It’s day eight of the A to Z Challenge.
Love him or hate him, there are few characters who have influenced literature like the classic anti-hero Heathcliff.
Dark, tormented, a complete nightmare for every woman that crosses his path… Heathcliff! Personally, my feeling is … I mean, what’s not to love? Actually, Wuthering Heights is my favorite classic novel and Heathcliff is probably my favorite male character in literature. I first read Wuthering Heights when I was eleven, and the story and characters stayed with me and consequently influenced my own writing.
There is something terribly romantic (if not selfish and bordering on obsessive ) about Heathcliff and Cathy and their undying love for each other. “He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” Catherine tells Nellie during a heartfelt conversation that changes the trajectory of the novel. “If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.”
Yeah, it’s a bit over the top, but honestly, that’s what makes it so fantastic.
Later in the novel, Heathcliff, nearly driven mad by his need to be with Cathy, cries out to her departed spirit. “Be with me always – take any form – drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!”
Ralph Fiennes as Heathcliff
If you’ve never read Wuthering Heights, I highly recommend giving it a shot. It is a bit overwrought, dramatic, and sentimental, but the complexity of plot, atmospheric setting, and strong, dynamic characters make it an unforgettable story.
And if you’ve never “experienced” Kate Bush’s song “Wuthering Heights” … well, you just need to. Check it out HERE.
What’s your favorite novel?