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Considered lurid and shocking by mid-19th-century standards, Wuthering Heights was initially thought to be such a publishing risk that its author, Emily Brontë, was asked to pay some of the publication costs. A somber tale of consuming passions and vengeance played out against the lonely moors of northern England, the book proved to be one of the most enduring classics of English literature. The turbulent and tempestuous love story of Cathy and Heathcliff spans two generations—from the time Heathcliff, a strange, coarse young boy, is brought to live on the Earnshaws' windswept estate, through Cathy's marriage to Edgar Linton and Heathcliff's plans for revenge, to Cathy's death years later and the eventual union of the surviving Earnshaw and Linton heirs. A masterpiece of imaginative fiction, Wuthering Heights (the author's only novel) remains as poignant and compelling today as it was when first published in 1847.
My 13-year old daughter loves this book so I thought that I would try it, fulling expecting to put it down after 30 pages or so. I couldn't! It's not perfectly presented, but the novel does entice the reader into the bizarre world of Wuthering Heights. I normally read war novels (lots of blood and violence) and honestly, Wuthering Heights in some ways is as violent as they are. It is both disturbing and satisfying. I recommend it.
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If you are looking for a classic love story, look somewhere else! This book is definitely not for those who are expecting a typical love story with a typical perfect ending. (Think more along the lines of Romeo and Juliet instead of Noah and Allie) This book is raw passion, and reveals the basic need for people to be wanted. The main characters Heathcliff and Catherine are both flawed people, They are the antagonists in the book and can both be viewed as the hero/heroine and the villain. They are as wild and untamed as the moors they live in. They story is told by Heathcliff's maidservant Nelly who is referring the story back to the renter of Thrushcross Grange, the estate owned by Mr. Heathcliff. She tells him the story of Catherine and Heathcliff's love, and the events that tore them apart, and the families that were so bitterly effected. The story is heart-wrenching and moving. It is hard to get into at first, but past the first two chapters it is hard to put down. I suggest this book if you are into more dark and depressing reads, But it is definitely for the mature reader. There is some adult content in this book that is not appropriate for children, and the language can be difficult to understand at times. It was the author's first and only novel before her death at the tender age of thirty from tuberculosis. When the book came out in 1847, it was very controversial because of the dark and sometimes insane characters. But now it is a novel that many consider to be of great literary Merit, and has been made into many film adaptations over the years. I would say that if you are ready, go for it. It is overall a fun and interesting read, one that you will not soon forget.
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The story: Mr Earnshaw adopts a young boy on the streets of Liverpool (Heathcliff) and brings him home. Son Hindley doesn't like the new addition to the family and is mean to him. Daughter Catherine and Heathcliff hit it off well -- too well. Forward a few years. Heathcliff and Catherine apparently love each other, so Catherine marries neighbour Edgar Linton. (That's how they did it in those days. No, really.) Heathcliff marries Edgar's sister Isabella to use and abuse her under the happy couple's nose. Catherine has a daughter, Cathy, and dies just to spite Heathcliff. Isabella leaves Heathcliff and has their son named Linton. Heathcliff is so mean to everybody all the time that the only way they can survive is to live somewhere elese, so most die and a few move away. The central question is, can Heathcliff keep Catherine's memory alive forever so that he can live miserably ever after just like Marvin the Paranoid Android?
The central characters --
Catherine: an irritating brat. She encourages Heathcliff to love her, and then marries the wimpy fop Edgar instead. Really. It's all there in the names. It's like Groucho Marx said, "Don't you think that even though girls go out with boys like me they always marry the other kind?" Not long after, she has the infernal nerve to die. How's that for taunting and torturing Heathcliff? Horrible woman.
Heathcliff: a very naughty boy. Way too possessive of Catherine when they were kids, practically glued at the hips. Runs away (understandably) when she announces her engagement, but then comes back three years later like the Terminator.Read more ›
I found the first parts of Wuthering Heights hard to become involved in. It seemed very slow and uninvolving. However, once the newcomer, Mr.lockwood,meets the servant Nelly Dean at Thrushcross Grange things began to pick up.The guest inquires to the servant about the Earnshaw family and the rest of the story is primarily told in falshback from the point of view of Nelly, a previous employee of The Heights. Since it is told from basically only her point of view we can not be sure how reliable our narrator is as we are told the observations and memories of an old woman. It also must be taken into account that Mr.Lockwood then makes his own assumptions as he recounts her tales in his journals. Nelly began working when it was just Old Earnshaw, his wife and their two children Hindley and Catherine. She informs us that it was once a cheerful home, until Old Earnshaw took in the gypsy boy Heathcliff. Old Mr. Earnshaw decides to raise Heathcliff as his own and young Catherine immediately accepts him and befriends him. The two discover that they are both wild at heart as they roam the moors and easily discuss things with each other discovering that they both share intense emotions. However Mr. Earnshaws other child, Hindley, is jealous of the treatment his father and Catherine give to Heathcliff and begins to torture him. After Mrs. Earnshaw dies Hindley is sent away to school and Heathcliff is kept close to Mr. Earnshaw. A few years later when Heathcliff and Catherine are still children they become entirely dependent on Hindley after Mr. Earnshaw dies. Heathcliff is made to be a servant as Hindley believes he always should have been and the two are constantly agitating each other. One night Hindley takes Catherine and Heathcliff to Thrushcross Grange to play with spoiled Edgar and Isabella Linton.Read more ›
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