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  • Author: Emily Bronte
  • Genre: Gothic Novel
  • Publication Date: December 1847

Wuthering Heights is a novel set in the Victorian times written by Emily Bronte under the pseudonym Ellis Bell. It is her only published work having died at the tender age of 30. Her sister, Charlotte, edited the original manuscript and published it as a second edition, posthumously. Both Emily and Charlotte Bronte are credited with creating masterpieces.  The story languishes the torrid effects of jealously and Vengeance, both on the possessed individuals and their families.

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Summary

The story unfolds on a farmhouse, from which the book derives its title, in New York Moors and starts with the arrival of a certain Mr Lockwood. He has rented a property, “Thrushcross Grange “, for peace and recuperation. He decides to visit the landlord, who stays on the remote countryside farmhouse and there he comes across a curious assembly of individuals.  The Landlord himself, Mr Heathcliff, is dressed like a gentleman however his demeanour contradicts his appearance. There is also a reserved young mistress and a boy who looks like he is a part of the family but dresses up as a servant. Events force Lockwood to spend the night at Wuthering Heights.  The room where he is put up for the night, was previously inhabited by a lady and in his dream, she pays him a visit. Startled and scared, he wakes up the entire house, and Heathcliff tries to summon the spirit again.

Things return back to normal and when Lockwood returns back to Thrushcross Grange, the maid narrates the background of the incident. It is revealed that Wuthering Heights was owned by Mr Earnshaw and Thurshcross Grange by the Lintons. Earnshaw had a son, Hindley and daughter, Catherine and he also adopts a street urchin, Heathcliff. Hindley feels that Heathcliff snatched away his father’s love and affection from the siblings and constantly finds ways to deride him.

Meanwhile, as luck would have it, Catherine and Heathcliff, share a more affectionate bond however its then that the character of Edgar enters the story. Edgar belongs to the Linton Family. Edgar too, joins Hindley in insulting Heathcliff. Catherine, on the other hand, is torn between her love for Heathcliff and her feelings towards Edgar. She marries Edgar, Heathcliff has no social standing.  Heathcliff vows to avenge his insult from both Edgar and Hindley. He does so by marrying Edgar’s sister and wasting Hindley’s only son. Hindley dies, drowned in despair and sorrow. Catherine too, shocked by the events, gives up her life.

Heathcliff eventually becomes the master of both properties however he has lost everything that was dear to him. His love, his family, his son…and now stays alone at the farmhouse. Nelly ends the tale here. Lockwood returns to his own house however after six months comes back and is told that Heathcliff has passed away whereas Edgar’s daughter and Hindley’s son are about to be married.

The story, though referred as a masterpiece today, was severely criticized for its stark and realistic picturization of individuals, hungry for revenge. The author succeeds in reminding us that, “we need to forgive others not because they have did something wrong, but for our own peace of mind.”

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