The fear to live, the fear to leave

Emily Bronte : Wuthering Heights

Emily Bronte : Wuthering Heights

In 1846–1847, Emily Brontë wrote Wuthering Heights in the parsonage of the isolated village of Haworth, in Yorkshire.

There is a war, within your heart when you read this book. Wuthering Heights leaves you in a turmoil of emotions, and makes you stop, gasping for breath, and read over and over certain lines, to fathom what it all holds in.

The book reads through time, and the story is told through flashbacks, as diary entries. It does take perseverance to follow up with the lack of chronology of events, but once the characters are etched on your mind, it gets easier, like someone who has a lot of memories opens up to you, all at once. Heathcliff and Catherine, are our protagonists, played alongside Isabella, Edgar, Nelly, Lockwood, and so on, who build the story and the characters, weaving the frames together in our mind as one reads on.

Wuthering Heights in the name of Mr Heathcliff’s dwelling. ‘Wuthering’ being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed to in stormy weather.

The above lines are extracted from chapter 1, giving the readers an insight on the name of the novel and the style of writing. The beginning of the novel draws a vivid physical picture of Heathcliff, his black eyes described by Lockwood. Nelly’s story begins with his introduction into the Earnshaw family, his vengeful machinations drive the entire plot, and his death ends the book. The desire to understand Heathcliff and his motivations keep readers engrossed in the novel until the very end.

Catherine is buried “in a corner of the kirkyard, where the wall is so low that heath and bilberry plants have climbed over it from the moor.” 

The subtle yet descriptive form of writing often takes the readers to an imaginative stature of each character, where the indirect mentions create the structure of them. The conflicts of Catherine are depicted most prominently in the placement of her grave.

Isabella and Catherine come across as to women holding different monarch’s of values, thus carving out an impression about the ideologies women played during that era. Edgar is the same foil to Heathcliff, like Isabelle is to Catherine.

It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him; and that, not because he’s handsome, Nelly, but because he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same, and [Edgar’s] is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.
The romantic emotion of Catherine and Heathcliff for each other is the central idea of the novel. They share a bond of longing and affection and is rather asexual. Using Nelly’s criticism of their love being immoral, Bronte puts the readers to question the idea of morality and love. Two parallel love stories run through the novel, the one of Catherine and Heathcliff, and that of her sister and Hareton.

Catherine and Heathcliff long to return to the past, to a shared childhood. The other story has more growth and ends on a peaceful note, unlike the former one.

As a novel, the only thing that seemed a negative aspect would be the repetition of events and how the circle seems never-ending. But the classic novel that it is, defining the moral standards and making readers question their own senses, it is a wonderful read, with its own subtleties with a feministic approach and romantic emotions.

As a lover of classics and literature, this piece will always have a special place in my heart.


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