Emily Bronte’s 1847 masterpiece of English literature, Wuthering Heights, is a very deep and complex book that cannot simply be classified as a love story since there is no traditional happy ending for the primary characters and the heroine dies halfway through the book. This book is such a classic because Bronte has the ability to transform characters feelings onto the paper like no one else can. One important theme that relates to most of the characters in Wuthering Heights is that of books and the role they play throughout the story. There is no simple response to this question since the answer differs with each individual character. It is evident, though, that books are very important to the various relationships encountered in this story and that they can be interpreted in many different ways.
The first incident in which books play a role in this story is also one of the most powerful scenes in the entire book. It occurs when Mr. Lockwood has determined that he must stay the night at Wuthering Heights, his landlord’s estate. Heathcliff’s servant, Zillah, shows Mr. Lockwood to his room and cautions him to “hide his candle and not make a noise” since Heathcliff would not willingly approve of his staying in that room. Just after Mr. Lockwood enters the room, he discovers three names carved over and over onto the ledge near the window, Catherine Earnshaw, Catherine Heathcliff, and Catherine Linton. Mr. Lockwood begins paging through and examining the collection of books he determines to be Catherine’s. The books, he notices, have been well used judging from their
dilapidation and “scarcely one chapter had escaped a pen-and-ink commentary at least, the appearance of one covering every morsel of blank that the printer had left.”
After a short time, Mr. Lockwood dozes off but is awaken quickly by the sound of tapping on the casement window. He... [continues]
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