Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wuthering Heights - Final Review

Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte, 1847

Plot: Interesting. I think simply because of the time period and the culture, I had Jane Austen in mind when this book began, but the plot is so different from anything I have experienced of Austen. It was refreshing, in that way, though Austen is dear to my heart for her light heartedness and optimism and Bronte (at least this sister) didn't find that necessary. Still, the unpredictableness made it very interesting as I was never sure where it was going to end up. 8/10

Style: It is funny now to remember that I had a really hard time following this when I first started, because I got so used to it by the end that it wasn't difficult. Some of the challenge is cultural; Bronte's contemporaries would have understood when she said "the master" or Mr. So-and-So, (among a whole family of So-and-Sos) who exactly she was referring to. Also, one particular character has an accent written so thickly that I often found myself whispering the dialogue in order to understand it. This method rarely worked. Luckily, he was not primary to the story. What I'm getting at, I suppose, is that the difficulties I had with style were no fault of the authors, and there was one moment in particular that I was struck by the emotion and passion in her writing. I was all of a sudden absolutely captivated. Major points for that. 8/10

Hotness of the main character: I suppose the main character would be Mr. Heathcliff, although the narrative switches around throughout. He is sort of a terrible creature who is bent on revenge, etc. He seems to have no capacity for forgiveness or any sort of compassion. Even the narrator, who attempts to give him the benefit of the doubt for as long as possible, ends up hating his behaviour, if not himself. His one redeeming quality, and it is redeeming enough to make up for at least a few of his other shortcomings, is the strength of his love for Catherine and the lengths he goes through for her (though I suppose in retrospect, much of it was selfish as well). 3/10

The character I would most like to be: I've got nothing here. The masters of the houses all suffer pain and heartbreak and the others in their families are abused nonstop. Not to mention the incredible boredom of living in this society that I believe I have mentioned before.

Re-readability: I would like to read this again, since it is written a little bit backwards. Knowing how all the people grow up, it would be nice to see the beginning of the book again since I finally have all the characters straight.

Final Decision: Shelf it.

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