Monday, August 17, 2009

Wuthering Heights

Today I thought I would start up my book reviews starting with Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Wuthering Heights is my favorite book of all time. I first read it as a junior in high school and was so enthralled by the story that I ended up writing both my junior and senior paper on the book and the author. Since high school I have reread the book countless times and still love it as much as I did the first time I read it. Whenever I tell people Wuthering Heights is my favorite book I usually get a strange reaction. Most people who have tried the book have a hard time getting into it as Wuthering Heights is a narrative within a narrative so it does take about fifty or so pages in before you get to the crux of the story, Heathcliff and Catherine. Once people manage to get through to the heart of the story they often talk about how Heathcliff is a vile and horrible man and its impossible to like him or the book because of this nature. Heathcliff is indeed a person that is hard to love but for me Wuthering Heights is absolutely a love story in every way. While Heathcliff and Catherine share a love that is neither conventional or one that we might ourselves want to be in they are obviously madly in love with one another. Heathcliff and Catherine are both characters that are very flawed; Catherine is selfish and spoiled, Heathcliff angry and vengeful but even they at their worst deserve to receive love. It makes me think that even though no one on earth is perfect and we all have bad sides that we all deserve to experience love and happiness too. Wuthering Heights, for me, embodies all the things that love should be, blindingly passionate, maddening at times, and something you can not live without. Many years ago when Britney Spears first started dating Kevin Federline and the world did a double take it made me think of Wuthering Heights. While we on the outside could not understand the appeal of their love and we deemed it as crazy at the pace they were moving I saw two people who were so swept up in their emotions and passions that nothing else mattered to them. Like all consuming loves it burned as quickly as it came and the ending fizzled out as we know it now. Still I feel envious of it as I feel in our everyday lives we miss out on these feelings because life gets in the wayas evryday life's constraints don't allow us to be as free as we would like. Only those who have the means to live the way they want can truly have the luxury to be able to move on the whim of an emotion. Most likely if Catherine and Heathcliff were given the opportunity to live their lives together they too would have burned each other out and separated but because they were never given that chance their fire still burned and as we saw in Heathcliff it never left him until the day he was finally reunited with his soul. When I read Wuthering Heights I am reminded of that yearning and fervor. I hope that everyone gets to experience that kind of maddening passion at least once in their life. For me it is the essence of being alive..

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