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Wuthering Heights book report

My grade 8 book report on Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Denae Tyler

on 27 October 2013

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Transcript of Wuthering Heights book report

Wuthering Heights
By Emily Brontë (Ellis Bell)
Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange
The time of the book is told from around the 1760's to the September of 1802. It follows the growth and life of the main character, Heathcliff, and a few others. Most of the book takes place at Wuthering Heights, an old farmhouse built in the year 1500 in England's countryside, 60 miles from Liverpool, and only a few miles from the closest town, Gimmerton. Anywhere else the book took place was at Thrushcross Grange which wasn't very far from Wuthering Heights, and it was a considerably larger and richer house.
I'm not really sure if I would care to live in either of the houses due to the time period (1760's - 1802). You were much likelier to catch a cold, to be more susceptible to harsh sicknesses and diseases resulting in long bedridden months and sudden death. I don't think I'd care to live at Thrushcross Grange even if the time period might be a little different. There's not much to be said about the entertainment there. Compared to Wuthering Heights the company is exceptional, but there is much more drama and amusement at the Heights than at the Grange for most part of the book.
Main Characters
Ellen Dean
Ellen Dean, or Mrs. Dean, is most often referred to by her first name or the nickname Nelly. She is who the story is told and viewed through. She is the maid and friend of Catherine, and later, Catherine's daughter. She is a kind and gentle woman, very mother-like, but definitely not a pushover. She is the most sensible of everyone in the story, and is always trying to aid the other characters. She is continually scolding bad behavior and rude manners in her attempts to help her masters and mistresses in doing the right thing. She's always around, she hears everything that goes on and being a strong, solid presence all the characters confide their secrets and feelings to her.
Other Characters
Heathcliff was found, starving and homeless, a little over the age of 6, by Mr. Earnshaw one day on a journey into Liverpool. Heathcliff had no parent or guardian so Mr. Earnshaw took him home and christened him Heathcliff, which served for his first and last name. Heathcliff grew up at Wuthering Heights with Catherine who adored him and Hindley who despised him. Catherine and Heathcliff became very fast friends, causing trouble wherever they went. Soon Mr. Earnshaw passed away, and Hindley returned to Wuthering Heights with high spirits and a new wife.
As Catherine and Heathcliff grew older they crossed paths with the inhabitants of Thrushcross Grange. They adored Catherine there, and as she was injured at that time she stayed there for five weeks until she was healed. Heathcliff was not welcome and wallowed in boredom with Catherine gone. Once Catherine came back, she was very different. Long gone were her rude manners and dirty clothes, she seemed to have turned into a proper young lady. Edgar and Isabella frequently visited Wuthering Heights much to Heathcliff's displeasure. But Catherine wasn't as changed as you might first think. She was still very rude to the inhabitants of Wuthering Heights if they bothered her, but when the Linton's came over she put on a flawless facade.
Heathcliff is an all around awful person. He has gypsy features and a permanent scowl plastered on his face. He rarely shows any emotion besides hate and anger, and he has a very sour, angry, annoyed disposition. Essentially he possesses all the worst characteristics of any human being. He has no redeeming qualities, but his surprising ability to love Catherine and Hareton means he is still somewhat human. The only thing Heathcliff is ever found doing is antagonizing others and performing very underhanded acts, usually with Catherine at his side. He seems to enjoy making most people miserable, and he will go to any length to get what he wants, and those lengths are extremely cruel and devilish. As the book goes on Heathcliff starts to go insane and becomes very dangerous.
Catherine Earnshaw
Catherine Earnshaw is an equally nasty person. Considered very beautiful with long brown hair and black eyes and soft features, her beauty is not reflected on the inside. She is manipulative and greedy and always expects to get what she wants. Catherine wants the most unreasonable things and thinks the world revolves around her. She'll do unacceptable things to get her way and make people do what she wants. As a child she would cause endless amounts of trouble with Heathcliff. Her attitude is constantly changing depending on the people she is around. She will always act charming in front of people she wishes to love her and to impress, but to family and close friends she is nasty and rude.
Cathy Linton
Cathy Linton is the daughter of Catherine and Edgar Linton, resembling much of her mother's looks, but, luckily none of her personality. Cathy is a sweet tempered young girl, very caring and passionate. She loves to read, and if the weather is nice she lives outside. Cathy does become bitter and sounds much like her mother after her father dies and she is subjected to live at Wuthering Heights with Heathcliff. After Heathcliff's death and Ellen comes to live with her, her mood brightens exceptionally. Cathy is generally sweet and energetic though a little too innocent and naive.
I would not want to ever become friends with Heathcliff, but I doubt he'd want to be friends with me either. I would never want to cross his path in any way and I'd be extremely frightened of him near the end of the book after Catherine dies.
I wouldn't want to be Catherine's friend either, she's rude and makes everything about her. Neither would I want a fake friend, I wouldn't want her to pretend to like me if she didn't.
Linton Heathcliff
Linton Heathcliff is the son of Heathcliff and Isabella. He was born much too early and battled with an extremely weak immune system from the start. Besides being physically incapable of much, his personality is rotten. He is just pathetic and shallow. He's weak and does nothing, he thinks he owns the rights to everyone, he is manipulative and nasty. Besides the fact that Linton is the largest coward you will ever meet, he resembles his father perfectly in personality.
Hareton Earnshaw
Mr. Earnshaw
Edgar Linton
Isabella Linton
Joseph has been a servant at Wuthering Heights longer that anyone can remember. He is a very, very, very old man who is very religious and who constantly references what "thy Lord" would think, want, expect. The only thing Joseph reads is the bible and various religious texts. He's grumpy and keeps to himself and doesn't show a sliver of compassion throughout the entire book.
Hareton is the son of Hindley Earnshaw. Hareton has no literacy skills whatsoever. He can't read and the way he speaks reflects the amount of education he has received, which is none. Heathcliff raised Hareton, so he had no manners, swore frequently and seemed to posses no kindness nor any inclination to be social.
Mr. Earnshaw was the owner of Wuthering Heights, and he adopted the role of father to Heathcliff. He favoured Heathcliff over his two children, but still he was kind and disciplinary to all of them.
Edgar Linton was the heir of Thrushcross Grange and large sums of money. There wasn't much to Edgar. He was a nice person, if a little wimpy. As a child he cried a lot, was scared easily and often. He always idolized Catherine and couldn't and wouldn't see past the act she put on for him. He was overprotective of his daughter as well. Edgar was much too controlling due to his fear that she'd cross paths with Heathcliff, or anyone remotely similar.
Isabella Linton was the brother of Edgar, and as a child she was much like him. However she was always very shallow and self-centered. She didn't appear so at first, but she made everything about her. Isabella was also very, very stupid. Even though she knew who Heathcliff was, the only thing she cared for was money and looks and fell for him despite warnings from both Catherine and Ellen. She became a disgrace to the Linton name, but eventually reconciled with Edgar after lessening her faults.
Zillah was the maid Heathcliff hired after Ellen left Wuthering Heights. Zillah was obedient to Heathcliff, and him only. She didn't dare disobey an order, even if to lessen the suffering of others. If she ever opened her mouth it revealed that she was very narrow-minded.
Hindley Earnshaw
Hindley Earnshaw was the brother of Catherine and son of Mr. Earnshaw, the heir to Wuthering Heights. Hindley wasn't the nicest of characters. He despised Heathcliff from the very beginning, ever since he was brought home. He loved Catherine, but they never appeared to be on very friendly terms. He was a sour young man until he married. Mrs. Earnshaw completely turned Hindley around. He became warm and kind and amiable. However after Mrs. Earnshaw's death Hindley became a horrible monster. He became a foul-mouthed drunk that scared his own son.
My favourite characters in Wuthering Heights are Heathcliff and Catherine. Even though I'd hate to know either of them personally, they make for great entertainment. Their brutal honesty and cruelty never gets old, there is no extent to how far they'll go, creating countless dramatic dilemmas. What I love most about Heathcliff and Catherine is how they are so uncivil to everyone, and how they are such unfit company, but yet they fit together perfectly. I'm not a big fan of Edgar or Isabella, I find them very annoying. Ellen Dean is by far my favorite character. If all the other characters are so messed up you definitely need a sane character. Ellen was very brave in standing up to all her masters when they wronged.
Wuthering Heights is a story that follows the love of two very unbearable human beings, Catherine and Heathcliff. It follows the foolishness and stupidity of all the characters' actions. All the characters resemble some form of human behavior and the clash and mixture of personalities in a place where you can't escape one another.
I loved this book. The characters in this novel have so much more depth to them than what I usually read. In a lot of books I find the characters are just page fillers for the action and adventure and magic, but in Wuthering Heights the characters were the most real I've ever read about. I loved immersing myself in a world where there was no technology like anything there is now. All of the problems and situations felt so real and plausible due to the reality of the characters. The language used in the book was wonderful and inventive, there were none of these swear words we hear today for insults, their insults were imaginative and very nasty. I found the twisted love story very engaging. It was different, in a good way, how instead of the world and others creating most of the obstacles standing in the way of Heathcliff and Catherine being together, it was the two main characters who made their own obstacles that got in the way of their love.
As the years went by Hindley and his wife had a child, Hareton, but Hindley's wife died very soon after. This turned Hindley into a raging alcoholic. Edgar stopped visiting for fear of the monstrous man, but still Catherine visited him at Thrushcross Grange. Edgar proposed to Catherine, she of course accepted, he was a handsome, rich young man. Heathcliff hated this arrangement, he loved Catherine and couldn't stand her with anyone else. He was hurt and angry and so one day he just left. He came back three years later more handsome than ever and had made his fortune. Heathcliff commenced his meddling in the lives of those at Thrushcross Grange by messing with Catherine and Edgar's relationship and courting Isabella. Catherine confessed to Ellen the reason she married Edgar was for his money, but she wanted to be with Heathcliff. She wished to support Heathcliff, for at the time he had no money. Catherine told Heathcliff that she loved him, but she wouldn't leave Edgar. Heathcliff was furious and (despite the warnings Isabella got) he married Isabella, infuriating Edgar. After spending a few weeks at Wuthering Heights Isabella realized her mistake and ran off, but not before she became pregnant. Catherine started to lose it. She was going insane, then died in childbirth of Cathy. Hindley and Heathcliff fought one day, Heathcliff won and Hindley was gravely injured. He died soon enough. Heathcliff finally discovered Isabella had a son, Linton and she had raised him happily 'till the age of twelve, when she died. Linton made a brief visit to Thrushcross Grange. Not long after, Heathcliff took custody of Linton, bringing him to Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff was cruel and abusive to the sick child, but he tried his best not to be too cruel, for he had a plan up his sleeve.
Cathy and Linton continually crossed paths and created a close bond. Edgar soon fell ill to the pleasure of Heathcliff and utter distress of Ellen and Cathy. Throughout this time Cathy and Linton fancied themselves in love. This played perfectly into Heathcliff's plan. Heathcliff lured Cathy to Wuthering Heights against her father's wishes with the false story of Linton being dreadfully ill, worse than usual, and wishing for her company. Heathcliff imprisoned Cathy and told her he wouldn't let her go to care for her sick father until she signed the papers marrying her to Linton. Cathy agreed, but Heathcliff and Linton refused to let her go. Ellen and Cathy eventually escaped, just in time to console Edgar at his deathbed. After Edgar's death Cathy was forced to return to Wuthering Heights at the order of Heathcliff because he was her father-in-law. Ellen, to the great dismay of her and Cathy, was forced to stay at Thrushcross Grange. Soon Linton died and Ellen returned and Cathy became overly fond of Hareton. A few years later when Cathy was around nineteen Heathcliff went crazy. He started seeing Catherine everywhere, then he died, his insanity causing him to refuse to eat. Cathy and Hareton later married and were very happy together, and Heathcliff was buried next to Catherine, exactly where he always should have been.
The problem in the story was the obstacles that Catherine and Heathcliff created for themselves that got in the way of their love and happiness. Catherine's happiness wasn't really secured. Her own stubbornness and desire to have everything got in her way of being with Heathcliff. It got in the way of giving in to her strongest, and best, emotion, her love. I think Heathcliff's happiness was eventually secured, somewhat. Heathcliff never moved past his sorrow and love of Catherine, but loving her so strongly caused him to lose it and see images of her. Heathcliff's last few days alive were happy ones because he thought Catherine's spirit was with him. I think he did die a happy man because he believed in an afterlife, and so he thought once he died he could be reunited with Catherine again. I think Heathcliff knew he was to die and wanted to, so driven with longing that he purposely wouldn't eat.
I learned a lot from this book in terms of language in the 1800's, which was when the book was written. I learned new terms and a bit of the life back then. The term bonny lass was frequently used to express a beautiful person or a healthy, happy baby or young child. I learned a bit of the separation between the servant and master, how one is to be addressed. The story also left me thinking a lot about what Catherine and Heathcliff should have done to be together, and how naive Cathy was, and how she should have known better and just listened to Ellen's advice.
The theme of the book was Gothic Romance. It had some darker, sadistic parts entwined with a story of love.
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