Prologue: Wuthering Heights

Posted on March 1, 2010

Ravi Radhanpura:

We have heard that Love transcends all earthly boundaries. We have also heard that Love is but divine and pure. But in this 19th century English classic written by Emily Bronte, Love is redefined.

It’s a story where many forms of love are experienced by the reader through sublime passion and raw incompressible emotions as expressed by the characters. It talks of love between two characters and of the lives of others scarred or destroyed because of it.

Mr. Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw are the main characters with a traveler in the moor named Mr. Lockwood as the narrator. While Catherine’s character stands for care, friendship and respect as traits of good love, Heathcliff contrasts the views by displaying strong feelings of mental and physical cruelty and hatred towards anything that separates him from his love Catherine. Their story starts in childhood when Catherine’s father brings Heathcliff home from outside. It moves on for another 4 decades where we come across many twists and turns and several characters enter and leave. Catherine dies at an early age and Heathcliff clings on to his unending love for Catherine in the hope that she forgives him after death. The element of supernatural adds a striking dimension to the story. It is quite a paradox here that the main protagonist is actually the antagonist whose love and hatred go hand in hand and the reader by the end may well be most intrigued by him. Another striking thing about this story is that in its time it was not regarded too highly but finds itself as a celebrated classic today. Apart from the emotions, the author has described nature with such reality and intricacy that sometimes we feel ourselves experiencing it.

Wuthering Heights is not a book for those despondent souls, for it is a sad story. It’s sad because Heathcliff turns to the bad side of the conscience, and because there is no happy ending with the characters walking hand in hand. It ends with a pang in the heart and a question to the author as to how could she write something like this?

It also is a paradox as a question posed by the author taking Heathcliff’s character that, How can someone Love and Hate so much that it cannot let someone rest in peace? But it certainly is a book which would create a lasting memory.

The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz