Book Review: Wuthering Heights

I admit that I loved reading Wuthering Heights, though I’m not really sure why. It tells the story of two families over two generations and the wretched vengeance of the scorned lover Heathcliff that destroys the fabric of their lives until his death.

I can see why a lot of people would find the story set on the moors of England boring. It has a small cast of characters, the setting never changes, and the story’s main events are only relational. No one ever goes anywhere.

But I loved reading about the sheltered, localized life of the Earnshaws and the Lintons on the moors. I loved the relationships between the servants and the masters, who weren’t of particularly high class. I loved the ridiculously high-flying words of devotion from Heathcliff and the opposition of his savagely cruel wit.

I hated his unrelenting, unrepentant cruelty. I hated Catherine’s absurd shallowness and Linton’s peevishness.

The maid servant and narrator Nelly held the story together, and I enjoyed her as the one voice of moral clarity. I loved watching the children grow up and how their interactions evolved.

I wish there had been a little bit more moral clarity and condemnation for Heathcliff. Nelly does censure him, but the end is pretty ambiguous. Though, I am glad that it all ended well for the remaining family members.

So why is this a good book? What makes any book good?

I like a book to have engaging characters and at least a good moral. Yeah, I’m big on the moral. So Wuthering Heights, I liked it, but why? The moral wasn’t that great.

So have you read this odd book? What did you think of it?


2 thoughts on “Book Review: Wuthering Heights

  1. Really? That’s so interesting. It’s amazing how much we can forget about books and only remember how we felt about it and not so much the content.

    I’ve found with movies and books lately that things I loved years ago are not near so enjoyable when I take another look at them.

    I would be very interested to know what you thought of Heathcliff now if you were to look at the story again. Though he certainly has legitimate grievances, his malice and cruelty are generally thought to go too far (and I agree). Yet throughout this, his love for Catherine never waivers.

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