I've been considering writing this post for about 2 weeks.
That, by the way, long enough to get past the 'Wuthering Heights slump' as I like to call it. Mainly, because as of yesterday I have officially finished the book. For the fifth/sixth time. I dont know. Its the first time Ive read it in the last 5 years tho, I can tell you that.
I have read Wuthering Heights more than once. Considering I was about 13 the first time I read it - doing the math I have to say that I read it about once a year for five years. I am no stranger to this book. And yet there are several things that I forget EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
(Please note - I'm not going to hold off on plot points here. If you've not read it and don't want the classic work of literature spoiled for you - go away, read the book (or watch a movie adaptation) and then feel free to come back and finish reading the rest of this blog post.
- That actually - there is still another half of the book after Catherine dies. I always think of Wuthering Heights as the 'love story' between Catherine Linton/Earnshaw and Heathcliff. And so I always feel overcome by a sense that the book is never ending when I get to the bit where Catherine dies, and realize I am still only half way though the book.
- That everyone is related. Somehow. Apart from Nellie Dean, Joseph and Mr Lockwood. Seriously. Everyone else is related. Girlguiding UK released new interest badges, one of which could involve drawing up the family tree of a famous real or fictional family. I really hope no one ever chooses the Linton/Earnshaw/Heathcliff family tree cause I would have no idea how to draw that much interconnection.
- That the book is so freaking long. Never mind that Catherine dies half way through the book - thirty four chapters is just very long. And they're not short chapters either.
- That someone really needs to tell Cathy she is allowed to marry someone who is not her cousin. And that actually, today, both of her marriages would not be allowed.
- The entire book either takes place in Thrushcroft Grange, Wuthering Heights, or someplace in-between. Emily Bronte apparently didn't want us to have to worry our pretty little heads about acquainting ourselves with various locations. There are literally only two.
- That even though Heathcliff is (unofficially) adopted by the Linton family - its still weird that he and Catherine are so madly romantically in love. THEYRE BROTHER AND SISTER.
- That I have never once seen mention of the fact Catherine is pregnant before she gives birth. Apparently there is one line in there; but it has never made itself apparent to me when Im reading it. The birth of Cathy always comes as somewhat of a surprise to me because WHERE EXACTLY DOES IT SAY SHE WAS PREGNANT?
- That I still cant always tell when one of the characters is ill, and when they're just being dramatic.
- That it is not a love story. The emotions that Catherine and Heathcliff feel for each other may be very strong, but people who love each other do not do that to each other.
- That I still know absolutely nothing about Heathcliff. Where did he come from? and where did he did go for all those years?
- That this book should really be given some kind of 'for mature readers' label. I know theres nothing 'overtly sexual or violent' in it - but just because its a classic does not mean its appropriate for children.
- Have I mentioned that THE BOOK GOES ON FOR EVER.
- And that its FREAKING WEIRD and just not quite right?
Seriously - I may give this impression right now - but its not that I do not like Wuthering Heights. I think. I am not entirely sure. Wuthering Heights is like an entity to itself - one where you cant apply normal laws of opinion to it.