Wuthering Heights, a Never-Ending Story
Every now and then, a reader is lucky enough to find a book which affects their life. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is one of those books. The story unfolds slowly as if it is being told by the fire on a dark and stormy night. It begins with Heathcliff, an orphan and an outcast that is taken into the wealthy estate of Wuthering Heights. Cathy is the daughter of the wealthy family, and the pair quickly become inseparable. However, the relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff becomes more complex as time progress and their difference in social class becomes more defined. As with real people, the enticing characters make mistakes, are haunted by doubt, take revenge, die before their time and love two people in different ways. As a result, the consequences haunt them for generations.
Reading Wuthering Heights changed my perception of the world. Before reading Wuthering Heights, I had thought of love as a simple thing and people as easy to understand: some were good, some were bad, and a few fell somewhere in between. However, Wuthering Heights completely changes my perspective since Bronte’s enticing characters have many different layers to their personality. For instance, when I first read the novel I believe Heathcliff to be the truest romantic hero in literature as his devotion to Cathy remains even after her death, “[he] cannot live without [his] life. [He] cannot live without [his] soul” as though she is his ‘life’ and his ‘soul’ (Bronte 222). However, I now see him as a demon and victimizer, consumed by revenge, and then as a tragic product of his upbringing as an outsider, never treated fairly by those he later ruins. I see Heathcliff as a man who is all these things and perhaps the most multilayered character in all fiction.
In the heated and complex romance between Heathcliff and Cathy, social norms drive them apart. As a result, Heathcliff strives to become a higher figure in society....