Book Club Kits
by Bronte, Emily
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1. Why do you think Emily Brontë chose to unfold the story through the secondary sources of Ellen's narrative, Mr. Lockwood's two visits, and Catherine's diary? How would the story have differed if it had been told chronologically? Do you trust the narrators' versions of the events that took place? Or are they, from time to time, a bit unreliable?
2. Compare Catherine's love for Heathcliff with her love for Edgar: What are the defining characteristics of each relationship? Do you think Catherine regrets her choice of husband?
3. When Heathcliff visits Catherine for the last time before she dies, she says to him, "You have killed me--and thriven on it, I think." Nearly twenty years later, when Heathcliff is approaching death, he says, "I have to remind myself to breathe--almost to remind my heart to beat!" Did Heathcliff and Catherine believe the only way they could be together was in death? Did they, somehow, will themselves to die?
4. The characters in the novel have a great capacity for violence and hatred, and revenge is one of Heathcliff's greatest motivations. Is Heathcliff justified in the revenge he takes on Hindley? Do you think Heathcliff's childhood experiences at Wuthering Heights contributed to his monstrous behavior as an adult?
5. One critic stated that Wuthering Heights is "truly a novel without a hero or heroine." What do you think of this statement? Is Heathcliff a hero or a villain?
6. Wuthering Heights is considered by many to be one of the greatest romances in literature. Do you agree with this? What is your definition of a romantic novel? Must a great romance have a happy ending?
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