The Works of the Brontës

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The Works of the Brontës

Post  Francie Nolan on Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:49 pm

We had this thread on 3.0, so I'm assuming it's okay to create this.

So I've been a Charlotte and Anne fangirl forever, but never got into Emily. I started reading Wuthering Heights years ago--I don't think I ever finished it, but I knew the basics of the whole story. I decided to pick it up again, and just finished rereading. For years I've heard people say that it's really more of a horror story than a love story, but I don't think I registered how awful nearly every character is. Like,
Spoiler:
I didn't think Heathcliff actually said things like "Had I been born where laws are less strict and tastes less dainty, I should treat myself to a slow vivisection of those two, as an evening's amusement." But he does! I also found the whole thing frighteningly claustrophobic. Most never leave the Grange or the Heights, and for all the talk of Gimmerton, no one ever actually goes there. Not to mention the inbreeding. First cousins marrying each other, not that crazy for the early nineteenth century. But that cannot work out well in this family. Also, way to marry [i]both[i/] of your first cousins Cathy II. There are other fish in the sea!


Why on earth has this been peddled as a love story for the ages?
Spoiler:
Cathy I and Heathcliff are two people horribly obsessed with one another, and they destroy the lives of nearly all around them. Cathy is also a little bit mad (that whole pillow attacking thing--WTF) and Heathcliff is also a borderline necrophiliac. This is not a love story, it's a gothic horror story.

I really did love it though!

Also, I feel it's mandatory to post this in this thread, in case anyone has never seen it.

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Re: The Works of the Brontës

Post  Luthien on Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:02 pm

I've never really been able to pin down exactly why I like Wuthering Heights, but I do. I have never in my life seen it as a love story, though. My English teacher in Grade 11 certainly didn't teach it like that. It's the story of two selfish, violent people whose passion for each other drives them mad and brings destruction to everyone they touch. Cathy I is the most selfish bitch in literature, I swear. I never read such an example of wanting to have her cake and eat it too. I don't like most of the characters, yet anytime I pick it up off my bookshelf I become engrossed and an hour will fly by before I've noticed.

I've always been disappointed that Wuthering Heights has never been filmed properly. Every movie I've ever seen stops halfway, and we never meet Cathy II, Hareton (the only likable character in the book, imo) or Linton. I'd like to see that on film sometime, maybe in a big epic mini-series. The best movie version I've seen is the Laurence Olivier/Merle Oberon one.

Now Jane Eyre, that's a different story. I love that book and I know exactly why: because Jane is awesome. I never fell for Mr. Rochester like so many do, for the same reason I never fell for Mr. Darcy: they're both jerks. They get better, and that's when I like them. Never understood the swooning over Rochester before the disastrous wedding. I had the privilege of seeing the manuscript of Jane Eyre at the British Library, and I bought a mug with Charlotte's handwriting inscribed on it. I still have that mug.

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Re: The Works of the Brontës

Post  ActonBell on Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:50 am

I've always been disappointed that Wuthering Heights has never been filmed properly. Every movie I've ever seen stops halfway, and we never meet Cathy II, Hareton (the only likable character in the book, imo) or Linton.


Have you seen the version of Wuthering Heights with Tom Hardy? It includes the parts with Hareton & Cathy II, and Tom Hardy is an excellent Heathcliff -- he's much more violent and psychotic than the way Heathcliff is normally portrayed onscreen, and I think his portrayal is closer to book Heathcliff.
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Re: The Works of the Brontës

Post  ulkis on Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:11 am

The one with Juliette Binoche had Cathy II and Hareton too. Binoche plays both Cathies though and I find it annoying for some reason.

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Re: The Works of the Brontës

Post  PrincessCleo on Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:50 pm

Her Cathy II is kind of odd (and blonde is kind of a weird look for her), and the movie's not that great overall (I think it skipped theaters here and went straight to TNT, if that tells you anything), but I enjoy Ralph Fiennes a lot as Heathcliff. Mostly because he is super creepy and crazy and way too fond of finding opportunities to hang out with Cathy's dead body. But I do like it, because there's at least one scene where Cathy and Heathcliff are ridiculously jackassy to Edgar Linton after her marriage, and it really highlights the fact that these are not actually awesome star-crossed lovers.

There's also a scene where they're like, "We'll be together forever, give us a sign!" *THUNDERCLAP* It's that kind of movie.
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