Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights (with linked TOC)
Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
Evan’s ESS = 7 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = 6 out of 10
Content = PG-13 (Adult Concepts, Domestic Violence, Adult Name Calling, Excessive Anger)

Why: Well, it can’t be helped - time to pull out the soap box again.   Surprisingly there’s very little dust.

2007 headline in major UK newspaper: Emily Brontë hits the heights in poll to find greatest love story.

What this means is that amongst 2,000 British readers, Wuthering Heights, earned the top spot as the greatest love story of all time.  How is this even possible?  At first we thought this was a hoax, but with Pride and Prejudice and Romeo and Juliet coming in at 2nd and 3rd, clearly, our neighbors across the pond are unhinged.  The only distinction Wuthering Heights should win is most selfish, vengeful, and violent love story of all time.  In an effort to keep the plot veiled, we can’t say much more at this time, but Heathcliff is a JERK!  Sorry, but it’s the truth.  Yes, he was mistreated as a youth, but the way he treats his relations is despicable.  Sadly, his one true love, Catherine, isn’t much better.  The pair is nothing more than two selfish people whose relationship stands as a model of dysfunction and anger.  Once you’ve read the novel we’re sure that you’ll agree (If not, we recommend some soul searching because you’re probably wrong).  Great, now we’ve woken up the kids.  If we can just step down…. Ouch… not again.  Why does this keep happening?

Now that our blood pressure is back down in an acceptable range, we need to say that Wuthering Heights is actually a very solid read.  Charlotte Brontë does a magnificent job evoking powerful emotion at every end of the spectrum.  The plot is interesting and the characters are complex.   Furthermore, its impact on popular culture is significant; including countless (we could have counted them, but really, what would that prove) references in music, television and theatre.  And if you didn’t know, both Heath Ledger and his sister, Catherine, were named after the main characters.  Definitely read this one, all we’re saying is that it might be a good idea to practice some deep breathing exercises beforehand.

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