Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Wuthering Heights

Image sourced from here
Well. That's done. I've been meaning to read Wuthering Heights for years. It's a "Classic" (so along with that goes all the cultural references I have never really got). The Brontes are hailed in some circles as better than Austen. It's the most romantic story ever written.

Let me address those assertions. Bullshit.

Wuthering Heights is a book about the most stubborn, sullen, sulky, self-centred, selfish (I've unintentionally gone to alliteration and I have now run out of s words), prideful, petulant, bad tempered, greedy, hypocritical individuals I have ever had the displeasure of reading all shoved into one book.

I'm at a loss of why the book has been taught in high schools around the world for years. The story isn't particularly interesting or complex. The writing and language is easy to read and understand, which possibly makes it a more accessible option. Some people may have problems with the dialect parts, but to me that was just a Yorkshire accent. I actually stopped reading it as although I could understand it, it did take a bit of brain power to switch in and out of it and most of what Joseph said was rubbish anyway. Is it taught with the lesson "all these characters are who you should not grow up into"? Because that would make sense, a warning not to be like them.

This is a book of abuse. Really, that's what it comes down to. Severe manipulation of people, with liberal sprinklings of physical, emotional, psychological, and no doubt in my mind in the background, sexual abuse. Now I am far from being a prude or easily offended. I have read many a book that deal with these issues and themes. But in most other books there is a story that turns those situations into plot devices. Wuthering Heights doesn't have this. It is a chronicle of how people wish to control and/or destroy other people, mainly for the sake of it. It left me feeling a bit off in places.

And for the romance. There was hardly anything. There was fighting, sulking, screaming, name calling, shunning but not romance. I knew beforehand that Heathcliff and Cathy were supposed to love each other, but I would have found it hard to see if I didn't have that context. Life is too short to have a relationship like theirs, and it definitely is too short to read about it.

Positives? Well, as I said it was easy to read for a classic. That's good. I will now understand cultural references made about Wuthering Heights, so I can appear more intelligent in very certain conversations. And the moors. Can't go wrong with the moors. I can frolic over the moors myself and leave Cathy and Heathcliff behind.

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