Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë is a singular novel. Especially within a Victorian literary context, the heroine Catherine Earnshaw is a singular woman. Passionate, haughty and violent, even as she succumbs to Victorian strictures governing femininity and relationships and eventually dies, she forever sticks in my mind.
Though she is decidedly unlike most other Victorian heroines, I wonder if more recent literature has created characters in which she is reflected? Does Catherine live on in other literary figures? Whom most resembles her?
My first thought is Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind. She's very strong and passionate and does what she thinks is best, often hurting those who love her. There could certainly be a comparison between the two! – tclaytor2 years ago
Will confess that I haven't yet read Gone with the Wind... it's on the list! – Sarah Pearce2 years ago
Excellent book, though long! I love Victorian lit though. It might be interesting to compare Catherine to some of the heroines from that time as well, especially since she was different. I watched a documentary on the Bronte sisters and how shocked everyone was that Emily, a daughter of a parson and fairly sheltered, could write this novel. – tclaytor2 years ago
tclaytor - Lots have people have already commented on how different Catherine is from other C19 heroines (I just finished a PhD on Catherine, Jane Eyre and Lucy Snowe) , and there's a lot of good work out there on the topic. I guess I was interested in how she perhaps transcends time, or whether her legacy has been passed on... does her ghost enliven current novels etc? – Sarah Pearce2 years ago
Analyse and argue that Wuthering Heights is the most compelling romance ever written – and that this is the main genre of the book
Of course, the prose and the setting leaves one speechless and gasping for breath. In order to temper the endless barrage of language, I would incorporate Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to anchor the theme and bring to bear modern takes on the love interest among toil and trouble with, for instance, Tess Trueheart of Dick Tracy lore. Just to stir the waters, a bit. – lofreire3 years ago
Might also help to establish audience validity and credulence by making references to Greek and Roman mythology (Aphrodite, Venus) on the perilous nature of love. Other considerations in the form of periphery substance; the literary work of Mary Shelley. Eager to the see the final product. – lofreire3 years ago
In between the old and the new points of reference mentioned above, I can see a segue onto relevant literary counterparts such as Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, no? – lofreire3 years ago
essie,Is it the best romance ever written or is it just your favorite? While I certainly would like to hear why you're so passionate about the book, it does get a bit hard to claim that something is the best _______ when you can't be certain if others like it as such. I'm not trying to be one of these pests who say, "well, just because you like it that doesn't mean it's the best"; sometimes what you like IS the best thing out there. What you have to do, though, is make sure that there are enough people who back you up. As such, you'd have to read commentary on why the book is so popular, what does it have that other books don't, is the quality of the writing good, etc.Thanks for your time,
August – August Merz3 years ago
I love Bronte's work. I would argue that Jane Eyre is also one of the best romances written. Maybe they can be compared? – birdienumnum173 years ago
Can any other love story be taken into account? Seems very subjective
– JulieCMillay3 years ago
Though Bronte’s novel tends to be regarded as one of the greatest romance novels, which is true in relation to the style of the romantic writers who focused on aspects of nature, while less attention is given to the racial aspects, prevalent throughout the novel. Heathcliff is constantly referred to as dark skinned, a moor, gypsy, and an irregular black man. During the period in which the novel is set, Mr. Earnshaw makes a trip to Liverpool, one of the largest slave trading areas in Britain, and arrives home with Heathcliff. He tells his children that he found "it" in the streets and did not know to whom he belonged.His lineage is unknown, and even his name is bestowed upon him by Mr. Earnshaw. His description connotes him as an "other," due to his dark skin, babbled language, and eyes as black as night. Most people overlook the issues of race in the novel, and even when reviewing the numerous film adaptations, not until 2011, was Heathcliff depicted as a black man. Is there plausibility to this theory? Was Heathcliff a slave purchased by Mr. Earnshaw? Or, could Heathcliff have possibly been a child of Mr. Earnshaw, of mixed race, whom he could not admit as his familial bond?
Heathcliff is introduced to readers by Mr. Earnshaw “as a gift from God; though it's as dark almost as if it came from the devil” Bronte makes a clear distinction between Heathcliff and the others through the color of his skin and right from the beginning there is a connection between Heathcliff and the devil.The association between the darkness of his skin and ideas of the devil suggests some level of racism. racism is obviously comprehensible in the whole of novel.we see how he is depicted as a rebellious man. in the novel, we can find many hints of race and racism issues. – Elahe Almasi5 years ago
Good point. Yet, not all people viewed this novel as such. If you attempt to research "racism and wuthering heights," you will find that there was no literary criticism dedicated to this topic until the past 20 years. I agree with your assertions and feel similar to you, but there are those who do not, and that's the factor that makes it a good, substantial, debatable topic. – danielle5775 years ago
I just read Wuthering Heights for the first time (I'm aged 68) and was amazed at its rawness and psychological cruelty, not entirely believable, though gripping to read. It seems obvious to me that this story erupted from the fevered, subconscious, repressed fear of "the other" in a young woman of (inevitably for her time) limited experience of life beyond the hearth. Heathcliff, whose "bad blood" automatically makes him a usurper of all that is "good"; that's racism, right there! – FrancesT3 years ago