to the latter’s own pursuit of selfish, absolute revenge. Never once does either of them think of the consequences of their actions, and never do they feel any sincere empathy for those they have so blatantly wronged once consequences unfold.

Then again, 90% of the other characters are just as bad! Mr Linton is pitifully weak-willed and boring, Linton the Younger is manipulative, Cathy Junior is spoiled, Joseph is a horrid and bitter old man, and Hareton is as much a brute and a bully as his father and Heathcliff. (Granted, the last character mentioned has a turn around at the end of the book, but it doesn’t excuse how horrid he was before that.)

Ellen is the only character I would give any kind of pleasantry to. The rest of them I wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire.

They look sweet, don't they? THEY ARE ACTUALLY HORRIBLE PEOPLE.

Credit where credit’s due, there are some pretty nice elements to the novel. The description of the landscape is impressive, easily getting the point across as to how horrid the climate of the moors is, which is kind of cool, but it didn’t feel anywhere near as desolate and hopeless as the respective scenes in Jane Eyre. There was no element of contrast with anything pleasant, and the characters didn’t really spend enough time doing important, plot-driving things outside for it to make any great impact on the story.

The story itself is a strong one: bitterness, revenge, lost love, anguish, horrible English weather. It’s all there. But because I found myself without a hero to barrack for, it really didn’t mean anything to me. It may as well have been titled Wuthering Heights: How a Bunch of Really Not-Nice People Got What Was Coming To Them.

This book was really hard to get through, but I managed it in a month, so I’m proud of that. But really, those who say this is the best of the Bronte works really need their heads checked, or at the very least, need to read Jane Eyre again.

There, now I've got that out of my system, let's look at Noel Fielding being alluring in drag.

There. That's better, isn't it?

*****

This is the part where I would normally ask what YOU thought of the book. Let's let the SURVEY RESULTS tell us, shall we?


Looks like a pretty even split to me! (Yes, my vote is in that counter...)

Stay tuned to the question pane of the blog - there'll be more surveys about your feelings about the current book, as well as votes on what I should read next!

Also, The Penguin Doll blog recently made 1000 hits! Congratulations to Thomas Druitt for being numero un thousando*, who will be receiving a very lovely little Popular Penguin related prize very soon!

*Disclaimer: definitely not real Spanish.

Until next time, keep reading!

x ND