(Longmann Classics - stage 4; 1998)
Emily was one of six children in Brönte's family. Three children died in a young age. Their father was a vicar and they lived in a stone-built church, which was placed in the wildest moors of Yorkshire...
Three remaining sisters had all become writers. Because they were young ladies and daughters of a churchman, they were not expected to write poetry or novels. That's why they wrote using pseudonyms. The sisters are remembered for their novels. The most famous is probably Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brönte. Her sister Anne is known for her Agnes Grey and Tenant of Wild Fell Hall. And last, but not least there's Emily Brönte with her Wuthering Heights.
As we read Charlotte and Anne's novels, we can recognise that writers describe ordinary persons. And that's what makes Wuthering Heights interesting. Emily writes about passionate lovers, for who is love suffering not pleasure. She reveals the violent and rude face of love. But I have to admit that she tried to make a happy-end (well, sort of it...)
The story begins in Wuthering Heights, which takes place in the North of England. Ellen Dean, a servant in Earnshaws family, who is living in Wuthering Heights, retells the story. Mr and Ms Earnshaws have a son Hindley and a younger daughter Catherine. One day Mr Earnshaw carries a little rough boy from Liverpool. They name it Heathcliff. Catherine soon becomes his friend, but Hindley hates him. By the two years time Mr and Mrs Earnshaw die. Hindley, who marries Frances, is now the master of the house and has free power to degrade Heathcliff.
One day Catherine and Heathcliff got lost to Thrushcross Grange. They are spying on Linton's family who lives in the house, but their dogs discover them. They hurt Catherine so she spends some time with the family. She makes friend with the children - Edgar and Isabella. When she come back she's a prefect lady.
In summer Frances gives a birth to a boy, they name it with an old family name Hareton. Unfortunately Frances dies during the childbirth and the child is left to Ellen's care, because Hindley enjoys himself in playing cards and drinking.
Three years later Catherine decides to marry Edgar, because they are in love. But Heathcliff loves Catherine too and that's why he leaves Wuthering Heights. When he comes back he is changed to a gentleman and has a lot of money. Nobody knows how he got them. Then Isabella Linton falls in love with him. He does not love her, but he marries her, because there is hatred inside him. He wants to take a revenge on everybody from Wuthering Heights. Isabella's not happy with him and she runs to London where she gives a birth to a son Linton who is very weak. Catherine bears a child too. It is a little girl and they call it Cathy. Catherine dies very soon after the childbirth.
Following twelve years were very happy for Edgar and Cathy. They live at Thrushcross Grange. Edgar watches Cathy growing and is happy that she has no idea about Wuthering Heights, because he hushes it up to her. But one day a letter from Isabella is delivered and Edgar decides to visit her, because she is dying. He forbids Cathy to go near Wuthering Heights, but when he's away she runs away to there. Heathcliff meets the young lady and invites her to house, which is his now, because Hindley drank himself to death. When he discover who Cathy is, a devilish plan, how to destroy Edgar's happiness rises in his head. Cathy meets Hareton too, but she does not like him, because he was not educated and he seems to be dull to her and she doesn't believe he is her cousin.
When Edgar comes back home he carries Linton with him. He is a very selfish and valetudinarian boy. But Cathy is a cheerful young lady and she starts to like him. When Heathcliff finds that Edgar has his son, he sends a servant for him. Linton does not want to go to Wuthering Heights, because he doesn't know it and because Edgar tells him about Heathcliff's cruelty. But he must go, so Cathy promises to visit him regularly. Linton becomes weaker and weaker at Wuthering Heights and he says to Cathy that the only way to save him is to go to Heights with him again. Cathy decides to give him a hand. She visits Wuthering Heights, but when she wants to leave, Heathcliff doesn't let her go and makes her marry Linton even they both are not at love. He does it, because he wants to have Thrushcross Grange in his hands. Edgar dies while Cathy's stay at Wuthering height and she is allowed to see him. Linton is dying to. Cathy takes a care of his husband and she wants to call a doctor, but Heathcliff doesn't want to spend even one penny on him. Linton dies soon. Cathy has the only relative in Heathcliff and Hareton now. She would like to have a better relationship with Hareton, because she finds she was very unkind to him. She offers to teach him to read. At first he doesn't want to, but then he changes his mind. Heathcliff can't bear their happiness, drives himself to mad and dies. People, who saw him dying, speak about deliverance of his devilish soul. The story ends with the marriage of Cathy and Hareton who finds love to each other.
If I have to be honest, this is not my favourite type of novels and I would not probably read it if it was not my duty, because it's not my kind. But it was a pleasant change to the cold winterdays and it made me to think about love for a while.
15. listopad 2007