Wuthering Heights

Essay by yola21High School, 10th grade October 2004

download word file, 5 pages 4.0

Wuthering Heights

Suspense, drama, perfidy, and a never-ending love are all intertwined in the novel Wuthering Heights, written by Emily Bronte. This story was full of twists and turns which made it so interesting. Revenge and a love taken too far are two major issues in Wuthering Heights that plague characters and cause them to suffer greatly. This anecdote seems to come to life, as you read it because it almost feels like you are right there in the middle of the character's twisted triangle of life and love. A few of the characters, such as Heathcliff or young Cathy, seem to lack control in their own lives whether it be self control or just the right to choose his or her own destiny. The United States Constitution states that, " We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".

But in Wuthering Heights there seem to be no rules, boundaries, and no just consequences.

Wuthering Heights is a truly remarkable book even though it was written so many years ago. Emily Bronte beyond doubt deserves praise for writing this because it has become so popular that even several movies have been produced based on the story. Obviously the movies are not going to be word for word and some things may get left out or added in. Producers always add their little twist to the story because they think they can make it that much better. Change is not a terrible thing as long as it does not stray away from the author's meaning. In the paragraphs to come I will be discussing the similarities and differences between the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and the movie based on it.

Mr. Earnshaw and his family in both the movie and the narrative occupy the Heights. But in the film the house is portrayed as a filthy, rundown place to live. It shows that inside the house pigs are running around and it is a complete mess, as if a twister had hit it. Everything is out of place and nobody seems to care much for the appearance or what other people will think. On the other hand in the narration the author does not give too much description of the inside of the house. But no farm animals are mentioned parading around the halls and the reader is given the impression that the house is fairly clean and presentable. This is one of the differences between the film and the novel that catches the eye.

As a child, Heathcliff was sullen and impatient; as a young man, he was sullen, impatient, vengeful and cruel. His almost inhuman devotion to Catherine is the moving force in his life, seconded by his vindictive hatred for all those who stand between him and his beloved. Both of the pieces seem to portray Heathcliff on a similar level; except in the movie he is slightly more violent, unruly and comes off as a domineering tyrant. Emily Bronte shows this violent and restless side of Heathcliff but in addition gives the reader a peek into his heart and mind. This diminutive twist lets us get to know Heathcliff on a more personal level and even have some compassion for his situation. This does not allow the reader to forget that at the heart of the grown man lays the abandoned, hungry child of the streets of Liverpool.

The old saying, "The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree" may sound kind of funny to some but it is true in life. I am referring to the relationships between Heathcliff and Catherine and Hareton and young Cathy. As children Heathcliff and Catherine were good friends who tried to spend as much time together as possible. But everyone else was always interfering, either because they did not approve of the two or just out of resentment. As Catherine and Heathcliff grew up, they fell madly in love and nothing could break that bond, not even death in this case. This inhuman love sparked much turmoil and controversy and led to the slow depravation of everyone else's lives around them. Hareton's and young Cathy's relationship and situation is similar to when these two were growing up. Of course there are some differences, but for the most part these couple's lives reflect each other like a mirror. Cathy and Hareton are incredibly fond of each other and just love to be in each other's presence. But in both the work of fiction and the movie these relationships are torn apart and not permitted until death comes and brings them freedom. In Heathcliff's and Catherine's case death finally allows them to be together free from all worldly hardships and pains. Then Heathcliff and Linton's death allow Hareton and young Cathy to finally be together.

There are a few minute differences between Emily Bronte's account and the filmmaker's movie. In the movie the Lintons are fighting over the piano lessons, whereas in the novel the two are fighting over a puppy. The movie also skips over the part when Mr. Earnshaw is leaving for a trip. In Wuthering Heights the author tells us Mr. Earnshaw is going on a trip and mentions that he asks Edgar and Catherine what they would like for him to bring back. Catherine is a horse lover, so she asks for a new whip, and Edgar asks for a new violin because he loves his music. Finally in the film they show how Heathcliff trashes Thrushcross Grange after he inherits it, but in the book it does not mention this. These were just a few unimportant differences between the two.

Catherine's death is portrayed so vividly in both that it almost seems like the reader is there next to her during her last few moments. Heathcliff and Catherine's reunion is told differently in both though. In Emily Bronte's account Heathcliff pays the sexton to go and dig up Catherine's grave for him. The scene in the movie is the complete opposite of the narrative. In the movie Heathcliff runs to Catherine's grave in all his anguish and frightens the gravedigger. Heathcliff grabs the shovel away from the frightened man and scares him off and then franticly starts to dig so he can have Catherine back. At this point Heathcliff has complete lost his mind and is incapable of making sane decisions.

Wuthering Heights was a very fascinating book and the movie was also made very well. For the most part the film stuck to the original story and told it like the author intended. On occasion there were some differences but mostly in the minor scenes. The producer made one mistake that made the story a little confusing because he used the same actors and actresses throughout the entire movie. He should have used people in different age groups to portray the characters when they were young and then when they were old. But I really enjoyed both very much because of all the back stabbing, hopeless loves, and the twists and turns. This novel would make an excellent soap opera on television because it has all the right elements suspense, betrayal, and lost loves that just fascinates the mind.