Wuthering Heights. An intense love story. A story heavy with the theme of death. And revenge.
It took me ages to convince myself to read the book, and when I eventually decided to, I was pleasantly surprised.
The story follows the life of Heathcliff, adopted into the Earnshaw family, how he runs away as a young man to return rich and educated, to revenge on the Earnshaw and Linton families, he thought had wronged him.
The heavy theme of death and the changing of seasons marked the passing of time and the changing of lives and things at the Heights and the Grange.
There is the senior Earnshaws’ death, Catherine Earnshaw Linton’s death, Hindley Earnshaw’s death, Isabella Linton Heathcliff’s death, Edgar Linton’s death, Linton Heathcliff’s death and Heathcliff’s death.
It seems like Heathcliff’s own death restored order at the Wuthering Heights, allowing Catherine Linton, daughter of Catherine Earnshaw Linton and Hareton Earnshaw, son of Hindley Earnshaw (Catherine Earnshaw Linton’s brother) to be free and happy and enjoy what rightfully belonged to them.
Catherine Earnshaw Linton and Heathcliff, who could not be lovers when they were alive, seemed to have reunited in death, as suggested by the ghosts of the two seen by the people in the community. Towards the end of the book, there is a small boy in the moors, with a sheep and two lambs, who was crying terribly and the lambs were skittish and would not be guided. The boy said he had seen Mr Heathcliff and a woman (Catherine Earnshaw Linton).
Joseph, one of the servants at the Heights was to remain at the Heights, using the kitchen whilst the rest of the house was to be shut down, to be ‘inhabited’ by the ghosts of Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw Linton.
Catherine Linton Heathcliff and Hareton were to move to Thrushcross Grange, which formerly belonged to the Linton Family.
The story is told through Mr Heathcliff’s tenant at Thrushcross Grange, Mr. Lockwood as well as Ms. Ellen Dean, the housekeeper at the Grange and former servant at the Wuthering Heights when the senior Earnshaws were alive and then at the Grange when Catherine Earnshaw Linton married Edgar Linton.
The ending of the book made me both sad and happy. Heathcliff dying was a little sad, dying alone, refusing to have a church minister coming for him and not having the whole community to come mourn and bury him. I was happy that the two young lovers were now free from Heathcliff’s grip and could be happy and claim their positions as the rightful master and mistress of the house.