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Customer Review

on 12 April 2001
Everything about this book makes it makes it truly brilliant. The wild setting of the Yorkshire Moors, the grey and dark ambience of the Heights, the contrast of this at the Grange. Wuthering Heights is full of; love; romance; passion; revenge; and violence; covering ideas about: nature; religion; superstition; death; and the social values of the 19th Century. Criticised when it first came out because the book was written so far ahead of its time, it explores feminist ideas about the inheritance of land and money, and about marriage for social status. Possibly offensive to the original Victorian audience who would have read it, it would appeal to a modern readership subsequently, something of which, due to her premature death, Brontë would never learn of.
Brontë writes about her own experience in this book, with some characters closely relating to her own life. Her sole piece of literature shows her unique outlook on existence, and denying the reader perhaps the resolved ending they would have desired; instead we get the realistic conclusion that everyone can relate to.
Every character in this novel can portray a whole group of people. Heathcliff can represent the 'working class hero come good'. Brontë skilfully manipulates the reader into sympathising with Heathcliff, despite his appalling and violent behaviour later on. Catherine is reckless, passionate and rebellious, but maintains a clear head; she is aware of the importance of keeping a high status in the world. Brontë presents this with her marriage to Edgar Linton, denying her genuine, but concealed, feelings for Heathcliff. Even with Edgar's laissez-faire attitude to Catherine's close friendship to Heathcliff, can create the strong contrast between the two men. The reader can discover the shocking lengths that Heathcliff goes to for revenge against his former anguish, in an almost psychotic way that spans beyond death. His treatment by Catherine's brother Hindley, and his betrayal by Catherine for marrying Edgar causes him to enact a series of events including marriage without love and mistreatment of others in the most terrible way. Interestingly, Brontë allows everything to be observed by the character Nelly in an almost voyeuristic way, despite the fact she is a narrator to the story; it shows the idea of narrators being fair and trusting can occasionally be false. Every character is different, and often unconventional, represented in a certain way for a certain reason. The book successfully takes us over two generations of characters, each with different ideas, personalities and attitudes.
This book can be quite confusing at times by the use of similar names such Catherine's daughter also being named Catherine and Isabella Linton calling her son Linton. Also having to travel through two sets of narration in a non-chronological order. However, Brontë deals with all these factors marvellously and the powerful setting, intriguing characters and wide range of ideas challenged makes this book a political masterpiece of English Literature.
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Product Details

4.4 out of 5 stars