Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights

“Wuthering Heights” tells the tale of the all-encompassing and passionate, yet thwarted, love between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, and how this unresolved passion eventually destroys them and many around them.
Recounting the doomed affair between sweet Cathy Earnshaw and the brutal outsider Heathcliff, “Wuthering Heights” is a romantic drama, a passionate romance that proved that ardour can survive grimmest landscape and weather.
Now considered a classic of English literature, Wuthering Heights met with mixed reviews by critics when it first appeared, mainly because of the narrative’s stark depiction of mental and physical cruelty.

An excerpt:


‘First and foremost, do you love Mr. Edgar?’

‘Who can help it? Of course I do,’ she answered.

Then I put her through the following catechism: for a girl of twenty-two it was not injudicious.

‘Why do you love him, Miss Cathy?’

‘Nonsense, I do–that’s sufficient.’

‘By no means; you must say why?’

‘Well, because he is handsome, and pleasant to be with.’

‘Bad!’ was my commentary.

‘And because he is young and cheerful.’

‘Bad, still.’

‘And because he loves me.’

‘Indifferent, coming there.’

‘And he will be rich, and I shall like to be the greatest woman of the neighbourhood, and I shall be proud of having such a husband.’

‘Worst of all. And now, say how you love him?’

‘As everybody loves–You’re silly, Nelly.’

‘Not at all–Answer.’

‘I love the ground under his feet, and the air over his head, and everything he touches, and every word he says. I love all his looks, and all his actions, and him entirely and altogether. There now!’

‘And why?’

‘Nay; you are making a jest of it: it is exceedingly ill-natured! It’s no jest to me!’ said the young lady, scowling, and turning her face to the fire.

‘I’m very far from jesting, Miss Catherine,’ I replied. ‘You love Mr. Edgar because he is handsome, and young, and cheerful, and rich, and loves you. The last, however, goes for nothing: you would love him without that, probably; and with it you wouldn’t, unless he possessed the four former attractions.’

‘No, to be sure not: I should only pity him–hate him, perhaps, if he were ugly, and a clown.’

‘But there are several other handsome, rich young men in the world: handsomer, possibly, and richer than he is. What should hinder you from loving them?’

‘If there be any, they are out of my way: I’ve seen none like Edgar.’

‘You may see some; and he won’t always be handsome, and young, and may not always be rich.’

‘He is now; and I have only to do with the present. I wish you would speak rationally.’

‘Well, that settles it: if you have only to do with the present, marry Mr. Linton.’

‘I don’t want your permission for that–I shall marry him: and yet you have not told me whether I’m right.’

‘Perfectly right; if people be right to marry only for the present. And now, let us hear what you are unhappy about. Your brother will be pleased; the old lady and gentleman will not object, I think; you will escape from a disorderly, comfortless home into a wealthy, respectable one; and you love Edgar, and Edgar loves you. All seems smooth and easy: where is the obstacle?’

Here! and here!’ replied Catherine, striking one hand on her forehead, and the other on her breast: ‘in whichever place the soul lives. In my soul and in my heart, I’m convinced I’m wrong!’


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Wuthering Heights

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