Emily Bronte’s 1847 novel, “Wuthering Heights”, was an extremely scandalous but popular during the nineteenth century. Since its original publication it has remained a constant favorite among literary lovers, and for obvious reasons.
The beginning of the novel centers itself around the relationship of Cathy, a high spirited young woman, and her adopted brother, Heathcliff, a brooding figure who only has eyes for Cathy.
The two spend their childhood and early adolescence together, running through the moors of England with all the freedom in the world.
However, after an incident that left Cathy injured, Heathcliff is separated from her for a bit, and while away Cathy is transformed into a proper lady, meets a gentleman named Edgar Linton, and upon her arrival home her relationship with Heathcliff is strained.
The second part of the novel focuses on the story of Catherine Linton, the daughter of Cathy, and her own struggles when she finds herself in the grasps of her desolate and jaded uncle, Heathcliff.
A personal critique of the novel is that, assumedly, the audience is supposed to love Heathcliff in the beginning of the novel; we are supposed to see him as the wayward hero that cannot seem to win, but he is not.
Heathcliff is a madman that is supposed to be worthy of the audience’s love because he loved Cathy, but just because he loved her does not mean he deserved her.
“Wuthering Heights” often gives that same misinterpretation that the film “500 Days of Summer” does, and that is that if a guy pursues a woman enough, clearly he deserves her and that the woman is wrong for not wanting him back, or at least not actually taking him.
Quite honestly, Heathcliff, after he believes that he has lost Cathy, is nothing more than a moody teenager that cries victim to the “friendzone.”
Other than the novels then-risqué material, “Wuthering Heights” was also shocking for its author, Emily Bronte.
Bronte pursued publication after her sister, Charlotte Bronte, had successfully published “Jane Eyre.”
However, due to her sex, Emily Bronte had to publish under the name Ellis Bell.
Unfortunately, Bronte never went on to write another novel because she died the following year.
As her brother had just passed away, it is said that Bronte died of a broken heart (along with the unsanitary conditions she lived in), which, for those of us who have read “Wuthering Heights”, is terribly ironic.
Paige Jurgensen / Columnist
Paige Jurgensen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org