Incurable Curiosity

In-cur-able: (adj.) Not likely to be changed. Cu-ri-os-i-ty: (n) A desire to know.

I Wish They Had Fallen Off that Cliff: A Review of Wuthering Heights


Dreary weather, a house full of mystery, and enough messed up relationships to support a full practice of therapists. It’s a recipe for classic melodrama, so why didn’t it work?

Title: Wuthering Heights. Author: Emily Bronte. Date of Original Publishing: 1847. Genre: Romance.

Summary: The history of a dysfunctional, passionate family is told through the narrative of a loyal servant and the perspective of an out-of-town visitor.

My Thoughts: I wanted to like this book. I really did. But I just couldn’t get into the story. Characters are held at arm’s length, motives are questionable, and the narrator doesn’t seem trustworthy. The whole thing felt very distant, almost like I was reading a case study for a psychology class – one where each subject was left to their passions, with tragic results. Instead of identifying with characters, I pitied them. I’ll probably give this novel another try in the future, but it will be with some hesitation.

Conclusion: This is no light read: Prepare to second-guess your literature interpretation skills.

If you have a different opinion of Emily Bronte’s novel, please share your thoughts in a comment. Like I said, I really wanted to like this  story.


2 thoughts on “I Wish They Had Fallen Off that Cliff: A Review of Wuthering Heights

  1. I must admit to liking this work of doomed, fatalistic romance (I dare not call it love) – perhaps that stems from the scenery and setting, my cynical side, or the sheer insanity of it all, I can’t tell. There wasn’t a page I don’t think, where I didn’t growl or gripe at one character or another; such passions and mental instability should never meet! You make a good point though, that it does seem rather clinical and almost like an abnormal psychology book. But it makes me wonder if Emily Bronte had that in mind when she wrote, because being too tightly emotionally tied to one character or another might have killed the poor reader by the end!

    I should probably say that I read your whole review laughing, because “I wish they had fallen off that cliff” and “enough messed up relationships to support a full practice of therapists” struck me as HIGHLY amusing : D Funny observations!

  2. I wish I could believe that Bronte was writing an intentional psychological study, but I’d guess it came from the influence of being the daughter of a minister; perhaps it was a twist on a traditional moralist theme?

    I’m glad I had you laughing – as backwards as it seems, there almost should be something funny in such a joyless book! (Now imagine a parody of the novel written by Oscar Wilde – how’s that for absurd?)

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