Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is a very complicated romance story involving a lot of heartbreak and dark revenge. Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw are deeply in love but because of family disputes and social concerns Cathy marries someone else. Her brother Hindley mistreats Heathcliff because of old grudges and as a result of those things, Heathcliff relies completely on revenge as a reason for him to stay alive. This book is one of the best romances of all time because Emily Bronte does an amazing job of capturing the obsessive and violent love and hate that can be in a relationship, revealing dark truths about human nature.
A main theme in Wuthering Heights is hate and revenge which is embodied in the character of Heathcliff. When Heathcliff was adopted off the streets by Catherine’s father, Mr. Earnshaw, he was already a dark child, and his angry tendencies were continually brought up because of his “borther” Hindley’s cruel mistreatment of him. When you are introduced to Heathcliff as an adult, your first instinct is to despise the brooding character and expect him to change as the book goes on. But nothing good ever happens in Heathcliff’s life. Hindley throws him out after their father’s death and the girl he’s been in love with since his childhood leaves him and marries another man for the social status. Because of this, Heathcliff’s anger grows to be his whole personality and takes over his entire being. He comes back from where he had stayed when Hindley kicked him out to take revenge on everybody that has ever done him wrong in his life, particularly the families of Linton (Catherine’s husband) and Earnshaw. He becomes completely cold hearted and marries a girl for her inheritance and mistreats her even though she is in love with him; he abuses Catherine’s daughter; he takes out his revenge on Hindley’s son. After Catherine’s death, however, his coldness breaks down and he realizes the reason he lost her was partly his own fault and that all the revenge in the world could not do anything for him. He dies miserable, lonely, unloved, and after all of that, still angry.
Childeshness and stubborn love are also major themes that come to life through Catherine. When she was a child she always had to have her way, and if she didn’t she would throw a tantrum until someone gave her what she wanted. When she grew up, she still viewed the world in the same way. She felt that she should get what she wants no matter who else it hurt or affected. She is madly in love with Heathcliff right from the beginning, but she is stubborn and because he is not everything that she exactly wants, she decides to marryEdgar Linton who is richer and more popular. She loves him too, but instead of choosing between Heathcliff and Edgar, she plays with both of them, torturing Healthcliff even further. When Catherine dies, she goes out still stubborn and childish, as if she had never grown up.
I love this book because the characters and realistic and relatable. I was able to relate to how Catherine dealt with other people’s feelings because as teens we mess with each other’s feelings all the time with no regard for the consequences. I also know how it feels to be hurt after someone plays around with your feelings so the dark emotions throughout the book were relatable as well. I would reccommend this book to kids ages 12 and up! This is one of my all time favorite romance novels, and I think others will enjoy it too!
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book: