Wuthering Heights: You Make Your Own Problems (And Everyone Else’s Too)

20 07 2010

The whole reason for this blog started a couple of weeks ago when I decided to read Wuthering Heights properly for the first time.

Oh god. I could not put it down. Except when I threw it at the wall a few times. I read the whole thing in one sitting — TEN HOURS OF MY LIFE I WILL NEVER GET BACK — scribbling furiously (in both senses of the word) in the margins my angry responses like some sort of bizarrely meta parody of Cathy with her secret book-defacing diary.

Firstly, can I just say to the Brontës, Hardy, and anyone else who feels like giving it a bash, ‘phonetically’ spelt yokel accents /’quaint’ ‘rustic’ spelling are fucking annoying. That’s not even what anyone from Yorkshire sounds like Ems, sort it out, Joseph sounds like Wurzel Gummage with a speech impediement. Also he’s a twat.

But he doesn’t have to feel too bad about it, partly because relgious nutters never do, and partly because so is everyone else — all of the characters in the novel except  Ellen and Hareton made me want to rip all my hair out by the roots and stuff it down their throats. Just when I think these attention-seeking bell-ends can’t piss me off more than they already have, out comes another preposterous comment or ludicrous turn of events until it physically hurts. Frankly I think Ellen deserves a bloody OBE for putting up with these whiny ridiculous morons for THREE GENERATIONS in complete ISOLATION, with not only an admirable restraint from hatcheting everyone to death in their beds, but also from even passing more than the most subtly scathing remark. From her point of view the whole thing could be summed up as: Teenagers/The Upper Classes are Hilariously Rubbish.

I mean, you have a man who is supposed to be a BROODING HOTTIE, but also of course an out and out WIFE BEATING RAPIST POTENTIAL MURDERER SAVAGE OUTLAW BLAH ETC, who in between clobbering the hell out of everyone within arms reach and roaring like a bear with a stuck head attempts to inflict his MASSIVE FEEELINGS on everyone. I know everyone hates emos and there’s hardly a queue to listen to their bleating on, but honestly? Why don’t you tell a servant you’ve physically assaulted and who never liked you anyway about how no-one has ever known love like what you have? That’ll go down well. CONTEXT MAN. Way to pick your audience. Oh wait, you can’t, unless you want to go and tell the drunk guy who wants to stab you instead. You could get a livejournal? Oh my mistake they don’t exist yet. Well, there’s always writing it in the margins of boring books of religion like your dead moron of a girlfriend did , oh wait you probably can’t write even though you are now mysteriously rich and classy for reasons that NEVER GET EXPLAINED. Anyway, dead girlfriend, yeah– oh, what is it something I said? You seem to have put down your beating stick and started weeping like a small pathetic little girl. With pigtails. This is like if the Krays couldn’t shoot someone’s kneecaps off without having to stop for a sob, or if Fred West wanted to read you some poems about violets before he bummed you to death and turned you into an attractive water feature. You are the VILLAIN of a GOTHIC NOVEL. Have some self re-cocking-spect.

Oh while we’re on the subject of your stupid dead girlfriend (who wouldn’t have married someone else anyway if you’d just SAID SOMETHING instead of storming off to sulk like you were the world’s biggest baby or something.), both she AND you, might I remind you, THE HARD MAN, the VILLAIN, died in the most unrealistically pathetic way reminiscent of a 14 year old Manics fan’s fantasty of getting back at mum and dad and all the kids at school – they BOTH, contrary to medical probability, die after skipping lunch for a couple of days and going out in the rain. If that were true I am pretty sure that upward of 90% of the population would have been wiped out by then. Not to mention the fact that maybe Cathy can afford to indulge her romantic whims of lounging about in bed feeling sorry for herself, but he was a filthy urchin begging on the streets of Liverpool and then later set to work all day by Hindley. No wonder it took him til he was in his ACTUAL FORTIES. yes, that’s right, a grown man in ACTUAL MIDDLE AGE went and died of the sniffles out of a sad over some girl who never even went out with him when they were CHILDREN (oh yeah by the way, good choice, partial incest and all). DUDE WHAT YOU ARE OLD ENOUGH TO BE MY DAD as well as being SUPPOSEDLY A BADASS. When are you going to STRAP SOME ON?

In fact his whinging is the only thing old Cliff has in common with his SO CALLED SON, Linton. Yeah right is Heathcliff Linton’s father. That’s definitely true. Leaving aside any other temperamental or physical differences, it is literally genetically impossible for a man with black hair, dark skin and dark eyes to father a boy so pasty he makes Casper the friendly ghost look tanned unless Linton is actually an albino. I asked a biologist and everything. Seriously, we are taking all bets here – the only other serious contenders are a her OWN brother, a small boy, a man so drunk he’d be playing pool with a length of rope — eh eh catch my drift — and an elderly religious maniac. It’s not looking good here on the incest-aversion front. I mean seriously, stuff ‘Is Heathcliff A Murderer?’ – try ‘Did Edgar Bang His Own Sister And Get Her Up The Duff?’ It would explain why she scarpered with the first remedial psychopath that came along, not to mention why even after she denounced Heathcliff as a massive bumface, Eddie still doesn’t want anything to do with her: his wife’s enough of a fruitcake as it is, without having that come back to bite him on the arse. So they send her off down South which is apparently the same as Outer Mongolia or Mars or being dead for all anyone ever hears from her after that. AND it explains why Linton is such a useless, sickly, barely-functional wuss. Just as a side note, Linton, ladies love it when you pretend to have a fit. Next time try and crap yourself too. Phwoar.

I suppose the dad could have been one of the MYSTERIOUS servants from the BARELY MENTIONED villages who ONLY turn up for five seconds when it is convenient to the plot to have some letters intercepted or some such nonsense, and then immediately bugger off never to be seen again like some mystical fucking act of nature. Which I suppose is roughly how the upper classes saw their servants back then. And as it is, if Heathy did slip it to Isabella in between the beatings, we only find out when she turns out to be avec sprog FOR PLOT REASONS later on anyway, it does seem to hardly matter who actually spunked the spunk as long as Heathcliff gets all up in everyone’s grill about wanting to CONTROL the child. LIKE SOME KIND OF MOTIVELESS BUMFACE oh wait that is exactly what he is. I mean, seriously, is he meant to have some kind of diagnosable mental disorder, or is it just that Ems could not be arsed one iota with consistent character development?

Possibly due to the under-a-gooseberry-bush school of contraceptive awareness and the meet-less-than-5-humans-in-your-life school of social interaction, it’s hardly surprising that the majority of these characters seem like they would, if real, actually have learning difficulties. Quite aside from the fenlands-IQ issue, they just literally don’t ever learn from anything.  Edgar: OH MY ARCH NEMESIS HAS MOVED NEXT DOOR I KNOW I WILL STAY AND BE A RECLUSE AND BRING UP MY DAUGHTER HERE WHERE SHE WILL MOS DEFS NEVER BUMP INTO HIM.

Isabella: OH NOES I R DYING SHALL I SEND MY ONLY SON, POSSIBLY THE CHILD OF THE DUDE I HATE, TO AN ORPHANAGE, OR ANOTHER RELATIVE, OR ANY BLOODY THING EXCEPT TO MY BROTHER WHO NEVER SPOKE TO ME SINCE I LEFT WHO INCIDENTALLY LIVES RIGHT NEXT TO THE GUY I RAN AWAY FROM WHO RUINED MY LIFE, WHO DEFINTELY WONT WANT TO STICK HIS OAR IN AND TRY AND KIDNAP MY ONLY SON?

Planning: you are doing it WRONG. You know what this needs? A strong dose of JEREMY KYLE.

I do understand that the whole POINT of this book is they’re all like this cause they grow up in the middle of rural mentalshire with no other humans but their neighbours and siblings (and the aforementioned now-you-see-them-now-you-don’t servants from ill defined other places) and that this is the kind of thing that makes you a nutter, an incester, and apparently partial to naming everyone the same damn three names, and incredibly vulnerable to missing lunch and forgetting your brolly. And yes old Emmy B probably wanted us to feel at least part of her immense pain at being stuck in just such a dump. But honest you guys, other places exist. The dad goes to Liverpool at the start, Izzy gets shipped off in the family way to the South, they own the houses themselves so they could just sell them and go. Or do a runner and hock all their fancy clothes and jewellery or something if the obscure and never properly explained gambling downfall of Hindley somehow effects Eddie &co. But no. Instead these inbred, home-schooled emos ruin own lives and those of everyone round them needlessly complicatedly. THERE IS A LESSON IN THIS.

And it is this: don’t adopt urchins you find lying about on a whim and then treat your other kids like shit, and if you do fall in love with your sort of sister just have the common decency to elope and leave the rest of your family out of it.

I think Emily Brontë may have inadvertantly invented Hollyoaks.

In short:  YOUR actions have consequences, and YOUR twatting about is going to make everyone unhappy as well even after you’re DEAD AND BURIED. They should make this into a Lord Kitchener style poster for emos.

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16 responses

20 07 2010
Ally

Whilst I agree with you about all of that I didn’t have the reaction of throwing the book across the room, it just made me want to keep reading it.
I liked the symmetry of having the same names and matching deaths and all that.
Oh and you mentioned unhealthy relationships and possible incest? What about marrying both your cousins because you’ve never met anyone else?
You’re right, all these people are awful, seemingly turned on by pain and cruelty (like someone killing your dog infront of you- wtf?) and seeing them make their own problems and drive one another to their deaths was what made it such compelling reading in my opinion.
Great review though, what are you going to read next?

20 07 2010
Vicky

I am well pleased you actually made this into a blog 😀 It made me laugh out loud again, super-awesome. Only one thing – you missed your best summing-up line: “You could just rename this ‘You Make Your Own Problems’.” I nearly wee’ed (?) myself when you said that!
Anyway, love it, can’t wait for the next one, will recommend to others 🙂 xxx
PS: How sycophantic does this comment sound?!

20 07 2010
Vicky

Noooooo! I am a spaz, totally didn’t read the title before commenting! Fail! xxx

21 07 2010
CatherineBray

That was fucking funny. More please. If you do requests: Middlemarch.

3 01 2011
burnyourbones

Oh god.

*girds loins*

(however it is you gird something and wherever exactly a loin is. presumably this means I have to put a belt round my lady area. hmm. probably wont do that to be be honest. but I will put Middlemarch on the list.)

21 07 2010
Rachel

or if Fred West wanted to read you some poems about violets before he bummed you to death and turned you into an attractive water feature.

ROFLCOPTER.

25 07 2010
Adam/Doris

This is amazing.

You’ll be unsurprised to know that this book is apparently the favourite novel of the bouffant-haired, spangly-titted vampire and his whiny girlfriend in the “Twilight” series of books.

At least Kate Bush edited the book down into an entertaining five minute song including a line the sounds like “It’s me, I’m a tree, I’m a wombat” and some comedy dancing around a field.

xx

2 08 2010
all that's left behind

I found a book in meanwood community shop called “twitterature” and it was lots of famous books summed up via a series of tweets. Jesus Christ… I nearly bought it as a quick way too find out what all those books everyone probably thinks I have read (but I haven’t read because I’m too busy reading feminist fiction from the 70s) are actually about, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy it because it was just too crass.

29 09 2010
Lauren

Arghhh you have ruined Wuthering Heights for me! (Thank you, it was probably about time…)

3 10 2010
John

This gave me a trouser smile that quickly migrated to my brain, dislodging some iron filings that I had lightly drizzled in my eyes after catching myself winking at my reflection in the mirror and smacking myself on the bum and going “Ooooooooh”
So cheers. Would read again. A+++++

30 11 2010
Jess

fucking Het fucking WRITE MORE OF THESES THEY ARE HILARIOUS.

25 12 2010
Het

Dude, I am so sorry. I did write some more but was too lazy to finish them. BUT NO LONGER SHALL I PISS ABOUT! for now is the time for me to be writing essays, and you know what that means. Yes. Procrastination!

30 12 2010
Darren Bristow

I don’t feel the need to read Wuthering Heights now. That was a great blog post. You just saved me more than 10 hours of my life (i can’t read that fast) ; – )
keep on keepin’ on
Darren

30 12 2010
Darren Bristow

Haha. that’s not my picture!! this is

21 02 2011
Ms Belsey

This is so, so funny and true (and I loved Wuthering Heights). I wish we all had written book reports like these as children. Well, perhaps you did!

21 02 2011
Ms Belsey

Oh also, re: the genetics: that’s not *quite* right:
http://www.hoax-slayer.com/black-white-twins.html

(link to the hoax-slayer website rather than the Daily Mail–first, less traffic for the DM; second, cuter pictures 🙂 )

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