There are books that I will read over and over again. These are usually books that I read once and they manage to have me so emotionally confused or invested that I have to read them again in search of answers. Wuthering Heights is most definitely a perfect example. I read it once, and honestly, after the last word I immediately went to chapter 1 and read it again! Here’s a few reasons why I love this book so much, and why I’m not done with reading it yet! (I have read it five times, obsessive I know)
Being ever so slightly eccentric myself… I love the fact that this book is full of eccentric characters. I am fascinated by Heathcliff’s eccentric and insane compulsions. I love the painfully obvious flaws of every single character that Bronte displays as though they were all pieces in a museum exhibition. I love the Yorkshire moor winter scene, the ferocious dogs in the backgrounds, and the plain rudeness of all of the inhabitants of Wuthering Heights. I love that if asked to describe any of the characters, setting or formal structure you could absolutely use words like mad or eccentric. I really do appreciate eccentricity in literature, and Wuthering Heights definitely offers more than I could ask for in a novel.
2. Forbidden Love
I do love a bit of heartbreak… and I love the unique take Wuthering Heights takes on the subject of forbidden love. Heathcliff and Catherine are forbidden not only by what is deemed socially acceptable, but by something scary, supernatural. Heathcliff acts as though to fulfill love with Catherine would be to utterly possess her soul, to the point of death. It seems as though it is impossible for them to be together because the poignancy of their love would be enough to kill. The power driving their love and it’s complete doom is illuminating.
I love the fact that Heathcliff is so self destructive. It may sound cruel, but come on, it is fiction! I love witnessing self destruction, it’s so much more interesting sometimes! The fact that the cause of Heathcliff’s violent and sadistic tendencies is his denied love and obsession for Catherine is an ideal example of how Literature can be so much more exciting than reality sometimes.
4. Romanticism / Gothic infusion
There is much debate over which genre Wuthering Heights falls into. It contains elements common to both the gothic and the romantic novel. When I wrote my A-level essay on Wuthering Heights (naturally) I wrote as though it could be either. I love the gothic and romanticism, so what could be better than an infusion of both?!
5. The “I am Heathcliff” Quote…
I cannot express it; but surely you and everybody have a notion that there is or should be an existence of yours beyond you. What were the use of my creation, if I were entirely contained here? My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff’s miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning: my great thought in living is himself. 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.—My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. 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.
Finally, I love Wuthering Heights because of Emily Bronte’s writing style. I love the frequent and consistent pungent passages like this quote. Nothing can explain the doomed love, self-destructive longing, chilling atmosphere, and eccentric personality traits like Catherine’s proclamation that she is Heathcliff, that their souls are the same.