“I cannot live without my heart. I cannot live without my soul.”
I finally read the book (took me around 5-6 weeks), watched the movie (the 1993 one with Ralph Fiennes) and now writing the review. I knew of Wuthering Heights a long while ago, interestingly, from a manga called The Glass Mask. It was just a piece of play, but even so it gave a strong long lasting impression. I acquired the book months ago, but not after the BC readalong that I finally read it.
What a wild storm. That’s what I felt about the book. The old English bothered me at first. It slowed me down a lot and I felt it distracting me from fully enjoying the story. But after about halfway I started to like it!
The way I summarized the story to a friend was like this: It’s about 2 mansions on big wide moor. The high-class people in these 2 houses go crazy over each other, which makes a complex story.
him: Oh, so there are enough people in those 2 houses to make a complex story, eh?
me: O yeah, definitely. There are about 7-8 people.
** SPOILER BELOW **
I’m surprised that Wuthering Heights is often said as one of the greatest love story ever written. I thought the love story between Cathy and Heathcliff was very little. She dies very quick. But since the second generation is almost the exact copy of the first generation (Cathy-Catherine, Heathcliff-Hareton, Hindley-Linton), in the end I thought the story ended happily, because the spirit of Cathy and Heathcliff in (the second) Catherine and Hareton finally found happiness, while the real Heathcliff and Cathy lied in grave side by side.
I thought Heathcliff could be the base personality of many men in contemporary love stories, who act distant and cruel, but totally melt only for the girls that they love. No matter how evil Heathcliff was, I felt like crying a little every time he cried for Cathy in desperation as if he’s no longer himself. Granted, there are many great quotes come out of him, and Cathy.
“My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff’s miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning: my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it. My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff!” ~ Cathy, p80
“Because misery and degradation, and death, and nothing that God or Satan could inflict would have parted us, you, of your own will, did it. I have not broken your heart- you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine. So much the worse for me that I am strong. Do I want to live? What kind of living will it be when you- oh, God! would you like to live with your soul in the grave? … I love my murderer- but yours! How can I?” ~ Heathcliff, p158
“Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you — haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers. I believe. I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always — take any form — drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!” ~ Heathcliff, p164
“Resolutions formed in the hour of fear” ~ Nelly, pg 223
Ratings: 4.5 out of 5
1801. I have just returned from a visit to my landlord- the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with.
I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.