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Review of Wuthering Heights

5Al-Paolantonio Denise,Pancottini Giulia,Iobbi Marta,Baroni Camilla,Kaso Amanda,Brandimarte Francesca,Chiassolini Ludovica,Visciotti Mattia

Polo liceale statale Saffo - Roseto degli abruzzi

Nome Scuola

Polo liceale statale Saffo

Città Scuola

Roseto degli abruzzi

Review of  “Wuthering Heights”

Wuthering Heights is the only novel by the English author Emily Brontë, initially published in 1847 under her pen name “Ellis Bell”. Moreover, this novel is widely considered to be one of the greatest novels ever written in English. This primacy has been found over time both by past and younger generations;indeed, our class read and studied this famous book as part of our last year’s English literature programme.

The story is set in Yorkshire, England, in the early 19th century. The novel follows the complicated relationship between Heathcliff, an orphan boy adopted by a rich family, and Catherine Earnshaw, their daughter.

The novel begins when Mr Earnshaw takes in the orphan after discovering him on the streets. He becomes close with Catherine, and they form a deep bond. However, their romance is soon tested when young Hindley, Catherine’s brother, returns home, takes over the estate and starts ill treating them.

The tension between the two brothers is palpable, and things come to a head when Catherine decides to marry Edgar Linton, a wealthy man leaving at Trushcross Grange, the nearby mansion.

Heathcliff, heartbroken, suddenly leaves.

Years later, he makes his return to Wuthering Heights now wealthy, charming and ready to seek revenge on Hindley who has always been cruel and abusive towards him.

The reader follows, through Ellen Dean’s eyes, the servant that looked after the Earnshaw family, a recount of what leads to the dismay of Wuthering Heights.

And then he will see how the younger generation of the family will deal with the consequences of a broken Heathcliff who will do everything to ruin the lives of the people who wronged him in the past, even by ill treating their heirs.


As a whole, it is possible to identify points in favor and weak ones.

One of the positive features is probably the fact that the time of the novel is quite precise;as a matter of fact it covers a period of about thirty years: from 1771 (when the main characters are children) to 1801/1802 (when Lockwood rents Thrushcross Grange).

This is considered a strong point, since it is easier for the reader to follow the story.

Furthermore, another positive feature is the repetition; in fact it seems as if nothing ends in the world of the novel.

As a matter of fact, time seems to run into cycles and even the names are recycled, since those of the younger generation resemble the names of their parents; which makes the novel interesting for the reader.

However, there are some weak points as well.

Firstly, the plot of this novel can be defined as very confusing, especially due to the names of the characters and to the events of the story, that seem to intertwine.

The novel follows a chronological order, but in some passages, such as “Back to Wuthering Heights” the narrator shifts the level of narration using present verbs, making us travel through time and have difficulties in understanding what is happening in a specificmoment.

Moreover, another weak point is given by Catherine’s behavior.

This is simply due to her duality.

In a way, she seems to love Heathcliff so much, and she even thinks that their souls are similar and that he is more herself than she is.

On the other hand Catherine seems to be caring more about her own appearance, giving more importance to the marriage with Edgar rather than a possible marriage with Heathcliff, which will degrade her.

This duality, though, will continue to be seen in the whole novel.



After reading the book and giving it an attentive analysis we certainly recommend reading such a wonderful work as Wuthering Heights is. From its amazing trope that manages to engage the reader and make him feel like he’s right there, near Nelly Dean, watching this story develop, to the touching love story between Cathy and Heathcliff that overall gives and important lesson to whoever is reading Emily Brontë’s work: true love is stronger that any marriage of convenience or any desire of revenge and true love will be the only one to stay with you, not only in life but also after death.





The passage points out the distinction between life at Thrushcross Grange and at Wuthering Heights.

Indeed, Cathy had to stay at Thrushcross Grange for five weeks because she had been bitten by a dog and

she needed to be looked after. Moreover, the mistress at Thrushcross Grange taught Cathy courtly

manners and raised her self-respect.

When Cathy lived at Wuthering Heights, she was a wild, hatless little savage. After her residence at

Thrushcross Grange, conversely, she was a a bright, graceful damsel who raised her self-respect with fine

clothes and flattery.

On the one hand, at Wuthering Heights the lifestyle is not refined, but it is rather plain

and practical. On the other hand, at Thrushcross Grange life is centred on the inside of the house and

class status places the owners above those who work for them.

Finally, Wuthering Heights is connected with the natural environment of the moor and unrestrained

behaviour and passions. Thrushcross Grange is linked to bourgeois values of stability, politeness and



In this passage, the main characters are Cathy Earnshaw, her brother Hindley, Ellen and Heathcliff. The Earnshaws hope that the distance between Cathy and Heathcliff will separate the two friends. Indeed, Heathcliff has become ten times more careless since Catherine’s absence.

Moreover, he has been wearing the same clothes, full of dust, for three months, and he hasn’t washed his face either. However, even if Cathy runs towards Heathcliff to hug him when she sees him, she still

doesn’t try to make Heathcliff feel comfortable despite their difference. Indeed, she seems more

concerned about her dress, as she doesn’t want it to get dirty.

Heathcliff seems to refuse the change from childhood, which coincides with freedom and wildness, to

adulthood, which means having priorities. He also refuses to conform to conventional Victorian rules

and naturally rejects Cathy’s new values. This makes him very different from Cathy, who conformed to

Victorian social rules after her stay at Thrushcross Grange. They are tied by affection and used to share

the same interests. However, Cathy’s attitude to Heathcliff has changed.

Therefore, they are separated by class


Moreover, the love between Catherine and Heathcliff is marked by a refusal to change. In choosing to

marry Edgar, Catherine looks for a more refined life, but she refuses to adapt to her role as a wife

wishing to come back to the moors of her childhood.

Heathcliff actually doesn’t change his real nature, even if he becomes rich and more attractive.

Catherine herself says that Heathcliff and she are identical. She herself declares “I am Heathcliff”, and

Heathcliff says “I can’t leave without my soul” when Catherine dies.

Their being identical stresses the fact that they won’t change throughout the novel.


























The speakers are Catherine and Nelly. They are speaking about Catherine’s dream and her decision to marry Linton. Firstly, Catherine asks Nelly if she ever had queer dreams, which are dreams difficult to understand. Moreover, she compares these dreams to wine changing the colour of water when mixed to it.

Her mind would be water, while her strange dreams represent wine. Nelly, however, doesn’t want to know about Catherine’s dream because she is superstitious and thinks itcould foresee a catastrophe.

Then, Catherine goes on dealing with the reason for marrying Edgar, which is not to degrade herself, as it would happen if she married Heathcliff, and also, as she says later, to help Heathcliff get out of her brother’s power. Furthermore, when Catherine says the first reason to marry Edgar, Heathcliff overhears

this part of their conversation and, therefore, immediately leaves. Additionally, she says that the first reason for loving Heathcliff is that he is more herself than she is, while the second reason is that they have

similar souls. Finally, Catherine can’t bear the idea of separating from Heathcliff again since he is always in her mind and she will love him eternally. That is why Catherine lays down the condition that her future husband will have to accept Heathcliff’s presence, although Nelly doesn’t think that Edgar will tolerate


The narrator is Nelly and dialogue is the main narrative mode employed. The reader learnsfrom it about the personalities of the two characters and their inner thoughts. Some of the narrator’s personal remarks are ‘I was superstitious about dreams then, and am still’ (line 18) and ‘I was out of patience with her folly!’ (line

86). The present simple is introduced in line 18, in order to shift the level of the narration, since at that point, the narrator is speaking to Mr Lockwood. The adjectives that would best describe Catherine’s

personality are determined, passionate, whimsical, romantic.

In line 59, Catherine makes reference to the myth of Milo, who was a Greek athlete, according to whose legend, he was trying to tear a tree apart when his hands were trapped in a fessure in the trunk, and a pack

of wolves devoured him. Just as Milo’s hands were held fast by the tree, Catherine’s destiny cannot be

separated from Heathcliff’s. She is somehow warning the world not to dare separate her from her

lover as there would be bad consequences if that happened.

Catherine describes Edgar and Heathcliff by images (line 38); Edgar: moonbeam; frost. Heathcliff:

lightning; fire. Therefore, in line 38, Edgar is compared to cold elements of nature, since he stands for

gentility and civilised life. On the contrary, Heathcliff is compared to natural elements connected with

violence and heat, due to the fact he represents passion and strength.

She goes on using unforgettable similes: her love for Edgar is like the foliage in the woods’ (line 80), it is subject to change

and bound to end. On the contrary her love for Heatcliff is like ‘the eternal rocks beneath’ (line 81), it is unchangeable and eternal.

This choice of images and similes from the world of nature underlines the Romantic link between nature and the world of emotions and passion together with the natural setting of the moor, which plays a fundamental role in the novel and in the love story between Catherine and Heathcliff.

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