Wuthering Heights is the only part of my current Romantic Literature class that I have enjoyed so far, and I enjoyed it not for its Romanticism, but for its realism. This book shows what (I think) would really happen if people carried on being classical Romantics in real life: they would grow sick and die after a series of passionate and painfully short love affairs.
In addition to the break that it provides from the Romantic stereotype of the overwhelming goodness of love, I appreciate the complex ill-will that Brontë has created in her cast of characters. Charlotte Brontë, in her preface, claims that the book should not be condemned for being full of evil people, for Nelly Dean must save it. I am relatively sure, however, that a great deal of the plot’s pain can be traced directly back to Nelly, and that any other character making a claim to goodness within the novel can be truly seen as purgatory-worthy at best, and more likely hell bound. Nothing could be more refreshing after months of nature poetry and sugar-sweet love sonnets.