Wuthering Heights Study Guide

Wuthering Heights Study Guide

Original title:
Wuthering Heights
2002 by Norton (first published December 1847)
Yorkshire Dales, England, 1800
ISBN 0393978893 (ISBN13: 9780393978896)

Sometimes just one book is enough to make history. That’s the case with Emily Bronte, whose one and only novel “Wuthering Heights” made it to the great classics of literary masterpieces. We are only left wondering how many more great novels would the author write if she didn’t die the year after the book had been published. 

Any story that deals with mental aspects of its characters’ lives is a difficult and controversial one. Especially when a woman writes the book. “Wuthering Heights” talks about both physical and mental abuse and cruelty in the society. The story is a storm of feelings, destructions, passions, and rage. 

The plot of the book is centered around the recollections of Nelly Dean, who works as a housekeeper at a manor house in Wuthering Heights. The previous owner of the house adopted a boy, Heathcliff, who develops a close relationship with his step-sister Catherine.

When the rich landowner dies, it’s Mr. Earnshaw’s son Hindley who inherits the estate. Needless to say that the two boys didn’t greet each other with open arms. The more sorrow life threw at Hindley, the more cruel and abusive he got. Catherine accepts the marriage proposal of a rich and perspective man and it was the last drop for Heathcliff. He runs away and comes back later with a vindictive agenda on his mind. 

Everybody has their own imagination about love: love for family, love for your chosen one, love for people around us. For some love is manifested in protection and care, for others – in a hurricane of feelings. Some build their relationships as equals, others need to dominate their counterparts. That’s the main takeaway from the book – the diversity of perceptions and approaches to life. 

For the characters of “Wuthering Heights” love turned into obsession and danger and didn’t bring much happiness. It became easy to confuse with the word “suffering”. But it’s still worth discovering and living through. 

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