“Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you—haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always—take any form—drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!”
I have been looking forward to read Wuthering Heights for a long time, thanks to a repeated recommendation from my friend Anushka. Having finally finished it an hour back, I am filled with a melee of emotions scuffling like real people inside my head. It is one of those peculiar books that you end up enjoying immensely despite hating everything happening inside it!
The tale of Wuthering Heights is as narrated by the housekeeper Nelly who has been the witness of the story herself. She recounts an orphan Heathcliff raised by the wealthy Earnshaw family who resided at the Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff has an unpleasant childhood and his only solace lies in his bond with the daughter of the Earnshaw family, Catherine. However, this bliss is short-lived and Catherine soon befriends the Lintons. The difference of grooming between the Lintons and Heathcliff as well as Catherine’s contrasting demeanour around these two different friends of hers is a reminder of the class distinction that this book seems like a commentary on.
Do not, for a minute, think that this story is about a heartbroken lover, though. It is a tale of revenge, emotional abuse and torture, all set up on the tombstone of love. Catherine and Heathcliff were wildly in love and that is how they remained till the end of their days. Wild with passion. Wild like children who simply don’t care for anyone except the object of their affections. These characters are not looking for redemption or apologies. They are just being their imperfect selves, doing things that you would rather refuse to imagine.
The secluded setting of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange sets the perfect air of isolation and conveys further just how removed these characters are from social conventions. This book is basically a love story gone wrong and involves some of the most messed up characters of all time. What’s more? Well, you are going to remember them all, however doomed these characters may seem to you. After all, it is one of the most beautifully written books of all time.
“If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.”