This story is narrated by Lockwood, a gentleman visiting the Yorkshire moors where the novel is set, and of Mrs Dean, housekeeper to the Earnshaw family, who had been witness of the interlocked destinies of the original owners of the Heights. In a series of flashbacks and time shifts, Brontë draws a powerful picture of the enigmatic Heathcliff, who is brought to Heights from the streets of Liverpool by Mr Earnshaw. Heathcliff is treated as Earnshaw's own children, Catherine and Hindley. After his death Heathcliff is bullied by Hindley, who loves Catherine, but she marries Edgar Linton. Heathcliff 's destructive force is unleashed, and his first victim is Catherine, who dies giving birth to a girl, another Catherine. Isabella Linton, Edgar's sister, whom he had married, flees to the south. Their son Linton and Catherine are married, but always sickly Linton dies. Hareton, Hindley's son, and the young widow became close. Increasingly isolated and alienated from daily life, Heathcliff experiences visions, and he longs for the death that will reunite him with Catherine.
Unlike most novels, Wuthering Heights' protagonists are anti-heroes; the very antithesis of what a hero is supposed to be. Instead of compassionate and heroic, Heathcliff and Catherine are selfish and petty. Instead of being blissfully in love, Catherine marries someone else and breaks Heathcliff's heart. Too proud to tell each other their true feelings, they fight, storm and rage against each other, destroying themselves in the process. Most people dislike this novel, for its gloomy perspective, tragic outcome and psychological drama. However, Catherine and Heathcliff are perhaps more realistic than most other novel characters claim to be. They not only make mistakes, they cause debacles, completely devastate both people and places and ruin it all by blaming solely themselves. The novel begins when all four, including the narrator and housekeeper, are children. Catherine and Hindley are true blooded siblings, and Heathcliff is sort of "adopted" into their family. The plot unravels, and with it, the characters, blooming into bitterness and pride simply by being dishonest with each other. The entire drama is a destruction of a human soul; how love can save and damn one man. Brontë brings in a whole new perspective on love. It isn't the epic ballad in tales, or the beautiful quiet bloom between spouses; this is rampant, tragic and interbred with other less desirable qualities until it is no longer recognizable until the very end.--Submitted by Leyla Shakew
An orphan brought home by a father to Wuthering Heights - a large rustic home on the moors - becomes a member of the family with complex emotional relationships with the father and his own children, Catherine and Hinton. The orphan, Heathcliff, finds his life totally changed after the father dies and Catherine makes friends with the refined Linton children of neighboring Thrushwood Grange. Entangled loves, marriages, sicknesses, births and deaths continue the dark story.--Submitted by Aloe
One day in the 1770s, widower Mr Earnshaw comes back from town with a new brother for his children: a small, black boy whom he calls Heathcliff. Hindley, the son of the household, is not pleased, but Catherine, his sister, finds a playmate in this harsh boy. However, things will change severely when old Earnshaw dies and Hindley takes over the household with his wife. As Heathcliff is more and more reduced to servitude, Catherine becomes aware that she and Heathcliff will never be able to keep themselves if they marry and she accepts the proposal of an Edgar Linton, the wealthy owner of the nearby Thrushcross Grange. On a stormy night, Heathcliff walks off after hearing Catherine say that it would be a degradation to be married to him. He returns three years later wealthy and longing for revenge. Doing just that, he leaves a trace of disease, dissipation and violence behind him. At the crucial stage, though, everything is compromised and the novel ends with a note of bliss after all the gloom. Wuthering Heights is known for its great setting on the moors that were so important to its writer and for the extremity of Heathcliff as Byronic Hero. Although the work is bleak in places, it does not depress, certainly not if read to the end. A fantastic, un-Victorian and imaginative work that is embedded in English folk-tradition and literature.--Submitted by kiki1982
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte’s only novel, is a harrowing tale of passion and tragedy with a sunny ending. This gothic book entwines romantic and eerie threads to form the ultimate heart-throbber. The story is told by two characters in the sidelines: Mr. Lockwood, the new tenant of the Grange, and Mrs. Dean, an old servant of the Earnshaw family. It recounts the saga of two star-crossed lovers, Heathcliff-a gypsy boy rescued from the streets of London by Mr. Earnshaw-and Catherine Earnshaw, Mr. Earnshaw’s daughter. Catherine’s older brother Hindley cruelly tyrannizes over Heathcliff after Mr. Earnshaw’s death, treating him worse than a servant. When Catherine becomes a woman and the suitors start calling, Heathcliff, destitute and illiterate due to Hindley’s cruelty, is no match for the rich and handsome Edgar Linton, owner of Thrushcross Grange. Heathcliff mysteriously disappears after overhearing Catherine’s low opinion of him, only to reappear two years later and disturb the married life of his love Catherine, who by now has become Mrs. Linton. The uncanny gypsy then spends the remainder of his unhappy life wreaking vengeance upon the multiple recipients who had hurt him in the past, including Catherine who killed them both by marrying for money. Wuthering Heights is the recounting of this tragic love story, and of happiness redeemed through the next generation.--Submitted by Constance de Montmorency
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