By Empress Eve
Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 at 10:08 am
Eclipse, the third book in author Stephenie Meyer‘s wildly popular vampire series Twilight, has unexpectedly given a major boost to the classic novel Wuthering Heights.
The Telegraph reports that fans of the Twilight books are running out to get Wuthering Heights thanks to the reveal that the 1847 Emily BrontÃ« novel is a favorite of Bella’s, the main character in the Twilight series.
To get in on all the new readership from the Twilight fanbase, HarperTeen Publishers are re-releasing Wuthering Heights on October 6 with a new Twilight-inspired cover, which will include a new stamp that reads “Bella and Edward’s Favorite Book.” A similar cover revision was already done earlier this year for the UK version of the book.
In Eclipse, Bella references the BrontÃ« novel several times, comparing her relationship with her vampire love Edward to that of Heathcliff and Catherine from Wuthering Heights, quoting the part of the classic novel where Catherine talks about Heathcliff: “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.”
Like Catherine, Bella cannot be with her one true love. Both couples have obstacles in the way of their happiness: Catherine and Heathcliff are separated by socioeconomic factors, while the vampire Edward won’t endanger his human love Bella by being with her, yet he also won’t turn her into a vampire to protect her and allow them to truly be together forever.
I understand why Wuthering Heights would hold a particular interest to the teenaged Bella, since both loves are intense and melodramatic. I do find it interesting though that of all the novels the Meyer could have picked to be Bella’s favorite she chose one where the characters are some of the most selfish and indecent people in literature. Yes, Catherine and Heathcliff have an unrequited love, but they’re also highly unlikable characters who treat everyone else in the book like shit. They don’t care who else they hurt, as long as they get what they want. The reason they weren’t together had to do ultimately with Catherine’s selfishness, whereas Edward thinks being apart from Bella is a way of protecting her.
It’s hard to even root for Catherine and Heathcliff to be happy together because they really don’t deserve happiness! The only reason why you’d want them to be together is because these two wretches deserve each other. They are so far from Edward and Bella moralistically that I question whether Bella — a good-natured person — would really identify herself with Catherine, and whether she’d compare Edward — as good-natured as a vampire can get — to someone like Heathcliff.
Either way, Wuthering Heights is an excellent book, well worth the read whether you love Twilight or not, so I’m happy to see its resurgence in popularity with a whole new generation.