Once a man ( the gender doesn't matter), upon hearing in a class that my favorite book was Wuthering Heights, told me that The Brontes were popular amongst women only because they were romantic, and that I, being one of these women did not nor could not recognize great literature.
At eighteen, I listened to people's opinions (like his) in their most literal forms, letting theirs suffocate my own, so I didn't argue with him or even politely disagree. Now with experience behind my belt and at thirty-five years of age, I'd like to tell that person that he is a presumptious asshat. There is nothing romantic about a male character that kills the beloved pooch of the woman he loves. Not to mention, I am about as romantic as Bette Davis here:
Disclosure: I have to admit that despite my somewhat cynical soul, I'm not a robot, and do cry every time I read Heathcliff's despair in this line,
"Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest so long as I live on! I killed you. Haunt me, then! Haunt your murderer! I know that ghosts have wandered on the Earth. Be with me always. Take any form, drive me mad, only do not leave me in this dark alone where I cannot find you. I cannot live without my life! I cannot die without my soul."
Ok, Ok I can be a romantic.
However, this is not why I love this book. I love it because of Emily, the author. She (the daughter of a parish priest) wrote with such passionate raw intensity, that many people never questioned that Ellis Bell (her male pen name), a man, was indeed the author. No one suspected that a woman would ever write about such scandelous events! The fact that she produced her work in the early 1800's about characters that have a life long adulterous affair is nothing short of heroic to me. Even Charlotte, her sister, plays it somewhat safer with Jane Eyre ( I love Jane but even she follows society's standards on what is right and what is wrong). Emily had the courage to find her voice, without constraints, despite societal resistance to it. That type of bravery makes great literature and breaks the strongest of walls because it is from the soul (imo):
I love this book for more reasons than its romantic connotations. I hope I've made this clear, 'clueless about me' man in my class.
I love it because Emily taught me to speak my mind. She allowed a quietanimallovingmorethanpeoplewildsouled girl to find her voice. To this girl, literature doesn't get better than that!