Wuthering Heights written by Emily Bronte is a 19th century gothic novel. The book is the story of love and twisted relationships with a splash of heart ache and evil. Heathcliff and Catherine the main characters are supported by a range of others whom interact with them to keep them apart. The novel has been widely read and made into several movies. The Masterpiece theater production of Wuthering Heights from 1996 is a good rendering, but there are several differences between the book and the movie.
In the book Heathcliff’s character is developed with complicated personality traits. He is brooding, angry, compassionate and loving. The movie on the other hand, Heathcliff is a bit softer not exactly the dark skin gipsy you would be expecting. Tom Hardy the actor portraying Heathcliff gives a modern day performance of a softer and mellower person rather than the dark and broody character of the novel. The book also has a narrator a character named Lockwood.
Lockwood is the character Bronte uses to progress the story along. Lockwood rents the Manor House from Heathcliff. He is rather ignorant gentleman, so he is not keen on being within the boundaries of Wuthering heights. The movie does not provide the audience with a narrator; however, it provides the use of flashbacks to progress the story along. Bronte uses ghosts in the book Wuthering Heights they represent Heathcliff’s emotions. For example the ghost of dead Catherine represents Heathcliff’s guilt and shame. In the movie the director uses nightmares, visual effects and music to represent the emotions of shame and guilt. Both allow the audience to understand the feelings of the character. Although two different representations are used the shame and the guilt of Heathcliff is understood by the audience.
Both the book and movie convey the character in depth emotional makeup. The physical aspects of the novel and the movie are different. In the novel Wuthering Heights word description of scenery allows the readers imagination to create. In the movie actual locations are used which give a more define and detail oriented landscape. The castle used in the movie is dark brick and dates back to the 17th century and represents gloom. The movie also shows the viewer the gloomy surroundings of Wuthering Heights; giving the audience a visual clue to the emotions of the character. Catherine’s daughters home Thrushcross Grange is portrayed as simple cottage allowing the audience to visualize peacefulness and happiness. The movie doesn’t give the viewer excitement the way the book does; therefore, it doesn’t give “that” page turning experience.
The movie comes across as if Heathcliff is a demented man with a cross to bear not really giving you the background of the story. While the book gives you the detail of the passion and betrayal that created this man. All the characters are more defined and developed because of Bronte’s artistic writing style. The movie being constrained by time and other factors can’t fully envelope the characters of book. In conclusion, I would choose a book over a movie. Bronte’s writing style is something that sparks the imagination and the readers are enthralled by the tale from page one to the end. The movie only can offer a short time of entertainment. I rather have the adventure of a good read coming to know the story and characters over time with the flip of the pages. .