Monday, July 03, 2006

SRC Book - Wuthering Heights

Well, I'm a week behind in my reading, but I'm glad to say I finished Wuthering Heights.

I now understand why this book is considered such a classic. What a complicated structure, and skillfully done! I love how the different narrators are woven together...Sometimes you forget that the story is in fact being narrated by Mrs Dean, who is speaking to Mr Lockwood, who is narrating the story to us. And then Emily sneaks in a sentence or two between the two of them, and you remember that in fact the entire action is taking place in Mr Lockwood's bedroom, as he lies in convalescence at the Grange...I'd have liked to have studied this in my Rise of the Novel course, to see what my prof had to say about it, but it was on the reading list and we never made it to it.

I am glad though that it is now illegal in most countries to treat women the way Heathcliff does! It's amazing how powerless Catherine is to control her fate, as is Linton (and he is described as overly effeminate)...The only person who is able to escape Heathcliff's clutches is Isabelle, although in the end she does not find a happy life. I'm also glad that we are no longer stuck in our classes as once was thought. Although it's difficult to fell pity for him, Heathcliff is in fact doomed to be a bad man from the start, because he comes from gypsies, whereas Hareton at least can find redemption because he is born into the upper class and just needs a little care and attention from Catherine.

Interesting though that there are no heroes or heroines, only a remarkable anti-hero! I also was struck by the variations in spelling...What would an editor do with a contemporary edition? Would they choose to change the spelling to current day standards, or leave it as is?

I also understand why so many cats are called Heathcliff...although I never associated that name negatively before. Now whenever I meet a Heathcliff, I'll be on my guard!

Glad I chose this book, and glad I completed it!


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