I was supposed to read Wuthering Heights as a part of my Masters degree. But, when I found that Emily Bronte had written under a pseudonym to protect her identity and save herself to be branded as an unwomanly writer, I was put off. I did not want to read an author, who could not owe upto her own work. However, last year, I read her novel and was left mesmerized. I simply loved the first few pages, wherein she created a suspense around the Wuthering Heights as a haunted place, and introduced Catherine and Heathcliff in a secretive manner, when Mr. Lockwood experiences a chilling encounter with them on a dreaded night.
Though, as the novel progressed, it was clear that the real ghost of the story resides in the minds of its protagonists. With Catherine's obsession and Heathcliff's frustration, the story does become slightly dark and I found it a bit depressing. But, still Heathcliff managed to garner my sympathies, particularly during his childhood, as an orphan, who knows he is a burden on the family, but has to find his place in it. In my view, his haughtiness is a product of years of inferiority complex drilled into his mind by the neglect of Mrs. Earnshaw and her son. However, his soft side was all too evident when he broke down at Catherine's grave. Probably, unrequited love makes people strange, and for Heathcliff, his life was nothing but a steady stream of broken relationships.
Heathcliff, being the illegitimate son of Mr Earnshaw, does seem an interesting possibility for Mrs. Earnshaw's cold attitude towards a small, innocent boy. Though, I believe, that Mrs. Earnshaw hated him, as she viewed him as a possible future rival for her son.