Friday, 5 December 2008
Victors to their spoils
Congratulations... Jane Eyre!
To be honest, I had a suspicion that the vote would swing that way. Jane Eyre received 23 votes, Wuthering Heights only 10, with a couple abstentions. This time my vote isn't the deciding one, as it was to put Dickens over Hardy, but I still can't come to a quick decision...
I suppose I should have phrased it differently. If I was asked which novel I favoured, it would be Jane Eyre. If I had to choose which novel I thought was better, it is unquestionably Wuthering Heights. In terms of writing ability, especially the way in which passion is presented, I think WH is one of the best novels I've ever read. But I hated it. Or, rather, I hated Heathcliff so much that I was unable to enjoy the novel - the book is filled with hatred and the powerful, passionate force it can have.
JE on the other hand... I confess I don't know why it's so popular. Good, yes, but... I couldn't see anything more than good. Mr. Rochester is a man who (erm, spoiler ahead, for those who don't know) tries to lie to marry illegally, keeps a wife imprisoned in the attic, dresses up as a gypsy to fool Jane... but at least he doesn't go around hanging dogs. I know these novels have merits far and above their romantic aspects, but they are still renowned for those - will someone please explain to me what is remotely appealing about Heathcliff or Mr. Rochester?! Perhaps I'm destined not to understand...
I'm going to vote for secret option no.3 - Agnes Grey. If I'm forced to choose one of the other novels, I'll pick Wuthering Heights - out of admiration rather than adoration.