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Books Like Wuthering Heights

Instructor: Jason Lineberger

Jason has 20 years of education experience including 14 years of teaching college literature.

'Wuthering Heights' contains many elements that will spark the imaginations of readers. It blends romance, the Gothic, and suspense. Here is a list of books that have similar qualities in terms of theme and genre.

Wuthering Heights

Emily Brontë's novel Wuthering Heights, set in 1800s England, tells the story of passionate love, treachery, revenge, and jealousy. It's a novel that deals with issues around social class, money, the potentially harmful effects of love, and even ghosts! It has a complex plot that weaves a tangled web of relationships between the main characters. It's also the story of the rise of Heathcliff, a homeless orphan who gains wealth and power and who becomes an intriguingly complex character, drawing the reader's sympathy or disgust, depending on the situation. The books below contain some similar themes, plot structures, or genre conventions. All of these books would be good next steps for readers intrigued by Wuthering Heights.

Jane Eyre

Emily's sister Charlotte Brontë penned this book that at the time was widely considered the better novel. Jane Eyre tells the story of the title character, an orphan, and her subsequent trials as she progresses from abused schoolgirl to living in an opulent manor (much like Heathcliff's journey). The book is a coming-of-age story that follows Jane through her life, and since it's written from Jane's perspective, the reader gains a close understanding of her worldview in a way that was previously only done in poetry. Like Wuthering Heights this book has more twists and turns than a roller coaster. If your students enjoyed the less-than-perfect love stories in Wuthering Heights, they'll glory in the ones in Jane Eyre - relationships that, if they happened today, would be ripe for the modern afternoon talk show. There's even a hint of ghosts! Bonus - Jane Eyre takes on social class and the role of women in a patriarchal society.

Great Expectations

If your students got into the character of Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights they'll probably like Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Brontë's novel follows Heathcliff from humble beginnings to his rise to power, and in the same way Dickens takes his character, Pip, on a journey from his working class home to his entry to upper class society and his eventual fall. Readers who are bothered by the moral ambiguity of Wuthering Heights will find Great Expectations easier to read. While Pip has his flaws, he's more likable than Heathcliff, and in general Dickens's characters are more easily identified as good or evil. Dickens does incorporate themes about social class and the effects of wealth. More optimistically, Dickens shows that people can undergo a moral decline, but even those who lose their way can find it again and be redeemed.

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