Wuthering Heights

Hello and welcome back to The Young Reader's Review! The sun never dies, the flowers have fully blossomed and we are all savoring the ephemeral heat. In other words, summer is finally upon us!  This also means no schoolwork and subsequently more book reviews!

Anyway, let’s start this book review. If you are a victim of the wonderful addiction, literature, than you probably have heard of Emily Brontë, one of the famous and ingenious Brontë sisters (three very famous authors). Today, I decided to review Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë’s only novel ever written.

Let’s just say that this book is brilliant. It doesn’t matter what you think of it, but you have to admit that at least the writing style is insane. The descriptions are explicit and extremely detailed (which isn’t always a good thing since this book has some quite gruesome passages, but you get what I mean). The only thing that I have to point out is that the vocabulary in this book is so vast and so nineteenth-centuryesque, that an adolescent from today may have a difficult time comprehending some sentences and even paragraphs. This was my case, but thanks to my good friends Google and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary I survived and by just reading this book, my own vocabulary has increased. So just be patient. The words used in this book are in general quite repetitive, so you’ll get the hang of it. Getting accustomed to the writing style and to the vocabulary may take a couple chapters, but once you’ve finished the book you’ll realize that it was definitely worth it.

The plot is extremely complicated, especially the characters, which is why I advise you to use the family tree on the right just for a little extra help. At first, I thought that this book would be boring and dull but it is everything but that. It is exciting, shocking, spine-tingling and maybe even a bit horrifying.

The story takes place in the most remote part of Yorkshire (the north of England), with long fields yielding crops, dense forests, charming English cottages, and mysterious moors. This setting seems so pleasant and snug but you will soon be disgusted by all of this. Mr. Lockwood, a man from London, had decided to go visit his landlord for his house, Thrushcross Grange, in Yorkshire. His landlord is a solitary, peevish old man who lives in a stern and grim house called Wuthering Heights (wuthering is a “provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather”). This man’s name is Heathcliff, and in spite of being solitary, he lives with a young married couple: (Young) Catherine Earnshaw and Hareton Earnshaw (they are actually cousins…). After a long struggle of persuading Heathcliff, Mr. Lockwood stays at Wuthering Heights for the night because of a violent snowstorm. That night, he swears to have seen the ghost of a girl called Catherine, who is dead and who he hadn’t heard of before (She is Young Catherine’s mother). The next day, he goes to the Grange, the house that he is renting, and talks with a very opinionated servant called Nelly Dean who tells him the almost disagreeable story of what happened at Wuthering Heights to make Heathcliff so bitter and such a misanthrope. Nelly recounting the story takes about three quarters of the book. So like Nelly, let’s plunge into the past. There once was Mr. and Mrs. Earnshaw who had two children: Hindley and Catherine and they all lived in the spacious and once beautiful Wuthering Heights. One day, Mr. Earnshaw came back from a trip from Liverpool with a scraggy orphan; Heathcliff. Mr. Earnshaw adored Heathcliff and treated him as if he was his own child. Heathcliff and Catherine got along splendidly but Hindley detested this “usurper”. He beat him, teased him and had the strongest aversion to the poor boy. Mrs. Earnshaw died and then not too long after so does Mr. Earnshaw leaving Hindley in charge of the house. Hindley was married with a woman named Frances and they had a child called Hareton. Frances died and then Hindley became a violent drunkard. Nelly Dean, who before being a servant at the Grange was a servant at Wuthering Heights, was the one who raised Hareton when he was small. Heathcliff and he got into many brutal fights. Then, Catherine and Heathcliff fell in deep love. But for some random reason, Catherine gets married to Edgar Linton (who lived at the Grange) even though Catherine’s heart was still devoted to Heathcliff. Catherine was a beautiful young girl, but she was manipulative, disdainful, irritable and was used to being extremely spoiled. But because of Catherine and Heathcliff’s such intense love, everything becomes so much more complicated and leads Heathcliff to complete misery and even lunacy. He felt so many feelings; obsession, betrayal and love that will haunt him to his grave. I will not continue because I don’t want to spoil the end like usual, and the book is just way too complicated.

When this book came out, it made a huge scandal. Which is understandable because of the way misery is so explicitly described in such a horrible and disagreeable way. The way the relationships between the characters and the household are described makes you feel so uncomfortable. This novel is transgressive (it goes against the moral and social codes of the century) and shocking. This is because this book is part of the Realism movement, which developed in the nineteenth century and is the contrary of the Romanticism movement. This means that Emily Brontë described realistically regular, ordinary people who didn’t have a very fun nor exciting life but nonetheless their lives were meaningful and dramatic.

So that was it for this book review! I hoped that you liked it and that I persuaded you to read Wuthering Heights despite how gruesome it seems. Don’t forget to share this, leave a comment below and to follow me on Google +! See you next time!(*☻-☻*)

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