I’m almost a third of the way through the 30-Day Book Challenge, and today I must write about a book that I think is the most overrated. As an English major, there have been many “classic” books I have had to read, and many of them I didn’t enjoy. It’s hard for me to classify them as overrated, however, because I think that oftentimes if you don’t like a book, it’s because you don’t understand it. Perhaps the reason, then, that I am choosing Wuthering Heights as my most overrated book is because I read it on my own, without the help of a professor to guide me through the important themes and symbolism in the text. But even if I had truly understood the book, I’m still not sure I would have liked it.
I understand that the Brontë sisters made a great leap forward for female authorship, but I’m just not sure what else Wuthering Heights has contributed to the literary world. I read the book over a summer, hoping for a classic romance, and perhaps that expectation is what ruined the book for me. The book is dark, depressing, and full of hate. There are no characters who are likable in the least, which made the book very hard to get through. It also dragged on through a few generations of despicable families, and I had to force myself to finish it, hoping that there was a glimmer of happiness at the end. There wasn’t.
Just because a book isn’t happy doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad, but I found no redeeming qualities in Wuthering Heights. Sure, it addressed certain inequalities between the rich and the poor as well as men and women, but were there not other books that did that in a better way? Also, this book did not seem like an accurate portrayal of real life. It seemed like a fairy tale gone horribly wrong. If Wuthering Heights was supposed to be Emily Brontë’s commentary on life in England at the time, I’m sure glad I wasn’t around then!
Overall, this book was far below my expectations, and it’s hard for me to see why people still like it. But maybe someone can change my mind. If you liked Wuthering Heights, let me know why in the comments and maybe you can sway me! Until then, my attitude about the book remains as such: