Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

wuthering-heightsWhen I first picked up Brontë’s novel, my English teacher warned me that frame tale — the literary style of a story within a story — is the most complicated style there is. I shrugged my shoulders and turned the page. After all, I’ve done it before.

But, man, Wuthering Heights is difficult with a capital DIFFICULT. And I’m still not quite sure I understand because, as painful as this is to admit, I didn’t know the housekeeper was narrating until I looked it up on SparkNotes. I tried to get into this novel, which is considered a classic, but by the time I reached the halfway point I was frustrated beyond belief. In fact, I had to put the book down and try something else. Yet I persevered, hoping the second half would redeem this “classic.” No such luck.

I have to ask, why is this considered a love story? Seriously? Am I missing something? Because all I saw were two characters who were self-absorbed and malicious, who deserved to be together if only to stop them from ruining other people’s lives.

And this book is told in the most boring way ever, all from the point of view of one servant woman. She just drones on and on and on. Honestly, I think I would have liked the characters more if it wasn’t told from her point of view. Maybe a different narrator would have shown them in a better light, especially if it was told from Heathcliff’s or Catherine’s point of view. In addition, every character in Wuthering Heights is so unsympathetic that I just really didn’t care what happened to any of them, and I couldn’t bear the lead up to one more episode of people being awful to each other.  I expected a lot from Wuthering Heights, especially after it was referenced in Twilight, but I was sorely disappointed.

Others’ Thoughts:

Book Mentioned:

  • Brontë, Emily. Wuthering Heights. New York, NY: Kaplan, 2006. Originally published 1847. Print. 669 pgs. ISBN: 978-1419542268. Source: Purchased.
Purchase Wuthering Heights: A Kaplan SAT Score-Raising Classic from Amazon by clicking on the linked title to your left and I’ll receive a small portion of the price you pay. All proceeds are used to purchase more books.
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9 thoughts on “Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

  1. thanks for highlighting my blog! I’m sorry you didn’t like this book… have you read Jane Eyre? I think most people like Jane Eyre better than WH (in my opinion, I liked/disliked them both about the same).

  2. I felt the same way when I first read WH. Years later it came up again in a college course and I loved it. Couldn’t put it down. That may happen for you someday.

    Now, at age 45, I’d have to say I assigne the book to anyone under 24, for just the reasons you list in your review.

  3. I consider Wuthering Heights one of my favourite books now, but it took me a few re-reads until I fell in love with it and began to realise how powerful a love story it is. That said, the only reason why I was patient w/ it was because I really admire Charlotte Bronte’s works, and I was determined to like her sister’s book too.

    Dickens, on the other hand.. no matter how much I try, I can’t seem to like him. Maybe Emily Bronte is your Dickens?

  4. I am writing my paper about WH now and I really cannot understand how anyone could not like this novel. It is really ingenious!
    I adore it already from the first time I read it and I was only 14 back then.
    I must admit I like most of the classic romantic novels, but this one is really like WHOW!
    I also cannot really understand you did not notice that the narrator was Nelly Dean, since this was already obvious to me since I was a 14-year-old girl.
    But I guess, re-reading it in few years would do much good to your appreciation of the novel. At least I hope so, because the novel is really a deserved classic.

  5. By the way: my sister is also fond of the Twilight books and she did not like WH either (but she is only 15 now, so maybe also her opinion could change within a few years)

    and also: we are from Belgium, but we also read most of these books in English :)

  6. @ tuesday: Possibly, but I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t like it on a first read-through.

    @ Sara: I’m glad you like it so much; I know readers aren’t going to have the same views, which is why I try to link to other book bloggers’ reviews.

  7. Pingback: Jane Eyre « Ardent Reader
  8. Pingback: The Classics Club | Ardent Reader

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