Book review – Wuthering Heights 

Yes, this is the classic by Emily Bronte. I had never read it till recently. Completed reading this about 3 weeks back and didn’t manage to post my review :). 

This novel was first published in 1847 .. A 168 years back. It took me atleast a 100 pages of reading before I could get a hang of the language and the meanings of certain words. For example, read this statement “… when Catherine was convalescent, she insisted on conveying her to Thrushcross Grange: for which deliverance we were very grateful”, which basically means Catherine wanted to be sent to Thrushcross Grange once she felt better and people were happy to see her go :):). Another example, “…He replied audibly enough, in a fashion which made my companion vociferate, more clamorously than before”, which again means he replied loudly enough, in a manner that made my companion shout, more loudly than before. But, I have to say, the language used is almost musical. We may never go back to speaking English that way, but it’s very interesting to read and imagine how people spoke 100  years back. 

I couldn’t understand the servant Joseph’s statements at all .. I just tried reading them aloud and that way I could decipher some of them, and the rest I understood through the previous and subsequent speakers. 

The story is simple enough, about how Mr. Earnshaw, brings home a supposedly gypsy boy named “Heathcliff” and his sister Catherine and Heathcliff become inseparable. Heathcliff is uncouth, uneducated and vile, so Mr. Earnshaw hopes his sister will marry Edgar Linton from the neighbouring estate. Catherine ends up marrying Edgar Linton and in a twisted flip of fate, Heathcliff marries Edgar’s sister Isabella. Catherine dies after giving birth to a daughter and Isabella has a son, who is forced to come back and live with his father Heathcliff. Isabella and Heathcliff live separately. Heathcliff is twisted enough to ensure his son and Catherine’s daughter marry each other so that he has control over both the estates and he manages to do that. Finally though, he dies, his son dies and Catherine ends up marrying Hareton, the son of Mr. Earnshaw who is again brought up as an uneducated servant, by Heathcliff but manages to learn to read, tutored by Catherine’s daughter. The entire novel is written as a narration by Ellen, the housekeeper who has seen all these events happening and is narrating them to the tenant at Thrushcross Grange. 

There are ofcourse moral messages imbedded everywhere in the novel. The one I liked is – “treachery and violence are spears pointed at both ends; they wound those who resort to them worse than their enemies.” It’s so true. 

It’s an interesting read and develops one’s vocabulary – I found new words like “prognosticate”, “vociferate” and new uses for some words. Read this statement “He solicited the society of no one more.” Society here is being used in place of “company”. So, would certainly recommend reading this book – it’s a dark twisted love story !

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