Coe Review Staff Blogs Fall 2019

Wuthering Heights Review- By: Sarah Stocking

Wuthering Heights is a novel by Emily Bronte, about love and revenge on the English moors. Set in 1800, it details the long interconnected history of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange and the two families who live there as neighbors. Bronte relates the story in a multi frame narrative as we read Lockwood’s diary and he writes about the story Nelly Dean is telling, parts of which are also related from yet another person’s point of view, so at almost every point in the narrative you are no fewer than three degrees of separation from the story. This lends itself to a very removed feeling as one could imagine, and makes it confusing when the story jumps to the present at the end, and we get the story solely from Lockwood’s perspective. This makes it no more reliable though, as it is established very quickly that Lockwood’s perceptions can not be trusted at all. During his second visit to Wuthering Heights, Lockwood mistakes a pile of dead rabbits for a sleeping cat, and brutally embarasses himself by making several false assumptions. Luckily for those who suffer from second hand embarrassment, Lockwood is simply used as a method for telling the story.

The main focus of the story are the wealthy families who reside at Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. These are the Earnshaws and the Lintons who get along relatively well, until they intermarry. Catherine Earnshaw gets married to Edgar Linton, and Isabella Linton gets married to Heathcliff. You’d think that with two marriages between the houses, they’d have better relations than ever. However, Heathcliff is still jealous of Edgar for stealing Catherine away from him, and Isabella has been disowned by her brother Edgar after marrying Heathcliff. This is where things go downhill for the houses, as Catherine dies and the last vestige of warmth in Heathcliff’s heart goes with her. The story continues beyond Catherine the first though, with a second generation of children and Heathcliff’s revenge plot. Catherine Linton who is the daughter of Catherine Linton (which is definitely not confusing at all), Hareton Earnshaw who is the son of Hindley Earnshaw, and Linton Heathcliff, who is the son of Heathcliff. Catherine the second marries both Linton and Hareton, so that the story starts off following a Catherine Earnshaw and ends with the promise of a Catherine Earnshaw. Through over twenty years and three generations the only continuing thread in the story is the constancy of death and a series of unfortunate decisions. However not all of them are voluntary. Catherine Linton is forced to marry Linton Heathcliff by his father Heathcliff who wants to own both Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange to get revenge on the members of both families who were mean to him as he was growing up.

Heathcliff is like a twisted version of Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up. His entire life is devoted to a girl who will not let him love her while they are both still alive, and wreaking revenge on the wrongs of his past on the future.

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