BY Vani IN Book Reviews

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë This book is a treasure!

Emily Bronte’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ is painfully sad and exciting. It is not merely a tale of wild, vindictive love, but more than that, it depicts a way of life as it existed in the Victorian times: the double standards, the hypocrisy, the subjugation of women and their second-grade treatment as if they were mere appendages to men. The way it juxtaposes passion with hatred, human depravity with moral values, peace with strife is absolutely remarkable. To think that the author was only in her twenties when she wrote it— seriously, it is so difficult to imagine that.

The narrative revolves around two families who live on the moors: the Earnshaws of the Wuthering Heights and the Lintons of the Thrushcross Grange. Catherine Earnshaw of Wuthering Heights is in love with Heathcliff, an orphan boy who was picked up by her father from the streets of Liverpool. Later as Catherine decides to marry Edgar Linton of Thrushcross Grange, Heathcliff is heartbroken and vengeful. He is not to be found for three years and when he returns he comes to know that his childhood sweetheart is not only married but is expecting a child from Edgar. That’s the agonising start of Heathcliff’s revenge and one that will lead him to destroy everything, including himself.

Even though the novel has been written from the point of view of a servant who worked with the Earnshaws and then the Lintons, it is explosive in the way it brings out Heathcliff’s agony and hatred against all those who have wronged him. Here’s something he says to his own son: ‘What a shame of your mother, never to waken your filial regard for me! You are my son, then, I’ll tell you; and your mother was a wicked slut to leave you in ignorance of the sort of father you possessed. Now, don’t wince, and colour up! Though it is something to see you have not white blood. Be a good lad; and I’ll do for you.’ I think this book is going to stay with me a long, long time. Do read it, folks!

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