This novel is a testament to the accumulation of clichés clogging the realms of literature featuring romance. It includes an unnatural, obsessive love that devoured everything in its purlieu out of pure malice which somehow throws more moral compass into a tizzy.
Heathcliff and Catherine’s romance made me swoon. Do pardon me if I shun those patriarchy-approved alpha males who infantilise their lovers, their dishonest gleam of dignity and the assurance of domesticated happily-ever-afters. The love Catherine and Heathcliff share is so bottomless that it heats up your blood and is food for your soul. Heathcliff and Catherine’s love was beyond their control. They were like a storm wrecking lives of those who sought to throttle it. It leaves readers like me intrigued towards their relationship.
“…he shows perfectly clearly that this irrepressible violence is neither a storm in a teacup nor the re-emergence of savage instincts nor even a consequence of resentment: it is man restructuring himself.”
This is one of the strongest and concise defence I can provide for Heathcliff. His fury that won’t be suppressed and its devastating expressions. Heathcliff lived in a white-washed society breeding manifold evils, and Heathcliff was the perpetual outsider. He is the ‘thing’ Nelly Dean, Mrs Earnshaw, Hindley and even infant Catherine see as nothing other than a smelly, baseborn mortal deserving the disrespect. An individual of colour stranded in a world, being cleaved into a cruel society of polarities of light and dark, coloniser and colonised, powerful and powerless, white master and black slave, abuser and abused.
‘…I dreamt I was sleeping the last sleep by that sleeper, with my heart stopped and my cheek frozen against hers.
‘And if she had been dissolved into earth, or worse, what would you have dreamt of then?’ I said.
‘Of dissolving with her, and being more happy still!’ he answered.
And there it is. If Catherine is Heathcliff – “I am Heathcliff,” says Catherine in Wuthering Heights – then Heathcliff, too, is Catherine. Two beings pursuing to change the public ban against their individuation and find their salvation in each other. So take away your sinister Rochesters and holier-than-thou Jane Eyres. Give me Heathcliff and Catherine instead. Give me their petulant anger, their restlessness and their in-controllable love.
This novel has got to be one of my favorite love stories of all time. It had put my dictionary into good use as well. I was slow in the first couple of pages, however, coming to end, I was like a driver going at 100mph, eager to reach the finish line.
At the beginning I was quite frustrated at how Jane Austen addressed her characters as Miss Bennet, though I must duly mention that there are five Miss Bennets. It did take sometime to get use to the various nicknames, but I got the handle of it in the middle of novel. My hatred for Mrs Bennet is tremendous. She had no talent in being a mother and have no notions into leading her five daughters to a better future. The only thing she prioritises is to get her five daughters married as soon as possible. She was so furious with Lydia when she ran away with Wickham, but seemed to have forgotten it as soon as news of marriage was ensued. I’ve never seen a women as fickle-minded as her in my life, or in a novel. Nor do I ever wish to meet one. Lydia Bennet is the youngest Bennet. She is emotional and immature. She lacks parental supervision on the parts of both her mother and father. It took a while for me to comprehend how Jane and Elizabeth turned out to be well bred, considering the type of mother they are born with. Also, knowing how I find Elizabeth Bennet one of the strongest, most complex characters ever written.
Now, enough of what I hate of the book. This is a genuine love story. When I was reading the novel for the first time I was on the edge of my seat to see whether they would end up together. Even now, as I have read the novel at least five times I still feel anxious during the beginning of their relationship. Mr. Darcy is so cruel to Elizabeth and says hateful things about Elizabeth and her family so I was intrigued when she forgave him, let alone loved him. Despite his hateful behavior towards her, I personally think Mr Darcy’s only reason to that was because he was too proud to admit he loved her. But he has helped her in so many ways, and he needed no credit for it. He hid his love for her for so long, it was endearing. I’ve fallen in love with Mr Darcy. His love was completely harmless and naive, but it was so deep.
Indeed, in the end it was a victory. Elizabeth Bennet was lucky to love and to be loved in return by a man like Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, despite the troubles their love had to endure.