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Wuthering heights an analysis of a 19th century book review

Wuthering Heights written by Emily Bronte, was a novel filled

with many emotions and activity. Her characters represent an on going

conflict between love and hate. Upon the publication of the book

articles and reviews were written regarding Brontes novel. Following her

death some of these were recovered such as the following

written January 15 1848: " In Wuthering Heights the reader is

shocked, disgusted, almost sickened by details of cruelty, inhumanity

and the most diabolical hate and vengeance, and anon come passages of

powerful testimony to the supreme power of love-even over demons in

the human form. The women in the book are of a strange fiendish-angelic

nature tantalizing and terrible, and the men are indescribable out of

the book itself. " The critic fills my complete expectations for

what a review of this book should be. It is, in a sense, a blending

of elements that make the book what it is. Both atmosphere and characters

are filled with a mystery that keeps the reader drawn to the book much

as some are addicted to viewing day time soap operas.

One of the main elements of the story that is mentioned in

the review is cruelty. Cruelty has helped form some of the

characters to be what they are. When a young Heathcliff is brought into

the Earnshaw family, he is instantly disliked by Hindley Earnshaw. Hindley

hates Heathcliff for intruding onto his family. He loses his fathers love

and sets out to destroy Heathcliff. Within Catherine's diary was written:

" I wish my father were back again. Hindley is a detestable substitute-his

conduct to Heathcliff is atrocious. " (25) Hindleys hate toward Heathcliff is so

deeply felt, that upon the news of Hindley receiving a son, Heathcliff

sets out to torment the child as part of a plan to punish the Earnshaws.

The cruelties of Hindley toward Heathcliff produces vengeance.

Heathcliff feels the need to take revenge, and zeros in on Hareton Earnshaw

son to Hindley. Heathcliff's evil influence is felt upon the boy who

reflects the most insensitive traits. He turns the young Hareton into a

brute for whom has no respect or love for his father or for his education.

" He raised his missile to hurl it: I commenced a soothing speech, but could

not stay the hand-the stone struck my bonnet; and then ensued, from the

stammering lips of the little fellow, a string of curses, which whether

he comprehended them or not, were delivered with practiced emphasis, and

distorted his baby features into a shocking expression of malignity. " (109)

Heathcliffs cruelties toward Haerton is felt throughout. He has become a

reflection of the cruelty Heathcliff hides in himself, he has done to Haerton

what Hindley did to him. In a strange sense Haerton clings to Heathcliff, and

treats him as if he was a father.

The supreme power of love is a central theme in the book. Bronte

produces a love that is not so much romantic as it is powerful. Heathcliff's

evil is projected upon everyone in the story except Catherine. Catherine had

from the start of the story had a love for Heathcliff. " I ran to the children's

room; their door was ajar, I saw they had never laid down, though it was

past midnight; but they were calmer, and did not need me to console them. The

little souls were confronting each other with better thoughts than I could

have hit on. " (48) Here we can witness Catherine and Heathcliff comforting

each other in the news of Mr. Earnshaw's death. For a time it seems as if

Heathcliff could be redeemed. And as they grew they became more separate.

Catherine pledges her love to Edgar Linton, a young gentleman from

Threshold Grange. She has second thoughts about her love. " I've no more

business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in Heaven; and if the wicked

man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low, I shouldn't have thought of

it. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now: so he shall never know

how I love him; and that not because he's handsome, Nelly, but because he's

more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the

same; and Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost

from fire. " (82) Catherine admits that within her heart she is not doing

the right thing.

After the death of Catherine, Heathcliff never fully recovers

from the loss. His love last to the point that seven years later he

decides to bring up he coffin and embrace her one final time. When he

tells Nelly what he has done she deems his a wicked man who has no

respect for the dead. Heathcliff replies that " I disturbed nobody,

and I gave some ease to myself. I shall be a great deal more comfortable

now; and you'll have a better chance of keeping me underground, when I get

there. Disturbed her? No! she has disturbed me, night and day, through

eighteen years-incessantly-remorselessly-till yesternight; and yesternight

I was tranquil. " (274) Such as the review suggest shocking and disgusting

displays of human nature. One could not be more shocked than idea of

removing a corpse from its grave to fulfill an undying love.

The book ends as Heathcliff dies. We can see that the novel

revolved around his life. He stands in the end unredeemed. His soul was

forever locked in between his love for Catherine and his hate for the

rest. Wuthering Heights can have a different interpretation by anyone

who reads it. There are the evident struggles between love and hate, and

as we can see through the end, love is stronger than hate.

Source: Essay UK - http://www.essay.uk.com/coursework/wuthering-heights-an-analysis-of-a-19th-century-book-review.php



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