Book Review: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

The novel, Wuthering Heights was written in 1847 by Emily Bronte and it revolves around the intense human emotions of contrasts – love, hate, despair, and revenge.  The term “Wuthering,” means strong winds which depicts the type of storyline the novel possesses.


Set in 1801, the plot begins with a wealthy young man, Lockwood, coming to a remote area in Yorkshire as a tenant of Healthcliff, who is extremely rude to him.  In this chapter, I didn’t understand the need for Lockwood to continue to be friendly with Healthcliff because this man showed such cold and coarse behavior towards Lockwood, who had come to him as his tenant.


As the story moves on, I began to find the novel becoming more and more complicated.  I thought that was due to the number of characters in the plot.  There were too many people in the novel. Subsequently, this resulted in distracting me from absorbing the facts.  Moreover, the author has really written a dark novel, where the characters end up with bleak relationships.  Therefore, Wuthering Heights though a literary classic, no doubt, did dispirit my mood, quite a bit.  However, the novel does capture the reader’s imagination through the creative skills which Emily Bronte is known to possess.


I felt my heart go out for Isabella because of the suffering she had to endure while being married to Healthcliff; the man’s behavior was purely sadistic, according to me.  Expanding on another character: Catherine is the younger sibling of Hindley and born and raised at Wuthering Heights – she became a foster sibling of Healthcliff when she was six years old.  Soon she had fallen in love with him.  I found that quite distasteful to imagine that it was normal in the Earnshaw household for the children to have the intent to marry their siblings!  I could not adjust to this development.


Nelly plays an important part in the drama, as she is the one narrating the tale to Lockwood.  Often, I didn’t know if I could completely trust her judgement because after all, she is human and she could be biased towards one person more than the other.


When I recall the book I realize how much Healthcliff scares me… I can really see how revenge drives people to do crazy things.  Hindley was no better, he was ready to kill Healthcliff for his money.


Emily Bronte is rightly regarded as an esteemed novelist who can capture the human spirit in varied forms.  She describes every character in the most vivid manner; she creates an aura of horror and intrigue.  She can transport her readers to the exact locations of the plot.  Her narrative style might be outdated now, but the author will remain eternally in the heart of literary circles.

Geeta Chhabra

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