Just the other night, as I turned over the last page of this epic novel, I couldn’t help marvelling at the 20 years that fleeted by since my first encounter with this great book and inevitable musings about its enigmatic writer. Today, when I continue to be enthralled by Wuthering Heights and Emily Bronte, I consider it a privilege to jot down my thoughts (which I presume to have grown wiser with age):
The writer must have been quite an “impish” lady herself to have caricatured such an unforgettable protagonist like Catherine Earnshaw/Linton/Heathcliff – a wild, impulsive, passionate personality that alarmed the publishers of the time who reckoned the novel must have been penned by her brother, Branwell Bronte.
The best (or worst) part about Catherine was the way she couldn’t quite fit into the ‘social norms’ and sadly, had to pay the price for failing to fit in. The marvellous spinning of the tale and its characters reflect the powerful intensity of human emotions which undoubtedly provide an insight about what Emily herself must have experienced or stood witness to the societal conditions of the time.
At 13, when I first read this, I couldn’t quite understand how and why Catherine managed to leave an indelible impression on my mind. By and by, when life’s tribulations corner you in unforeseen circumstances, powerful writings strike upon the mind like lightning bolts and infuse you with courage and amazing equanimity.
In retrospect, I feel one loves someone/something when one relates Oneself to that person or object. And, humans relate best to stuff that they identify themselves with or bear semblance to. At the least, the object of our attention should manage to pique our curiosity.
Two decades ago, considering the self as docile and the subsequent years henceforth proving quite the contrary, I perceive, Wuthering Heights and Emily Bronte cast searing rays into my indulgences and the wisdom of refraining from some. And, the tale continues to haunt!
Literature is the Magic that waves its Band to cast a Blinding Spell in the hearts of its Readers. And, should it prophecy about our own selves and guide us to ethereal promises, I would call that kind of writing a Divine piece of Art!
As Catherine’s ghost wails in the beginning of the novel “I have been a waif for twenty years”, my Soul does try to connect to that lady who died young at age 30, but not before weaving a masterpiece that has stood the test of Time and shall continue to enthrall generations! To her, who continue to leave me in awe, I pay my deepest respects!