Monday, February 10, 2014
An Introduction to Wuthering Heights
Haworth, in the Yorkshire region of England, is a stop precious to Bronte fans. We visited in 2012 to see what all the fuss was about. We had seen several film and TV adaptations of the Bronte sisters' books, but had never read any. The village was small, and the Bronte association seems its sole claim to fame. But we enjoyed visiting the shops, lunching in a restaurant, and exploring the nearby landscape.
I thought of buying a book in the Bronte Museum gift shop, but decided against it, as I would have to haul it home, and I had already picked up a few that trip. I suppose I could have gotten a comic book adaptation of one of the novels (Yes, they sell those there), but I wasn't really into comics right then. Besides, I wanted to experience the sisters' writing firsthand, before I read a graphic novel based on their work.
I'm reading Wuthering Heights right now. It's my first foray into Bronte literature. I find reading it on my computer both a help and a hindrance. As using my laptop in bed at night tends to keep me alert and energized, reading the novel gets relegated to a spare moment during the day when I have the focus for something of this complexity.
There's a lot going on in Emily Bronte's sole novel. It boasts an intricate plot structure, characters difficult to understand, and social and cultural aspects foreign to modern life. Yet I'm enjoying the challenge! I'm averaging a few chapters each week, and am nearly sixty percent of the way through. I suspect that, if I wish to really understand and appreciate the story, I'll need to read it a second time.
Frankly, I'm amazed by all the reference material available online. So many people love this story! There are endless numbers of websites and blogs that address the smallest aspects of the novel. This makes reading the story an interactive and educational experience. It also contains interesting aspects of fantasy and folklore that I intend to research further. The text is readily available online, including at the link I've included below. So if Wuthering Heights is a novel you've always wanted to read, but never gotten around to, there's never been a better time.
In addition to contributing to your ongoing education and sophistication, reading the novel now should provide one additional benefit: it will enhance your understanding of my entries on the novel. Of course, I'd argue that my thoughts always make sense, but that's the kind of guy I am.
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