Friday, January 2, 2009

Wuthering Heights and Eclipse

This was my first experience in reading a book knowing that it was "based on" or "inspired by" another book (I'm am going to re-read Twilight later this year looking for Edward as Mr. Darcy). It was also the first time I'd read Eclipse since I'd read Wuthering Heights and was familiar with the storyline and quotes that Edward and Bella talk about.

And it was SO COOL! Ok, so that's not very mature and intelligent sounding, but there's no other way to put it. It's sort of like when people say something about Mr. Darcy, or Pemberley, and I know EXACTLY what they are talking about. It's like being let in on the joke that everyone gets but you.

I had already marked the quotes mentioned in Eclipse when I read through Wuthering Heights, so this time I got to do the reverse. I thought all along that my favorite part would be when Edward quotes WH and tells Bella, "I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!" But I was mistaken.

My absolute favorite part was when Bella wakes up to find Edward reading Wuthering Heights, and he tells her he sympathizes with Heathcliff. The next morning she finds the book opened to the quote where Heathcliff is telling Mrs. Dean that he would never hurt Edgar because of how Catherine feels about him. The quote goes on to say that if her regard for him ceased, he would drink his blood." Oh my goodness, I got chills up my spine when I read it this time! It's hard for me to picture Edward as Heathcliff (because of my specific feelings toward Jacob), but I felt like I got a peek into the side of his nature that Edward works so hard to keep hidden. Unlike Heathcliff, Edward is able to consider Bella's needs before his own, but it's interesting to imagine what might have happened had Bella changed her feelings about Jacob! Hee hee. Oops, sorry for you Team Jacob folks! :)

So, yes, it was totally worth struggling through Wuthering Heights... if nothing more than to finally understand what Bella and Edward are talking about. I do feel that Bella and Catherine are the most alike, in terms of the characters in the books. Neither one of them could choose just one man and live with that decision (despite Bella's assertion that she always stuck by her decisions). I felt like Edward and Jacob could each represent Heathcliff and Edgar at different points.

I will start posting about Anne of Green Gables on Monday (or possibly Sunday, depending on how much I accomplish this weekend). There are Anne references in Eclipse as well! :)

9 comments:

Gwendolene said...

I think those quotes take on extra significance when spoken by Edward. Edward believes he does not have an immortal soul, so when he says, "I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!", to him Bella literally is his soul. And then, of course, drinking Edgar's blood...


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Juju said...

I agree with your review completely. I too just finished Wuthering Heights and I too could definitely see the dark side of Edward in Heathcliff. The side of him self he works so hard to control.
Catherine definitely reminded me of Bella. Bella as a character is more endearing because she hates hurting people and cries for hurting Jacob while Catherine never seemed to care about Edgar's feelings.
Ironically my favorite Eclipse character (Jacob) coincided with my favorite Wuthering Heights character (Edgar).

Anonymous said...

i actually read wuthering heights before eclipse and i couldnt really see any similarities i guess because of the characters...but when i read wuthering heights again.. that quote "i cannot live wihout my life! i cannot live without my soul." i freaked out !!! OMG !!! i wasnt even thinking about it and edward just popped into my head !! now i see all the similarities!!


* jacob and edgar are my favorite characters too =P *

Cotton Candy said...

I can't believe I found someone who realized that too. I told several people that the stories and and books were so similar and a lot of them told me I was crazy, so now I see that I wasn't, that yes, the books are similar, and I think that's so cool too. I love Bronte's book such as Austen's book So yeah, I agree with you when you say how cool this is!

Anonymous said...

Eclipse is the story of two people who love each other. Catherine and Heathcliff love themselves, not each other. They love the reflection of themselves that they see in the other one. THAT'S what Catherine means when she says "I am Heathcliff!" Bella and Edward are not experiencing this type of self-identification. Edward loves Bella, not himself. He may be violent, but he is nowhere close to the malevolent villain that Heathcliff is, and to compare the two is to demonstrate a lack of understanding of either.

Please please please do some research into the pyschology behind these characters. Or, if you want a true modern day comparison, read Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman.

I'm so glad that Twilight has gotten you and other fangirls into Wuthering Heights, but it is definitely NOT a romance.

Karin said...

I didn't read Wuthering Heights per se. However, I just watched the movie last night and I can definitely see the parallels between characters. I felt so bad for Heathcliff and I literally felt every single emotion imaginable within the span of two hours. I also am able to see the similarities between Jacob and Edgar. Poor men get tangled up in it all... However, Team Edward / Heathcliff all the way!

So glad that the Twilight Saga has a different ending from Wuthering Heights but nevertheless, I loved both stories.

Emerald.xx. said...

I read Eclipse before Wuthering Heights, so when I did read it, I was looking out for the quotes in Eclipse...
My favourite quote is the part that Edward was reading that night... about drinking blood...
I also like the "i cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!" this reminds me SO much of Cathy (Cathy and Bella seem, to me, very similar, as they both have to choose between someone they love).
The whole Twilight Saga is ment to be based around Wuthering Heights, and yet Edward is based on Edward Rochester from Jane Eyer.

Anonymous said...

Tbh I'm not surprised there are all these parallels drawn between literary masterpieces and Twilight, because the Twilight books are simply awful, and it's the only way Meyer could actually get an ounce of worth into her awful, awful books; by quoting classics and mimicking their characters and their developments.

I was practically offended that you could compare this whiney teenage rubbish to the bond between Catherine and Heathcliff, and even more at the fact you even suggested you had to "struggle" through Wuthering Heights, yet so easily manage to read Meyer's unbearable drivle.

This was a perfectly civil, constructed criticism with no profanity. If you remove it, it will be obvious that you only keep comments that look favourably upon your entries and that completely defeats the object of having a blog in the first place. Hope you don't remove this and will be interested as to what others think.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your blog! I really liked reading about your experience and it is awesome that Eclipse got you interested in reading Wuthering Heights!