Yes, I have an exam tomorrow, so I’m supposed to be studying. But who says you can’t study and write at the same time, especially when it’s literature? I must stress that I’m no literary expert: just an amateur who finds literature exceedingly immersive and would like to comment on it.

Of course, with literature, there’s got to be a piece. And guess what I have? None other than the epically complex Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. (+ two dots on the ‘e’.) It was a long read for me the first time round, but the parallels and the ‘contradictions’ in the characters (etcetera etcetera) drove me on. The month preceding my read of Wuthering Heights, I had not been able to finish a single book. (Dont’ ask why.) But this was unlike any other – it really showed me how amazing literature could be.

(If you haven’t read Wuthering Heights, you should, but here’s a quick synopsis: Mr. Earnshaw goes on a trip only to return with a child he found on the streets, whom he christens Heathcliff. His children, Catherine and Hindley, dislike him at first, but then Catherine and Heathcliff grow to be close friends and fall in love, whereas Hindley becomes Heathcliff’s enemy. As the story progresses, Catherine ends up marrying Edgar Linton because she thinks marrying Heathcliff would ‘degrade’ her. Heathcliff disappears, and the rest of the story tells of the consequences of this action, and ends describing the present: the situation of the generation after Heathcliff and Catherine. Oh yes, and there’s an outsider – Mr. Lockwood – that facilitates the telling of the story.)

That was only the beginning. After discussion with my friends and after doing research, I began to see themes and characteristics that I’d never noticed before. Take the parallel between Heathcliff and Catherine’s declaration of love for one another as an example. In the earlier chapters, Catherine tells Nelly, the servant, it would ‘degrade’ her to marry Heathcliff, at which Heathcliff leaves and disappears from her life for a few years. After that, however, she declares her love for him and says, ‘Nelly, I am Heathcliff’. However, it is too late and Heathcliff has already gone. After Catherine dies in the second volume, Heathcliff declares his love for her, saying ‘Be with me always…it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!’ And…oh, if you want to know more, just read some of the journals on Wuthering Heights. There are plenty that will give you insight into the different aspects of the novel. And yes, those two are Catherine Earnshaw (Charlotte Riley) and Heathcliff (Tom Hardy). It doesn’t entirely adhere to the book, but Hardy played the part of Heathcliff quite well. You can watch it on Youtube in 14 parts here.

That’s probably it for today – hope you liked it! 🙂


Author: Jessica Y

Economics student at the University of Cambridge. Aspiring data scientist.

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