As soon as I rolled “Drama or Tragedy” for the book board game I’m playing, I knew I was going to pick up this treasure. I haven’t read Wuthering Heights since high school, so I forgot how AMAZING it is.
It’s vengeful, and full of self-absorbed, spiteful, difficult, narcissistic, and extremely flawed characters, which is so much fun. There’s tons of drama, and just when you think you can’t stand another second of someone, they up and die. It’s rather convenient, because well over 6 characters bite it in this story (I’m sure it’s far more, but I can think of 6 main ones off the top of my head), to my sheer and utter delight almost each time. I don’t know how many times I thought–Oh, thank goodness, s/he’s finally dead!
The setting is dreary. The tone is brooding. The characters are immature, petulant, and fake illnesses and mental illnesses to the point of actually making themselves ill. Either that, or they truly are ill, but I have no sympathy for them, considering how they handle themselves. It’s interesting no matter what way you think about it. Everyone seems to have a surprisingly weak constitution, and some of them seem to die out of sheer spite or unhappiness, or perhaps just because Emily Bronte got tired of them and decided to kill them off in the heat of the moment (And I don’t blame her–you go girl!).
This is quite possibly the most wild, self-indulgent, over-the-top, passionate, melodramatic, intensely dark piece of literature ever written, and I absolutely adore it. It’s clear that Emily Bronte had one hell of a fun time writing it, and she didn’t hold back one bit of malice, ugliness, or immaturity in creating these characters, which makes it so wickedly frustrating and satisfying.
Many of them relentlessly carry their misguided perceptions straight to the grave, which I also have to applaud, because in this day of “each character should change and grow” types of literature, it’s almost refreshing to see characters that adamantly refuse to change or be changed by life, no matter how dreadfully they screw things up or how much they hurt others. They take so much conviction into seeing things through to the bitter end, even if it leaves them unhappy, that I can’t help but admire that extreme level of commitment. These characters aren’t learning any lessons, or making any positive changes, but that’s almost a stronger message to the reader.
Under the circumstances, that makes this a love/hate book, and I find that people tend to land firmly on one side or the other. Even my whole family is in a divide over which of us hate and love this book, and none of us can understand the seemingly very wrong viewpoints of the opposite side, which is something I think Emily Bronte would have really appreciated.
Book 52 read in 2018