Archive for emily bronte

Wuthering Heights

Posted in book reviews with tags , , , on June 28, 2010 by acousticchick
Emily Bronte gave a nicely morbid turn to the typical boring-as-hell nineteenth-century romance in ‘Wuthering Heights.’ Her plotline was more complex than Jane Austen’s “girl: boy: love: conflict: anguish: resolution: and they all lived happily ever after,” and her heroine retained a personality instead of becoming a limp-wristed, doting pushover at the end, as did Jane Eyre.

The narrator of the main body of the story, Ellen Dean, is a simple and static character, but the lead roles (Heathcliff and Catherine, Jr.), if not complex, are at least interesting. Heathcliff is an asshole with a bad childhood and Catherine, Jr. is genuinely conflicted. Joseph, a servant at Wuthering Heights, deserved the axe, though; not only his character (that of the ignorant religious fanatic) annoying, but so is his speech. Unfortunately Bronte decided, like other of her counterparts, that spelling out Joseph’s brogue would be charming, but sentences like “There’s nobbut t’ missis; and shoo’ll not oppen’t an ye mak yer flaysome dins till neeght,” while decipherable, are simply a pain to read.

The story-within-a-story wasn’t especially impressive in ‘Wuthering Heights;’ in fact, the book would have been better without it. The main story was strong enough to hold its own without the introduction of the pointless Mr. Lockwood, and leaving him out would have cut out about a hundred unnecessary pages. Despite this, the book held my attention. Maybe you just have to be really stubborn to enjoy it.

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