Alienation And Love On The MoorsMay 29, 2012 No Comments
As a teenager I was so absorbed in the chemical make-up of Jane Eyre, I didn’t have much time for another Brontë. Nevermind a story of obsession on the moors, which at that time sounded to me like the script of a bad soap opera. Certainly not a thing which would ever afflict me.
It took me some time, back then, to get into Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. The chilly prose that worked so well for Jane Eyre’s loveless existence/concealed passion just didn’t seem right for Catherine and Heathcliff. These were wild people, selfish and greedy.
Soon enough, I got it. The heart of the story is alienation, a thing any young woman can tell you about. Lovers alienated from one another and from society. Locked in a cold landscape.
It’s a feminist story because it avoids goodness. Catherine is not good, nor does the author attempt to make her good. She’s not particularly strong either. She’s taken down by love, and she takes a few others down with her.
How refreshing. Nothing angelic or simple, no linear arrangements or neat endings. The book is like life, and I see this more in retrospect, as a 32-year-old woman with more than a decade of complications behind me, since first reading Wuthering Heights.
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