Book Club: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

September 19, 2011

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Image from the book Depository.

 “Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.”

 Ch. 9

Well…. what a challenge we set ourselves this month. We had a mixture of readers, listeners and triers. No-one refused to have a go and that is a win I think.

I’ve got to say that although I found it hard work at the beginning, once Nell started to narrate the story of the families, I was hooked.

Those of us who finished loved it.

Those of us who struggled to listen to it or read it, were left wondering what the big deal was. Why is this such a classic?

Wuthering Heights is unashamedly dark. Gothic, and at times twisted in it’s betrayal of a couples passionate relationship, it explores the consequences of what we would now call dependent relationships. Heathcliff and Cathy’s obsessions effect not only themselves it captures in it’s wake all who come into contact with them…. through generations. We get a picture of what happens when personalities are left unchecked. Personally I love the darkness and faultiness of the characters. No-one shines…..I’m not sure why….but I like that.

It helps to know a little about the Bronte sisters themselves and the kind of life they inhabited when reading it. If you would like to know more, have a look at this short biography of the Bronte sisters. They are a truly fascinating family.

“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 Linton’s is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.”
 Ch. 9

 

Image of bookcover from Book Depositiory.

“If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it.”
 Ch. 9

…as you can see Chapter 9 was a bit of a favourite.

Next month ‘We need to Talk about Kevin’ by Lionel Shriver

 

 

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