by Cynthia Rodriguez
By Emily Bronte
This dark, depressing, desperate and disturbing tale of human nature at it's worst left me with a cold, empty feeling. It's an anti-romance love story between Heathcliff, a ruffian little orphan, and Catherine, a well to do country girl, who go from playmates to soulmates. However, throughout the years, the fateful clash of the class system of the times, their pride and ferocious passion impede their ability to be together. In the beginning, I did find myself sympathizing a bit for Heathcliff, who suffers plenty of injustices in his youth, because of his "gypsy" background, and as a result his upbringing breeds an explosive, terrible, twisted sense of revenge, that spans through generations. He makes everyone's life around him that he touches a living hell. Basically, because his life sucked, and he didn't get the woman of his dreams, (and his nightmares), everybody's gotta pay for it. By the middle of the book, all sense of my compassion for him was totally extingished and I thought to myself, "you lousy son-of-a-bitch". There is really no "happy ending". I didn't like ANY of the characters. They were all for the most part pretty despicable, and if I were to meet any of them in person today, I would have an overwhelming urge to run them over with my truck. I did like the dog though, and the pony. Those poor things. I think they were the only innocents in the whole book. The semi-incenstuous marriages among all these cousins made me quite ill, and the "laws" and treatment of married women are sickening. Hell if we'd put up with that bullshit in our time, although sadly I'm aware that these kind of arrangements are still a reality for many women around the world today. The language didn't bother me at all, especially since certain editions such as the one I have include those nifty litttle notes on the bottom of certain pages to "translate" their Victorian like talk.
Truthfully, I found the most intriguing part of this whole ordeal was the author herself, and her siblings. Without really wanting to, I've become fascinated with Emily Bronte, and I'm yearning to read and learn more about her. I mean, seriously, these people grew up in the middle of nowhere, without much contact with the outside world. How they came up with these stories, especially Emily, is beyond me. She really seemed to have a knack for comprehending human behavior, even if it were just the bad parts. It makes me ponder that whole "nature vs. nurture" argument. I'd like to believe she was a lesbian, (even though it has been rumored she possibly had an affair with her own brother), that way it could maybe explain her natural understanding on how evil men are, just kidding, well, maybe not.
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