Big Readers Forum Index

The free forums are now under new ownership, a full announcement will be made shortly

Wuthering Heights
Page Previous  1, 2
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Big Readers Forum Index -> Novels and short stories -> Discussion of individual novels
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Evie
Site Admin


Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:45 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote

I disagree with that completely.  Surely the novel only works at all because we are expected to view the characters through a moral framework - that's where the horror comes from.  Otherwise there is no power in the novel at all.


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evie wrote:
I disagree with that completely.  Surely the novel only works at all because we are expected to view the characters through a moral framework - that's where the horror comes from.  Otherwise there is no power in the novel at all.


Of course, unless the reader is entirely amoral, he or she will inevitably view this through some sort of moral framework, and, no doubt, Emily Brontė expected the reader to do so: but that moral framework is entirely the reader's own, and the author offers us no guidance at all in the matter.

Within the novel itself, there does not seem to be, as far as I can see, any moral framework at all, explicit or implicit.  This is what makes the whole thing so disconcerting.


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Apple



Joined: 24 Nov 2008
Posts: 1751



PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Himadri said:
Quote:
Oh, there are many brutal - even evil - characters in literature, but they can only be judged evil if there exists a moral framework within which to judge them. Such a moral framework appears not to exist within Wuthering Heights. If we are to impose our own moral framework on to the novel, then, certainly, Heathcliff cannot be judged as anything other than evil. But Emily Brontė does not provide that moral framework: rather disconcertingly, there is no moral judgement, even implicitly, in the novel.


Yes I understand what you are saying, the only characters which could be said to have had a few morals were Mr Earnshaw - after all although we don't know how he came by the child (could have been his with someone else which sort of explodes my morals theory) but as far as we know the story tells us he took in Heathcliffe out of the goodness of his heart. The other one I would say is Edgar Linton, his only crime was loving and marrying Catherine when she unbeknown to him loved someone else. Also Nellie had a few but she was misguided and was easily swayed especially by Heathcliffe. But sometimes you get the feeling she knew what she was doing wasn't right but it was as if Heathcliffe had some sort of hold over her.

I still say there was more of a supernatural thing going on with Heathcliffe than what was actually written about, there were so many hints I know it was a gothic novel but I felt it throughout the book, little things that were mentioned and things that happened.

Going back to the morals thing though, I think it is what makes the story in a way because you as the reader is thinking hang on a minute they shouldn't be doing that, that isn't right and yet it appears in the context of the story to not matter, I think Emily Bronte did it like that for shock value to add that oh my god are they really doing that feel to it.


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2931


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I decided, rather than have my name at the top of every post, I would check if there was already a thread on Wuthering Heights and there was.

I read it as a teenager and loved it.  Himadri says he is distressed to think young teenage girls could find anything romantic (with a small r) in it, but I thought her saying "I am Heathcliff" was very romantic at aged 17.  When I read it again in my 40s I didn't like it at all, and felt that the structure was very clumsy, and that it wouldn't be published if written today.  

It is a very powerful book in its characterisation and setting and feelings, but the plotting leaves something to be desired and it is very hard to read something with such unpleasant characters.  I do understand destructive love, and I think in real life there are couples who "can't live with each other and can't live without each other" - constantly fighting and arguing.  I don't necessarily find that unrealistic, but there is something in the whole tone of WH that is unpleasant.  No more so than some modern crime and thriller novels, maybe, but together with the heightened power of the moor setting and the highly sensational tone it has a powerful feeling of savagery.  Reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe, or maybe the author of Headlong Hall (whose name I have temporarily forgotten) or of modern-day Susan Hill.  I haven't read Hill or Poe, so don't really know how these read.  

But I bow to those with greater discernment and knowledge than I have who admire it immensely.



Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Big Readers Forum Index -> Novels and short stories -> Discussion of individual novels All times are GMT
Page Previous  1, 2
Page 2 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Card File  Gallery  Forum Archive
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group
Big Readers Theme by Mike Alexander
Based on Artemis by Vjacheslav Trushkin
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum