I’ve recently finished reading Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights” – just my second Kindle read and I’m not particularly keen on reading via an electronic device. I’ve never seen or heard an adaptation of the novel and only had the Kate Bush song to go by. I wish somebody had told me how cruel a narrative it was and I’d have saved myself the experience. I’m glad there was a happy ending of sorts for Hareton and Catherine but appalled at the set of mean and dispassionate characters that Emily wrote into existence.
I’m sorry I read it but glad I read it if you understand me. And I do consider it a powerful text and an essential read.
Here’s wikipedia’s take on the book (and I can’t disagree):
“Although Wuthering Heights is now widely regarded as a classic of English literature, contemporary reviews for the novel were deeply polarised; it was considered controversial because its depiction of mental and physical cruelty was unusually stark, and it challenged strict Victorian ideals of the day regarding religious hypocrisy, morality, social classes and gender inequality. The English poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti, although an admirer of the book, referred to it as “A fiend of a book – an incredible monster […] The action is laid in hell, – only it seems places and people have English names there.”“
I’ll stick to Ursula K LeGuin’s heroic and thoughtful characters for a while methinks.