The first time I had the chance to familiarize myself with the story was when I got one of the film adaptations on DVD. I decided to give it a go and watch it. I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about the whole story, but it made a lasting impression. I kept thinking about it but a few days have passed and I still couldn’t tell whether I liked it or not.
Then I picked up the book and everything changed.
Wuthering Heights, first published in 1847 under the pseudonym of Ellis Bell, has become one of the most famous works in literature and was declared “a work of great ability” but “wild, confused, disjointed, and improbable” at the same time. Set in the beginning of the 19th century, Wuthering Heights is a marvellous story about love, passion and hatred, about inner struggle and revenge. It’s impossible to summarize the plot in a single paragraph because it is so complex, it’s so well-written.
We first meet a Yorkshire farmer, Mr Earnshaw, who has just returned from a trip to the city. Upon arriving, he announces that they have a visitor – he brings an abandoned, wretched little boy called Heathcliff to live with them. He soon becomes fond of Mr Earnshaw’s daughter, Cathy and spends most of his time with her on the moors. When the old man dies a few years later, Cathy’s brother (Hindley) becomes the master of the estate, Wuthering Heights. Unlike Cathy, Hindley detests Heathcliff, so upon inheriting the estate, he forces him to live with the servants and basically become a servant himself. Meanwhile, Cathy meets a rich neighbour and eventually marries him, thus starting an endless game of love and hatred between Heathcliff and herself.
If you ask me, this book is like marmite. You either love it or hate it. Which category do I belong to? Well, as I said, I wasn’t sure when I first saw the film adaptation. However, the book has simply left me speechless. Brontë works with such complex characters, symbols and metaphors and such a unique story that you can’t help being impressed. I have to admit it, even though I personally like the story, it’s still not an easy read in any way -especially not emotionally. What I can guarantee is that it’ll leave a lasting impression on you, without a doubt.