Okay, so I’m aware that it has been a rather long time since i went off on my quest to read the quintessential gothic love story of all time…but i’ve had to fit it in between my other studies and so my periodic indulgence has been reduced to nightly ‘steals’ at a few pages.
However, I am pleased to declare that I did in fact turn the very last page of this epic tale at around 2am this morning having refused to put it down at getting to the part where an evil Heathcliff imprisoned sweet Cathy Linton and faithful Ellen Dean within the walls of his haunted house at the climax of his cruel plan to force Cathy to wed feigning Linton.
But i digress…
I thought that this novel was written with a much more ‘forward-thinking’ hand than the one I indulged in previously (Jayne Eyre)…although both maintain an indisputable flow of ‘love’ like none experienced before throughout the chapters of their books. This, comes as quite a surprise considering that Emily Brontë, the daughter of a clergyman, never in fact married herself and so wouldn’t have experienced the sheer romance that she managed to encapsulate within her novels.
Although slow to get going and i thought ‘confusing’ at the start with the business of Mr Lockwood’s stay at the Heights…it was soon all made startlingly (and rather ‘sickeningly’) blatant through Ellen Dean’s portrayal, which takes up most of the novel.
The story is certainly one of the most stomach-churning and dark that I have ever read but it is not ‘over-emphasised’ for effect, only used to exemplify the nature of the world of evil Heathcliff and his demented love for his adopted sister Catherine Earnshaw.
Having said that, there were times in the tale that I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the antagonist and also for helpless Edgar Linton, who was also besotted with seemingly charismatic Miss Earnshaw.
The book was certainly full of ups and downs and by the end I certainly felt as if I had gone through the journey with the principle characters, but glad at the same time to see a sort of amicable conclusion to the plight of the long-suffering Heathcliff. I have long wondered at that rather ‘odd’ music video of Kate Bush, but now it all makes perfect sense!
“My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees – my love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath – a source of little visible delight, but necessary.”