Wuthering Heights is the dramatic tale of an otherworldly love that can find no place in proper British society. Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff are both children of Nature who revel in their own brand of freedom on the Moors. Society intervenes in the form of the Lintons who embody all that is proper and whose allure, in the form of material wealth, is too tempting for Catherine to resist.
This is a novel about trying to strike a balance. Heathcliff and Catherine find that their love cannot survive in a world that is dictated by rules and which would have them repress their passionate natures. Catherine seeks a union with society but can never be completely happy with Edgar because Heathcliff is her other half, not just her soulmate.
There were moments in this novel where I felt Heathcliff was unnecessarily cruel, but keeping in mind the ambiguity of his origins, I also found it impossible not to sympathize with him. I also felt that it was, perhaps, his inability to let go of Catherine that made it even harder for them both to forge separate existences for themselves with their respective Linton spouses.
Heathcliff's tenacious resentment does not limit itself to Edgar and Isabella. Indeed, his bitter resentment of the Lintons extends to the next generation as they are left to pick up the pieces of two shattered families and to begin again with the promise of a far more moderate and circumspect union between the Earnshaws and the Lintons.