Saturday, March 20, 2010

Book 28: Characters.

I just feel like I should say this outright.

I really hate every character in Wuthering Heights.

There, I said it.

They are all whiny, selfish, self-absorbed, idiotic, uneducated, power-hungry, over-dramatic morons.


It feels good to get that out.

Now, with all of that being said, I love the novel.

Perhaps that is a contradiction, but it's true. While the characters make me cringe, I am sucked into the drama and passion that is Wuthering Heights.

I don't mean to harp on the Twilight references (after all, I got out some anger in yesterday's post), but I can't help but comparing the two. Perhaps Meyer really did base her characters on these selfish people. Heathcliff is so like Edward. He is controlling, violent, and overbearing. Catherine is the essence of all of Bella Swann's horrible characteristics. She is selfish and asks for pain and heartache.

It is almost as if Meyer loved these characters and just modernized them for the benefit of today's readership. Because, like the characters in Wuthering Heights, all of the characters in Twilight are cringeworthy.

Okay, no more Twilight from now on.

Anyway, I cannot stand any of the characters. The narrator is a whiny little man who seems a little too obsessed with the history of the place called Wuthering Heights. In all honesty, he has no business inquiring after any of the inhabitants or commenting on them. When he is fully in a scene, I find him annoying and whiny. He complains too much.

I also cannot stand the housekeeper-Nelly. Since most of the novel is from her point of view (she is relating the history of Wuthering Heights to the MC), we get to hear a lot from her. What irks me is that she knows better, but she still constantly plays into Heathcliff's traps and does what is worse in every situation. It is mind-boggling and aggravating.

The two main love interests in the first volume are also incredibly irritating. Heathcliff is overbearing and power-hungry. He is a violent character, moody, and downright mean. I can find nothing good in him.

And Catherine is a selfish woman who only cares about her own happiness.

Even with all of this being said, I still LIKE the book. I don't know why, but I am drawn to these horrible people and their poor messed up lives. I don't see the love in this story, but I am waiting to be surprised. I am waiting to see if Bronte can make these people into something meaningful and less disgusting. But even while I wait, I still like the book. I like how even though there is nothing to love, I want to know more.

I suppose that is the draw of this novel, and why when it first came out, critics were skeptic of the writing style. Books this dark didn't draw audiences back then like they might now.

So yes, I am curious to see where it goes.

Has there ever been a book where you hated the characters but still loved the story?


  1. I couldn't agree more (except that Nelly doesn't bother me)! The characters are horrid but the book is still fantastic - go figure.

  2. I feel ya ;)
    I hate Heathcliff and wanted to smack Catherine most of the time.
    I felt bad for poor weak Edgar.
    Who loved and loved despite him self.

    Regarding your question:
    Usually if I hate the characters I hate the book.

    But I feel ya ;)

  3. P.S. I hope I didn't say anything that sounded even remotely angry :) I like your blog and that was never my intention. I like to spread blogging cheer :)