Bookgeek Reflection: The Characters of Wuthering Heights

The reading assignment for my English Literature class, 18th Century to the Present, this week is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

You wanna talk epic love stories, this has to be listed in the Top 3. It’s definitely in my Top 3, if not #1. I haven’t decided yet. But seriously, I met Heathcliff and Catherine a few years back and it left such a lasting impression. I couldn’t stop thinking about their story for weeks after I read it.

This …

NerdGirlProblem_WholeAfterReading

… totally applied.

The homework assignment is which character did I find most interesting?

This is not an easy question to answer–not for one who was completely wrapped up in the story. Hurt, pride, jealousy, revenge, and love all play such a significant role throughout the whole story that I love all who made this story possible, including the author.

But since I can only pick one and use that to form an opinion of the story … wait, it’s my blog. I can choose two if I want! And so I shall …

The first character I chose, and the one I decided to focus my homework on, was Mr. Lockwood and for two very specific reasons:

1) His point of view in the story is interesting – the fact that he’s an outsider stepping into this history, his view of what’s happening seems very innocent and is depended entirely upon the narrative of his maid. He seems giddy and eager to learn about his master and the history surrounding his new residence.

and

2) Where he enters the story is very interesting – he first enters the story in the middle of things. He’s never met Catherine Earnshaw or her brother Hindley. He’s never met Edgar Linton either. Only Heathcliff. And then his point of view fast-forwards a bit and we see his reaction to the death of Heathcliff and everything that transpires afterwards. He witnesses the “The End.”

Reflecting upon this, my reasons probably have nothing to do with the character itself. Maybe I should change it to my runner-up.  Who is …. *drum rolls* …

Hareton Earnshaw. Yep. I found him even more interesting that Heathcliff because I believe that Hareton is how Heathcliff would have been if he didn’t turn bitter from Catherine’s rejection. There is no doubt in my mind that Heathcliff loved Catherine and loved her fiercely, but, he let his hurt and rejection take over. Hareton is how Heathcliff should have been if he didn’t let hurt and despair take over his love for Catherine.

And I’d like to think if Heathcliff would have stayed, if Heathcliff would have rather lived beside her and be in her presence than stand to be without her, she’d have recognized his humility and couldn’t bare to marry Edgar.

Despite the abuse Heathcliff seemed to give, Hareton refused to see anything but love for this adopted father. After all, he grieved at Heathcliff’s passing and no one seemed to understand why. I’d like to think it’s because he understood. Hareton seemed to understand Heathcliff. Maybe he didn’t understand the details of Heathcliff’s live, but he understood the reason behind Heathcliff’s anger and frustration.

Emily Bronte did a superb job with her characters and her story. It was gut wrenching and heart breaking and yet, somehow very loving. A genius storyteller.

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