Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights

I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!

Watching Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche in the 1992 film adaptation of this book led me to take a closer look at the psychology of love and damned relationships. I broke my read-the-book-first-then-watch-the-movie rule. I gotta say this story is such a tease because it always leaves me wanting a real raunchy sex scene alla “Outlander.” Ah! I can dream, I guess. I could wax lyrical at length on the minor modifications I would make if I ever directed an adaptation.

I have dreamt in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind. And this is one: I’m going to tell it – but take care not to smile at any part of it.

There is a reason why The Brontes are so important to English literature. Wuthering Heights manages to capture the width and breathe of longing for your soul mate while interweaving the socio-economic realities, class manners, and the tradition of arranged marriage very much part of British society. Having the setting be in the British moors adds a whole other layer of thematic complexity.

I’d be glad of a retaliation that wouldn’t recoil on myself, but treachery and violence are spears pointed at both ends: they wound those who resort to them, worse than their enemies.

This book is famous for its Byronic hero, Heathcliff. I’d be hard pressed to name a better archetype of the tortured antihero because I’m obviously biased. I’m sure one of my literary colleagues could point out a few if I only bothered to ask; the term was inspired by Byron after all. Heathcliff gets a lot of attention, but I often ask what a psychologist would say about Catherine Earnshaw. She would have married him properly, but she had no other option. And, Heathcliff’s redeem-ability after all of his damnable manipulations is deeply questionable. Perhaps the ending was fitting, the best these two lovers could hope for came true: after they die, they lie side by side within their earthly tombs in peaceful slumber for eternity.

He wanted all to lie in an esctasy of peace; I wanted all to sparkle and dance in a glorious jubilee. I said his heaven would be only half alive; and he said mine would be drunk. I said I should fall asleep in his; and he said he could not breathe in mine.

Works Cited

“Wuthering Heights Quotes by Emily Brontë.” Goodreads, Goodreads, http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1565818-wuthering-heights?page=1.

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