H is for Heathcliff

It’s day eight of the A to Z Challenge.

H

Love him or hate him, there are few characters who have influenced literature like the classic anti-hero Heathcliff.

heathcliff2

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!”

heathcliff

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?

10 thoughts on “H is for Heathcliff”

  1. I have never got round to Wuthering Heights, must add it my long, long list of things to read! My favourite is between To Kill A Mockingbird, Cather in the Rye, Catch-22 and about 100 others… to many to list here, I’ll save that for another blog post sometime!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not for everyone. And I dare say more women like it than men. I’ve often thought whole classes should be offered on the novel, as it’s quite complex and has a complicated family tree. I love Catcher in the Rye. Reading that with my 11th Grade students right now. To Kill a Mockingbird is wonderful too…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wuthering Heights is also one of my favourite, but I prefer Jane and Rochester’s story. WH is too obsessive – melodramatic at times and yet it has the power to draw the reader into the story and keep her there!

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  3. I read Wuthering Heights a long, long time ago when I yet was to come to terms with the narrative style and the plot. But Heathcliff did leave a mark. Another tormented soul who did leave his mark was Bill Sykes from Oliver Twist. I think I was eight when I first read the book and I was shocked beyond belief when Sykes bludgeons Nancy to death. That was my first encounter with graphic violence in books and boy it stayed with me for a long, long time.

    My favorite novels are Nicholas Nickleby and The Count of Monte Cristo. My all time pick would be The Mayor of Casterbridge. If you don’t cry by the time you close the book, there’s something seriously wrong with you. 😀

    https://looseendoftheredthread.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/h-is-for-help-atoz2018/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had the exact response to Bill Sykes. Later, I saw the movie on a school trip, and when that scene occurred, I felt physically ill. It was my first exposure to violence in a movie. I have never read Nicholas Nickleby or The Count of Monte Cristo, but I LOVE The Mayor of Casterbridge, As a matter of fact, I love ALL of Thomas Hardy’s novels. He is my favorite! Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

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