Wuthering Heights Discussion Thread: TSR Book Club

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Kalliope
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#1
Here is the discussion thread for one of our September choices: Emily Brontë's 'Wuthering Heights'.

Feel free to come and discuss how you are finding it etc whenever you fancy; I'm sure there will be people around to answer any questions/debate any issues you might have

Could spoiler tags please be used for any plot details until 30th September?
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Obsidian
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I only re-read this one a week ago so I'm pretty ready to discuss but I'd better wait for more people to buy/borrow/steal and read first
I will say that I did enjoy Wuthering Heights, it was a bit different to books I have read before.

Also need to learn how to do spoiler tags *newbie*
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Kalliope
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(Original post by Obsidian)
I only re-read this one a week ago so I'm pretty ready to discuss but I'd better wait for more people to buy/borrow/steal and read first
I will say that I did enjoy Wuthering Heights, it was a bit different to books I have read before.

Also need to learn how to do spoiler tags *newbie*

I only read it about a fortnight ago so me too :grin:
It's [ spoiler ] the text you want to write [ / spoiler ] (without the spaces)
Welcome to TSR!
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Stormyweather
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I've read it recently so for me it's still pretty fresh in my mind, for the moment anyway,
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TheFirstMohican
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There are few things that could make book club boring, so I'm glad you found another.
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Obsidian
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(Original post by BookWormShanti)
I only read it about a fortnight ago so me too :grin:
It's [ spoiler ] the text you want to write [ / spoiler ] (without the spaces)
Welcome to TSR!
Thanks BookWormShanti

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We'd better kick the discussion off. How did everyone find it? I liked 'Wuthering Heights' - it was interesting to see a romance that wasn't slushy but still tragic. Also liked the way in which Heathcliff is always portrayed as the outsider and Bronte continually makes you hate and sympathise with him.
Did anyone else find the character of Mr. Lockwood a bit too flat? I know he is 'just' one of the narrators but surely there could have been more insight into his past or something?
Despite that minor annoyance, it wasn't a bad book and my re-reading of the novel helped - particularly with the repetition of names i.e. 'Catherine' and 'Cathy' and then using previous surnames as first names 'Linton Heathcliff'
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S_123
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(Original post by Obsidian)
Thanks BookWormShanti

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We'd better kick the discussion off. How did everyone find it? I liked 'Wuthering Heights' - it was interesting to see a romance that wasn't slushy but still tragic. Also liked the way in which Heathcliff is always portrayed as the outsider and Bronte continually makes you hate and sympathise with him.
Did anyone else find the character of Mr. Lockwood a bit too flat? I know he is 'just' one of the narrators but surely there could have been more insight into his past or something?
Despite that minor annoyance, it wasn't a bad book and my re-reading of the novel helped - particularly with the repetition of names i.e. 'Catherine' and 'Cathy' and then using previous surnames as first names 'Linton Heathcliff'
If anyone bothers to read through all this below you deserve a virtual hug :p:

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Yeah I loved the book! Loads of people on TSR seem to hate it and just spoke to one of my friends that hates it as well :p: It's not your usual romance as it's full of darkness and tragedy. There is just something twisted about these two flawed characters loving each other.

I agree completely about Heathcliff. He is interesting because he is thoroughly evil and his only redeeming feature is his harmful yet irrevocable love for Cathy. Even though he is, I thought, quite a monster, you can't help but sympathise with him, especially at the beginning, due to the way he was treated by Hindley, etc. It was tragic when Cathy came back from the Linton's house and suddenly Heathcliff could barely recognise his only friend and he felt even more like the outsider than ever and he then goes on to self-destructively become more and more of an outsider. Instead of trying to be more like Edgar who Cathy seems to respect, he tries to act in every opposite way to him as possible.

I thought it was clever of Bronte to make the reader pity Heathcliff at first and hate Hindley and then half way through the book, our feelings are flipped over and we begin to despise Heathcliff and start to pity Hindley although we don't necessarily want to. Nelly describes Heathcliff as 'the devil' all the time and I thought that was emphasised as Heathcliff seemed almost immortal what with Cathy being ill, Edgar and Isabella dying quite young and Linton Jr being very sickly yet he survived through all of that even though his soul was the most corrupt.

Did Heathcliff remind anyone of Snape in a way? I feel like he was inspired by Heathcliff although Snape is a puppy dog in comparison to him :p: I think I like Heathcliff probably more than I should because of this similarity :p:

I sort of agree about Mr Lockwood. I found it confusing at first to figure out who was the narrator and I would have preferred the entire story to have been narrated through Nelly. But I guess a character who would meet Heathcliff and stay at Wuthering Heights was necessary? Yeah he didn't seem like a full character really, just a vessel for the story to be narrated through. But, somehow, enough of his personality was shown for me not to like him lol.

I actually didn't find the names that confusing! I must be one of the minority haha because that seems to be a common complaint about the book. I did, however, find Joseph's dialogues the most annoying thing ever. I was on holiday so had no internet to check out what he said so I would try with my best Yorkshire accent and still could not work out what the bloody hell he was saying! Plus he was just annoying. I guess that, through him, Bronte was showing her disapproval of orthodox, almost stubborn, Christianity (or, perhaps, of religion in general - wasn't Wuthering Heights heavily criticised and banned because it was believed to be sinful?).

One thing I was wondering about was this theory: if you like Wuthering Heights, you don't like Jane Eyre; if you like Jane Eyre, you don't like Wuthering Heights. I have no basis for this assertion except for the conversation I had with my friend who I mentioned at the beginning of this who gave up on Wuthering Heights half way through because she found it boring but is enjoying Jane Eyre which she is reading at the moment. This is in comparison with me as I loved Wuthering Heights and found Jane Eyre really dull. And since Jane Eyre seems to be generally loved but Wuthering Heights no way near as much, it could be true? What do you guys think? I am prepared to be shot down on this one so don't hesitate to tell me if I'm wrong :p: It'll be interesting to see if anyone else has experienced this though
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ahq
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Subscribing. Something like 100 pages down so far.
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Obsidian
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(Original post by S_123)
If anyone bothers to read through all this below you deserve a virtual hug :p:

Spoiler:
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Yeah I loved the book! Loads of people on TSR seem to hate it and just spoke to one of my friends that hates it as well :p: It's not your usual romance as it's full of darkness and tragedy. There is just something twisted about these two flawed characters loving each other.

I agree completely about Heathcliff. He is interesting because he is thoroughly evil and his only redeeming feature is his harmful yet irrevocable love for Cathy. Even though he is, I thought, quite a monster, you can't help but sympathise with him, especially at the beginning, due to the way he was treated by Hindley, etc. It was tragic when Cathy came back from the Linton's house and suddenly Heathcliff could barely recognise his only friend and he felt even more like the outsider than ever and he then goes on to self-destructively become more and more of an outsider. Instead of trying to be more like Edgar who Cathy seems to respect, he tries to act in every opposite way to him as possible.

I thought it was clever of Bronte to make the reader pity Heathcliff at first and hate Hindley and then half way through the book, our feelings are flipped over and we begin to despise Heathcliff and start to pity Hindley although we don't necessarily want to. Nelly describes Heathcliff as 'the devil' all the time and I thought that was emphasised as Heathcliff seemed almost immortal what with Cathy being ill, Edgar and Isabella dying quite young and Linton Jr being very sickly yet he survived through all of that even though his soul was the most corrupt.

Did Heathcliff remind anyone of Snape in a way? I feel like he was inspired by Heathcliff although Snape is a puppy dog in comparison to him :p: I think I like Heathcliff probably more than I should because of this similarity :p:

I sort of agree about Mr Lockwood. I found it confusing at first to figure out who was the narrator and I would have preferred the entire story to have been narrated through Nelly. But I guess a character who would meet Heathcliff and stay at Wuthering Heights was necessary? Yeah he didn't seem like a full character really, just a vessel for the story to be narrated through. But, somehow, enough of his personality was shown for me not to like him lol.

I actually didn't find the names that confusing! I must be one of the minority haha because that seems to be a common complaint about the book. I did, however, find Joseph's dialogues the most annoying thing ever. I was on holiday so had no internet to check out what he said so I would try with my best Yorkshire accent and still could not work out what the bloody hell he was saying! Plus he was just annoying. I guess that, through him, Bronte was showing her disapproval of orthodox, almost stubborn, Christianity (or, perhaps, of religion in general - wasn't Wuthering Heights heavily criticised and banned because it was believed to be sinful?).

One thing I was wondering about was this theory: if you like Wuthering Heights, you don't like Jane Eyre; if you like Jane Eyre, you don't like Wuthering Heights. I have no basis for this assertion except for the conversation I had with my friend who I mentioned at the beginning of this who gave up on Wuthering Heights half way through because she found it boring but is enjoying Jane Eyre which she is reading at the moment. This is in comparison with me as I loved Wuthering Heights and found Jane Eyre really dull. And since Jane Eyre seems to be generally loved but Wuthering Heights no way near as much, it could be true? What do you guys think? I am prepared to be shot down on this one so don't hesitate to tell me if I'm wrong :p: It'll be interesting to see if anyone else has experienced this though
YES! I agree so much with you too.
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Joseph's dialogue really confused me, even when I tried to read it aloud. I think a translation in the back or somewhere would have been useful :rolleyes:
I haven't read Jane Eyre yet so I'll have to get back to you on that one
I did also like the way in which everything around Heathcliff is damaged once he comes into contact with them, especially Isabella, Hareton and Linton. The latter have their genteel natures and education ruined as well as being subject to his abuse and Isabella is practically made ill by him.
The only reason that I can see why Bronte uses Lockwood is to use him as an outside view so he is perhaps more believable than just using Nelly Dean? If Nelly Dean spoke on her own, would she go into so much detail or actually be believed by her audience? I suppose that the collaboration makes it seem more plausible that Nelly Dean's observations are true? Still, it would have been nice to see a little more about the character.
Oh, and I get a virtual hug for reading through it all lol
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S_123
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(Original post by Obsidian)
YES! I agree so much with you too.
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Joseph's dialogue really confused me, even when I tried to read it aloud. I think a translation in the back or somewhere would have been useful :rolleyes:
I haven't read Jane Eyre yet so I'll have to get back to you on that one
I did also like the way in which everything around Heathcliff is damaged once he comes into contact with them, especially Isabella, Hareton and Linton. The latter have their genteel natures and education ruined as well as being subject to his abuse and Isabella is practically made ill by him.
The only reason that I can see why Bronte uses Lockwood is to use him as an outside view so he is perhaps more believable than just using Nelly Dean? If Nelly Dean spoke on her own, would she go into so much detail or actually be believed by her audience? I suppose that the collaboration makes it seem more plausible that Nelly Dean's observations are true? Still, it would have been nice to see a little more about the character.
Oh, and I get a virtual hug for reading through it all lol
Yay! :jumphug:
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And yes I agree with you about Lockwood. I think Nelly as the narrator would have made her quite unreliable and we probably wouldn't have trusted her story as she was involved in it.
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Obsidian
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(Original post by S_123)
Yay! :jumphug:
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And yes I agree with you about Lockwood. I think Nelly as the narrator would have made her quite unreliable and we probably wouldn't have trusted her story as she was involved in it.
Thanks :five:
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TheNamelessGrace
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(Original post by S_123)
If anyone bothers to read through all this below you deserve a virtual hug :p:

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Yeah I loved the book! Loads of people on TSR seem to hate it and just spoke to one of my friends that hates it as well :p: It's not your usual romance as it's full of darkness and tragedy. There is just something twisted about these two flawed characters loving each other.

I agree completely about Heathcliff. He is interesting because he is thoroughly evil and his only redeeming feature is his harmful yet irrevocable love for Cathy. Even though he is, I thought, quite a monster, you can't help but sympathise with him, especially at the beginning, due to the way he was treated by Hindley, etc. It was tragic when Cathy came back from the Linton's house and suddenly Heathcliff could barely recognise his only friend and he felt even more like the outsider than ever and he then goes on to self-destructively become more and more of an outsider. Instead of trying to be more like Edgar who Cathy seems to respect, he tries to act in every opposite way to him as possible.

I thought it was clever of Bronte to make the reader pity Heathcliff at first and hate Hindley and then half way through the book, our feelings are flipped over and we begin to despise Heathcliff and start to pity Hindley although we don't necessarily want to. Nelly describes Heathcliff as 'the devil' all the time and I thought that was emphasised as Heathcliff seemed almost immortal what with Cathy being ill, Edgar and Isabella dying quite young and Linton Jr being very sickly yet he survived through all of that even though his soul was the most corrupt.

Did Heathcliff remind anyone of Snape in a way? I feel like he was inspired by Heathcliff although Snape is a puppy dog in comparison to him :p: I think I like Heathcliff probably more than I should because of this similarity :p:

I sort of agree about Mr Lockwood. I found it confusing at first to figure out who was the narrator and I would have preferred the entire story to have been narrated through Nelly. But I guess a character who would meet Heathcliff and stay at Wuthering Heights was necessary? Yeah he didn't seem like a full character really, just a vessel for the story to be narrated through. But, somehow, enough of his personality was shown for me not to like him lol.

I actually didn't find the names that confusing! I must be one of the minority haha because that seems to be a common complaint about the book. I did, however, find Joseph's dialogues the most annoying thing ever. I was on holiday so had no internet to check out what he said so I would try with my best Yorkshire accent and still could not work out what the bloody hell he was saying! Plus he was just annoying. I guess that, through him, Bronte was showing her disapproval of orthodox, almost stubborn, Christianity (or, perhaps, of religion in general - wasn't Wuthering Heights heavily criticised and banned because it was believed to be sinful?).

One thing I was wondering about was this theory: if you like Wuthering Heights, you don't like Jane Eyre; if you like Jane Eyre, you don't like Wuthering Heights. I have no basis for this assertion except for the conversation I had with my friend who I mentioned at the beginning of this who gave up on Wuthering Heights half way through because she found it boring but is enjoying Jane Eyre which she is reading at the moment. This is in comparison with me as I loved Wuthering Heights and found Jane Eyre really dull. And since Jane Eyre seems to be generally loved but Wuthering Heights no way near as much, it could be true? What do you guys think? I am prepared to be shot down on this one so don't hesitate to tell me if I'm wrong :p: It'll be interesting to see if anyone else has experienced this though
Wuthering Heights is one of my favourite books, so if I come across as excessively passionate about it in any way, I apologise

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I think one of the most clever things about Wuthering Heights is the character of Heathcliff; like you said, he is evil and corrupt, yet his eternal love for Catherine somehow makes him redeemable in the reader's eyes. He is the characteristic Byronic hero: isolated, emotionally unstable, self-destructive, yet intelligent, charismatic (his 'I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!' speech never fails to make me swoon ), and enigmatic. One of the biggest questions regarding Heathcliff is whether he was born like this, or whether he was made cruel by Hindley's treatment of him (the 'Nature vs Nurture' debate). As readers we can't really be sure, and so we feel that we cannot chastise Heathcliff for his actions (when I first read the book, I thought it was his maltreatment in childhood that rendered him hostile and vengeful, and so blamed Hindley for all his actions ).

I completely agree with you about Heathcliff's supposed immortality; whilst everyone around him becomes weak, he grows more powerful, as if he is feeding off the misery of the people around him.

Regarding Heathcliff and Catherine's relationship, I loved Bronte's use of nature to personify them; they are wild and uncivilised, and when taken out of their habitat, they ultimately die (Catherine's marriage to Edgar and her removal from Wuthering Heights could be argued to cause her ill health and death. As Heathcliff said 'He might as well plant an oak in a flower-pot, and expect it to thrive as imagine he can restore her to vigour in the soil of his shallow cares!'). The relationship is definitely unstable, yet also quite bizarre in that of course they love each other irrevocably in the lovers sense, but did anyone else feel that there was a sibling aspect to their relationship? I've read a few critical essays that use the term 'emotional incest'; because Catherine and Heathcliff were raised as brother and sister (and the mystery as to whether Heathcliff is Mr. Earnshaw's illegitimate child, which would make them half-siblings), in their incessant love for one another, are they, emotionally, committing incest?

When I first read the novel, I didn't understand why Lockwood was necessary as a character, but I think now Bronte was trying to emphasise the complexity of the novel as a whole; there's a story within a story, occasionally within another story (like Isabella's narration of her captivity), identical names that are carried down through the next generation, a hero who isn't really a hero, and a love story that isn't really a love story. Almost everything in the novel is convoluted, including the narrative view.

Ugh Joseph was so difficult to understand! I had to keep flicking to the back of the book to understand what he was saying :rolleyes: I agree that Bronte was showing how stubborn religion can be, and also, through Joseph's character and his incomprehensible dialogue, how intolerable and incomprehensible religion actually is.

I think I may be an exception to your theory; I love both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights!
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issyconnor
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I actually first finished reading Wuthering Heights on this day, two years ago (I wrote it down in my diary). I absolutely loved it however, I can understand why some people would hate it. The characters of Catherine and Heathcliff are quite ... unique to say the least I personally think that they are the two most interesting characters out of any of the novels by the Bronte sisters.
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issyconnor
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#14
(Original post by S_123)
If anyone bothers to read through all this below you deserve a virtual hug :p:

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Yeah I loved the book! Loads of people on TSR seem to hate it and just spoke to one of my friends that hates it as well :p: It's not your usual romance as it's full of darkness and tragedy. There is just something twisted about these two flawed characters loving each other.

I agree completely about Heathcliff. He is interesting because he is thoroughly evil and his only redeeming feature is his harmful yet irrevocable love for Cathy. Even though he is, I thought, quite a monster, you can't help but sympathise with him, especially at the beginning, due to the way he was treated by Hindley, etc. It was tragic when Cathy came back from the Linton's house and suddenly Heathcliff could barely recognise his only friend and he felt even more like the outsider than ever and he then goes on to self-destructively become more and more of an outsider. Instead of trying to be more like Edgar who Cathy seems to respect, he tries to act in every opposite way to him as possible.

I thought it was clever of Bronte to make the reader pity Heathcliff at first and hate Hindley and then half way through the book, our feelings are flipped over and we begin to despise Heathcliff and start to pity Hindley although we don't necessarily want to. Nelly describes Heathcliff as 'the devil' all the time and I thought that was emphasised as Heathcliff seemed almost immortal what with Cathy being ill, Edgar and Isabella dying quite young and Linton Jr being very sickly yet he survived through all of that even though his soul was the most corrupt.

Did Heathcliff remind anyone of Snape in a way? I feel like he was inspired by Heathcliff although Snape is a puppy dog in comparison to him :p: I think I like Heathcliff probably more than I should because of this similarity :p:

I sort of agree about Mr Lockwood. I found it confusing at first to figure out who was the narrator and I would have preferred the entire story to have been narrated through Nelly. But I guess a character who would meet Heathcliff and stay at Wuthering Heights was necessary? Yeah he didn't seem like a full character really, just a vessel for the story to be narrated through. But, somehow, enough of his personality was shown for me not to like him lol.

I actually didn't find the names that confusing! I must be one of the minority haha because that seems to be a common complaint about the book. I did, however, find Joseph's dialogues the most annoying thing ever. I was on holiday so had no internet to check out what he said so I would try with my best Yorkshire accent and still could not work out what the bloody hell he was saying! Plus he was just annoying. I guess that, through him, Bronte was showing her disapproval of orthodox, almost stubborn, Christianity (or, perhaps, of religion in general - wasn't Wuthering Heights heavily criticised and banned because it was believed to be sinful?).

One thing I was wondering about was this theory: if you like Wuthering Heights, you don't like Jane Eyre; if you like Jane Eyre, you don't like Wuthering Heights. I have no basis for this assertion except for the conversation I had with my friend who I mentioned at the beginning of this who gave up on Wuthering Heights half way through because she found it boring but is enjoying Jane Eyre which she is reading at the moment. This is in comparison with me as I loved Wuthering Heights and found Jane Eyre really dull. And since Jane Eyre seems to be generally loved but Wuthering Heights no way near as much, it could be true? What do you guys think? I am prepared to be shot down on this one so don't hesitate to tell me if I'm wrong :p: It'll be interesting to see if anyone else has experienced this though


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I really liked Jane Eyre. I read about two years before I read Wuthering Heights and I loved it. However after I read Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre seemed dull in comparison. I think the character of Catherine just appealed to me more than Jane, which is strange as Jane is actually a lot more nicer than Catherine. But I loved the flaws in Catherine's character and the mistakes that she made throughout her life. I also loved the fact that one of her few redeeming qualities was her love for Heathcliff. She summarises it very well when she says the following:

"My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff's miseries, and I have watched and felt each from the beginning; my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the Universe woul turn to a mighty stranger. I should not seem part of it. My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it, I'm well aware as winter changes the trees-my love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath-a source of little visible delight, but neccessary.Nelly, I am Heathcliff-he's always, always in my mind"

Powerful words.

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S_123
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(Original post by issyconnor)


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I really liked Jane Eyre. I read about two years before I read Wuthering Heights and I loved it. However after I read Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre seemed dull in comparison. I think the character of Catherine just appealed to me more than Jane, which is strange as Jane is actually a lot more nicer than Catherine. But I loved the flaws in Catherine's character and the mistakes that she made throughout her life. I also loved the fact that one of her few redeeming qualities was her love for Heathcliff. She summarises it very well when she says the following:

"My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff's miseries, and I have watched and felt each from the beginning; my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the Universe woul turn to a mighty stranger. I should not seem part of it. My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it, I'm well aware as winter changes the trees-my love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath-a source of little visible delight, but neccessary.Nelly, I am Heathcliff-he's always, always in my mind"

Powerful words.

Yes I agree! It's even possible to argue that there is not one likeable character in Wuthering Heights (and I would say there isn't) but each character is fascinating which is what made me love the book
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ahq
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#16
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(Original post by S_123)
Yes I agree! It's even possible to argue that there is not one likeable character in Wuthering Heights (and I would say there isn't) but each character is fascinating which is what made me love the book
I would certainly argue to this effect. :yep: Including, as seems to generally be overlooked, the characters of Nelly and Lockwood. I particularly disliked the former.
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Vanny17
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I have not read this book yet. Will do after my exams.
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Nucleolus
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(Original post by Abiraleft)
I would certainly argue to this effect. :yep: Including, as seems to generally be overlooked, the characters of Nelly and Lockwood. I particularly disliked the former.
Nelly ****ed me off so much when I read WH; ***** doesn't know her boundaries! (Of course I put this in a more sensible and articulate way in my exam ).
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Obsidian
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#19
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#19
(Original post by Nucleolus)
Nelly ****ed me off so much when I read WH; ***** doesn't know her boundaries! (Of course I put this in a more sensible and articulate way in my exam ).
May I just say (completely off-topic) that your signature is rather wonderful
That is all.


On topic - I didn't find Nelly too bad.... Lockwood was more annoying for me.
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Nucleolus
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(Original post by Obsidian)
May I just say (completely off-topic) that your signature is rather wonderful
That is all.


On topic - I didn't find Nelly too bad.... Lockwood was more annoying for me.
Anything concerning The Great Gatsby will always be wonderful. You should check out Kate Beaton's site, the Jane Austen ones are very funny
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11.11%
Financial skills (eg. taxes, budgeting) (4)
44.44%
First aid skills (1)
11.11%
Personal safety skills (0)
0%
Sign language (3)
33.33%
Expanded sexual health/relationships (0)
0%
Something else (tell us in the thread) (0)
0%

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