Thursday, January 17, 2013

Book Review

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

The love between Heathcliff and Cathrine was a tragic one that destroyed many lives, not just their own.  They were children together and grew up playing, exploring and learning and finally falling in love with one another.  All they had and cared about was each other; they were happy together and cherished each other as a confidant and a friend, truly the love of each other's lives.  Heathcliff and Cathrine were two bodies with one soul and lived one life, as the latter said herself, "I am Heathcliff". 
Heathcliff had no standing in the society in which he lived in as he was a bastard with no family or income, secluding him from 19th century England standards of being a gentleman.  This did not alter how Heahtcliff and Cathrine felt about one another, however it had a heavy impact on the fact that they could not be together.  Cathrine, being the daughter of a gentleman and having a place in the distinguished society could not marry a bastard.
When Heathcliff overheard Cathrine telling a trusted friend that she will accept another man's marriage proposal, his heart was shattered into pieces; he left then and there without one word to a soul.  He left so quickly and with such pain in his soul that he did not hear Cathrine continuing on with the declaration that she will never love another the way and as deep as she loves Heathcliff and the fact that she is marrying another in order to help Heathcliff climb the ladder of society.
Heathcliff returned as a wealthy gentleman years after running away with his crumbled heart in his chest and found the married Cathrine still as much in love with him as he was with her.  Not being able to get the love of his life back, he focused his attention on ruining the lives of all who contributed to his misery as a child and as an adult.  With knowledge and power, Healthcliff was able to drive those lives down the dark path of doomed fate while continuing to only think about and care about one thing in life, Cathrine.  And Cathrine, not being able to bear the life without her friend and true love by her side became severely ill and died.  This fueled Heathcliff's fire and increased his rage to unimaginable heights.
Heathcliff spent the rest of his life focused on continuing to get revenge from those who had a hand in the way his and Cathrine's life turned out.  His emotions, rage and anger were so deep that his plots even ruined the next generation including his own and Cathrine's children.  All through it all, Heathcliff's heart was throbbing for Cathrine and remained devoted to their love, feeling her presence with himself nightly.
When Heathcliff finally leaves this earth, it is from a broken heart and it is to reunite with his true love, Cathrine, and it is after altering the fate of all who surrounded them.  Heathcliff and Cathrine's spirits are known to have lingered on together at Wuthering Heights.
A heart wrenching story about love, loss, hate, revenge, innocence and betrayal, Wuthering Heights has many significant details and even more complex characters.  More than one pair of characters share names and some have last names as first names, some do not even have last names.  The story extends over two generations from childhood until adulthood and takes us through marriages, births and deaths without overwhelming the readers.
I can not help but wonder about Heathcliff's love for Cathrine; does such extreme love truly exist in a real life human heart? A love that one would go through a lifetime of misery to overcome.  Many of us fall in love, but eventually we either fall out of love or move on or get up, dust off the dirt from the fall and start walking again.  Has anybody kept that passionate, throbbing, crazy, out of this world love in their heart just as it was there on the first day?  I think the key word here is crazy, maybe you have to be crazy to fall in love that hard and stay down where you had fallen forever.  Heathcliff committed acts that only a crazy person would do... for love.  One time he dug Cathrine's grave and laid next to her corps just to be close to her.  Is that romantic love or crazy lunatic behavior? There seems to be a fine line between crazy and in love
But the talent of a writer is to make you feel a character's pain and suffering and relate to him and last but not least to have empathy, root for him, want him to succeed... even if it is to ruin all the lives around him.  Emily Bronte did that with Heathcliff.

If you are interested in seeing this classic story come to life, you have many options, but I recommend that you chose the one with the very sexy Tom Hardy playing Heathcliff.

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