“You said I killed you – haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always – take any form – drive me mad! Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you”
~Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
Is it necessary to expound the reason for liking a novel? At times, I can express my feeling. But with Wuthering Heights my faculties fail in this regard. Still, I love to spend my weekend with Wuthering Heights.
Did I like this as a pulp fiction regarding the sugary romance of a well off girl and an orphan? Or was it the gothic appeal of fiction and fantasy made me snuggled me like eiderdown during the winter? But I could feel Catherine gently whispering “Let me be inside, Take me inside” – Just like Lockwood.
Catherine was a fortunate kid who never experienced impecuniousness. When Heathcliff, the orphan boy was brought to her home, she was experiencing something which she never knew – ostracism, penury, agony etc. Unlike poles attract each other but the underlying forces behind the attraction are quite complicated. There relation was tumultuous that constitutes the maudlin tinge of the novel.
The relation between haves and have nots – often characterised by the one who pour sympathy over the other, whereas the expectation is not to prick his shabby status of being deprived of everything. Heathcliff is the one who blames everything yield to his unhappiness on the one who accommodate him. Finally – when Catherine marries Edgar, Heathcliff leaves station with a determination to destroy everything responsible for his compounded agonies. Might be, he found a purpose for his life at this stage.
Heathcliff came back as a rich man and slowly started gaining control over the estate that deserted him. His martial relation with Isabella (Sister of Edgar)is another poignant turn. The vengeance of Heathclifftranspires through the way in which he treated future generation – viz Catherine’s Daughter – Catherine(Cathy), His own Son – Linton, Catherine’s nephew (Hareton).
Heathcliff’s contemporaries including Catherine, Isabella, Edgar etc.dies but he found solace in gaining control over the estates, treating Hareton like an animal, keeping Cathyin house arrest etc. But when youngsters started retorting, Heathcliff became delusive and often got panicked with the sight of Catherine’s ghost. Finally, he dies and might have achieved his long cherished dream of uniting with Catherine.
The story is narrated in a non linear fashion as told by Ellen Nelly Dean(the housekeeper of the estate) to Mr. Lockwood who came to stay at Heathcliff’s place on rental basis.
The story is quite trivial and could have been a simple tale of monstrous hero, kind hearted heroine – but the narrative style is so unique that keep the readers at their toes. It is not a saga of love – it is the tale of compounded miseries. The narrative style and catchy phrases offers literary pleasure – One of my favourite quote is the way in which the lady reflect her love towards her husband and lover –
“My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees – my love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath – a source of little visible delight, but necessary”
Crystal clear and perfect – that defines the character.
Emile Bronte, published the first version of the novel under the pen name Elllis Bell. Later, the revised edition was published by her sister Charlotte Bronte (Another successful writer).The third sister Anne Bronte is also another renowned writer. Their real life story is quite poignant which throw light on many characters of Wuthering Heights.The French Movie “Les Soeurs Bronte‘ is considered to be a classic depiction of their life.
Emile left many questions that haunt us for long through this novel. Can you believe – the lady wrote only one novel, wondering Why?
I love it for a reason which is unknown to me. Just remembering the Boyzone song “Love me for a reason, let the reason be love”