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Thread: I Hated Wuthering Heights

  1. #16
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    Likeable characters will make Dostoievisky and Kafka very unlikeable writers.

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I'm with you Camilo! But Wuthering Hearts was heartily disliked by its early critics before it gained its universal status.
    Last edited by Danik 2016; 08-24-2016 at 04:38 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danik 2016 View Post
    But Wuthering Hearts was heartily disliked by its early critics before it gained its universal status.
    A clergyman' daughter wasn't supposed to know about bad boys. But I think that was ultimately a selling point, too. It made the novel even more shocking.

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Sure, but I'm not so sure they wanted to be shocked. They wanted sunny themes and nice characters it seems.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danik 2016 View Post
    I'm with you Camilo! But Wuthering Hearts was heartily disliked by its early critics before it gained its universal status.
    So was Moby Dick. Personally, Emily is something else. Her poetry is very good, a bit superior to Anne and Charlote (I think Anne is also better than Charlote) and WH has some flaws (Nothing to do with the characters), but when Emily found her hand, it became a maginificient psychological novel, a rare exampel where she could do with the setting the moody of the characters. She made me think about Conrad, also because her capacity to bring to a realistic setting the feeling of supernatural (which does not exist). WH wasn't easy to grasp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danik 2016 View Post
    Sure, but I'm not so sure they wanted to be shocked. They wanted sunny themes and nice characters it seems.
    True, but as with the appeal of bad boys/girls, sometimes one is in the position of wanting what one does not want. In the 19th century that would have been called Original Sin. That, I think, is what made her status as a clergyman' daughter so shocking. And of course as a woman she wan't supposed to be talking about such things. I don't like Wuthering Heights personally--it's not my kind of thing. But as JR pointed out (I think), it is richly made and sometimes beautifully written. And the dark mood and supernatural imagery are in my opinion among its stronger points.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 08-24-2016 at 05:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    True, but as with the appeal of bad boys/girls, sometimes one is in the position of wanting what one does not want. In the 19th century that would have been called Original Sin. That, I think, is what made her status as a clergyman' daughter so shocking. And of course as a woman she wan't supposed to be talking about such things. I don't like Wuthering Heights personally--it's not my kind of thing. But as JR pointed out (I think), it is richly made and sometimes beautifully written. And the dark mood and supernatural imagery are in my opinion among its stronger points.

    Heathcliff was modeled on bad boy Lord Byron and as such I have no aversion to reading or even disliking negative characters. Alex from Clockwork Orange is one of my favorites and he is as bad as they come. In any case, Wuthering Heights is populated by characters who do not strive hard enough to find happiness in the world. When the world deals you a bad hand, you set yourself to struggle. Heathcliff is a cop out. He treated his wife terribly. She was disposed to be very good to him. What a jerk. I read the book several years ago and I'm still angry at Heathcliff.
    Last edited by Red Terror; 08-29-2016 at 04:11 PM.
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    I thought it was magnificent, with its completely over-the-top characters and situations balanced by Nellie Dean's homely, commonsensical narrative voice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Terror View Post
    In any case, Wuthering Heights is populated by characters who do not strive hard enough to find happiness in the world. When the world deals you a bad hand, you set yourself to struggle. Heathcliff is a cop out. He treated his wife terribly. She was disposed to be very good to him. What a jerk. I read the book several years ago and I'm still angry at Heathcliff.
    Real life is full of such characters, so why object to them in a novel?
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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    From a C19 viewpoint, WH is unconventional in that Cathy and Heathcliff do not get married.

    From a C21 viewpoint it is even more odd in that they seem not to want sex.

    Sex would be trivial in the light of a desire that transcends everything, (including any consideration for each other). Only in death can even start to consummate it.

    It reminds me of another C19 masterpiece, much admired but leaving me cold, Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde where death is the only satisfying consummation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson Richardson View Post
    From a C21 viewpoint it is even more odd in that they seem not to want sex.

    Sex would be trivial in the light of a desire that transcends everything, (including any consideration for each other). Only in death can even start to consummate it.
    That is a rather brilliant point, JR. I had always thought of their relationship as obsessive and destructive, but in that light, there is an even more hellish quality to it. Perhaps I should give it another go. The first time I thought it was just about the romantic appeal of cruelty to some people, which is very much not my cup of tea. But maybe it's more a story about the human penchant for damnation.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 08-29-2016 at 05:29 PM.

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    This is one of the first "classic" that I read so maybe my judgment is skewed by my sentimentality, but I quite like Wuthering Heights. The characters are loathsome, but for me it shows that the characters do not have to be sympathetic to the reader for the novel to be good (I have the same feeling reading Gatsby: almost all the characters are detestable but what a wonderful book).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Terror View Post
    When I was reading the early chapters of Wuthering Heights I was enthralled by the nice relationship between the young kids Heathcliff and Cathy, but then I hated the novel when the former grew up and became loathsome and vicious. Cathy was not a very sympathetic character when she matures either. The only sympathetic characters are of the second generation who try to be better and improve themselves than their forebears and fall in love with each other. And Heathcliff's son was such a pansy that he was appalling. All in all, I dislike the novel intensely! I hated it so much that I do not want to read Jane Eyre because I fear it will be a waste of time.
    Wuthering Heights hates you too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmptySeraph View Post
    Wuthering Heights hates you too.

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    Registered User Red Terror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmptySeraph View Post
    Wuthering Heights hates you too.
    I welcome its hate.
    There has never been a single, great revolution in history without civil war. --- Vladimir Lenin

    There are decades when nothing happens and then there are weeks when decades happen. --- Vladimir Lenin

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    Jane Eyre hates you, too.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 08-30-2016 at 02:37 PM.

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