Frustrating Characters


Valeria Gomez and the novel "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte. Photo taken by Pedro Adame.

Valeria Gomez, Book Reviews Editor

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is primarily about the life of Catherine Earnshaw and the effect she has on other characters. Mr. Lockwood recently became a tenant of Mr. Heathcliff, the owner of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. Lockwood has a supernatural experience while visiting Wuthering Heights, so he decides to investigate more about the people associated with it. Lockwood questions Nelly Dean, a long-time servant to Heathcliff and the late Edgar Earnshaw. Nelly reveals the love triangle between Catherine Earnshaw, Heathcliff, and Edgar Linton. This love triangle essentially ruins the lives of the characters, and the negative effects trickle down the next generation.

Wuthering Heights is not a terrible novel, but it is not the best either. The love story between the characters is interesting, but the characters themselves are frustrating. The character I find myself conflicted with the most is Heathcliff. Heathcliff is simply a petty, bitter man who let revenge take over his personality. Heathcliff is in love with Catherine Earnshaw, but when he believed she did not reciprocate his feelings, he went away. Heathcliff stays away for three years, but he expects nothing to change when he returns. By this time, Catherine marries Edgar Linton, making Heathcliff consumed with jealousy. It is reasonable for Catherine to be with someone else after so long. Heathcliff has no reason to be angry, but his jealousy made him ruin the lives of the other characters. It was annoying that Heathcliff gravitated toward a life of revenge instead of moving on. There are other fish in the sea. Though he considers Catherine his only love, he should have moved on when he saw that Catherine had. Some of the other characters are also frustrating. For instance, Catherine Linton (Edgar and Catherine’s daughter) is similarly blinded by love in the novel. She is overly naive, trusting Linton (Heathcliff’s son) to a grand extent instead of being wary of the warnings said to her.

This novel is not necessarily recommended. Though it may be beneficial to anyone in AP English classes, it is not the best read. The novel is difficult to follow because of the constant change in narration, and the characters are often frustrating. It is a moderately lengthy book, and I felt the time I spent reading it could’ve been better placed in a different novel.