By Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights is rotten to the core with vengeance and power. But, in a way, it’s also full of characters that are written so well, you can’t help but know them on such a personal level that you feel bad for them. Bronte writes the descent into madness as if it were second-nature to her, like it were as normal as breathing.
Even though this book was written in the 1800s, it is still one of the most iconic and revered novels today. It’s everything a gothic novel should be, and it’s full of metaphors and imagery so beautiful that you almost forget it’s shrouded in a gray filter. Like every scene and word is penned in a gray, monochromatic texture.
A lot of people consider Wuthering Heights a romance. And in a lot of ways it is. If romance is misogynistic, abusive, manipulative, and full of gas-lighting. Bronte takes us through the absolute most horrific emotional roller coaster of love and spite that is only rivaled in darkness by Poe. You can’t help but grow a strong dislike of almost every character. And you can’t help but appreciate Bronte’s depiction of selfishness.
The perspective of this book changes frequently and without notice. At first, the story is told through Mr. Lockwood, the guest of Wuthering Heights. But, 95% of the story is told through Ellen Dean’s point of view, a servant at Wuthering Heights, as she is recounting the tragic history of the dreadful manor to Mr. Lockwood. Then, through Ellen’s recounting of Wuthering Heights to Lockwood, she reads letters from other people which then shifts the perspective to their own. Does that sound confusing? Because it is.
Being Bronte’s only known novel, it’s a true force that doesn’t shy away from death or despair. Written in the 19th Century, the dialogue requires an intense focus to really be able to understand it. This book isn’t meant for novice readers. You have to really be able to articulate and understand the phrases that are said. It’s often very wordy in areas it doesn’t have to be, which is a major drawback for me. While the story is enticing and dramatic, it lacks preciseness.
I would rate Wuthering Heights a 3.5 out of 5 stars. Wuthering Heights is dark and twisted. And Bronte truly excels in the genre. But, for me, it often veers off from the main story and gets into so many words that it’s hard to keep track of the actual scene. I think everybody should read Wuthering Heights, just to hear the story of Heathcliff and Cathy’s intense madness. Above all else in Wuthering Heights, Bronte depicts madness with such masterful penmanship, that no other artist could capture it with any other medium.
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