Wurthering Heights Review

By | June 6, 2011

Wurthering Heights
By: Emily Brontë

Paige’s Rating: (4) of 5 Stars
Recommended for: Classic Literature Readers

A brooding Yorkshire tale of a love that is stronger than death, it is also a fierce vision of metaphysical passion, in which heaven and hell, nature and society, are powerfully juxtaposed. Unique, mystical, with a timeless appeal, it has become a classic of English literature.

This has always been one of those classics that I wanted to read, and yet it slipped through my fingers time and time again. As a 27 year old English major, I am rather embarrassed to admit it has taken me this long to read it. Regardless, mission accomplished and worth the read!

It’s a little more difficult to write a review about literary classics. After all, there may be three areas of the novel that are found disagreeable to most readers: the plot (in comparison to today’s culture), the characters, and the vocabulary.

The first chapter was a little difficult as I transitioned from today’s modern English to Brontë’s “modern” English. The rhythm and the flow, similar to other novels by classic authors, take a few chapters to catch onto and I believe that to be normal.

The characters were also a surprise, as I didn’t expect Heathcliff and Catherine to be so incredibly mad for each other. I knew it was a book about passion, but about a mental passion? These two were textbook! I found myself re-reading some of the parts that contained them and their dialogues, because the vocabulary tended to weigh the words down in a way that made it difficult to truly understand their basic love and desire for each other. I really enjoyed their characters and thought that Brontë really stretched herself in creating these two. However, the subsequent characters of Hindley and Catherine had me disappointed. It was difficult to believe that children born of these two could be so passive and weak. I was completely unsympathetic to them and uninterested in their story.

So that brings us to the plot. The beginning of the book has this upward momentum that sweeps away the reader like the winds of the moors themselves. I loved the beginning of the plot and but again was disappointed at the book’s turn toward the end. The plot near the end also seemed a bit far-fetched and I found myself skimming the last ten pages. However and thankfully, the author kept the novel short and spared us the burden prolonging the plot, unlike the likes of Tolstoy or Dickens. (Pass me the trash can, please).

I was really glad to read this book and I hope that it is one you enjoy as well.

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