Both books are considered to be of the gothic genre and having being written in the same household I could hardly imagine the tension and competitive nature that may have played a big part in the realtionships between the Bronte sisters. Also, a third and lesser-known sister, Anne Bronte had a novel released around the same time. I hardly think it's fair to compare sisters, but now having seen many articles of the sort and finding an opinion of my own on the subject I realise that another opinion is of little matter when there are so many circulating the blogosphere on the subject.
I read "Jane Eyre" first, which definitely makes me biased against the next novel reguardless of which is better. "Jane Eyre" was so good that for something to beat it it would have to be much better, Monstrously so. Comparing "Jane Eyre" to other Victorian novels like "Oliver's Twist" and "Sense and Sensibility" I found the quality of the writing to be so much more advanced and the story-line to be new and individualistic. It was so unexpected because I had heard all these great things about other Victorian novels that this one seemed to be the wallflower of classic literature. Low expectations always seem to make for an interesting read.
The whole plot of "Jane Eyre" seemed so different and new to me even though it was an aged story. The beginning seemed a little predictable with the hard-done-by child and reminded me somewhat of "Oliver Twist" and musicals like "annie", but the rest of the novel saw a determined woman who saves herself and her beloved, much unlike many stories which require a "Prince charming" or "fairy godmother" to save the day. I really think this is where the book won my heart. That and the awkward characters which are so honestly alike normal human beings and unlike fake rehearsed ones seen in movies and in cheap romance novels.
The characters too were unique in the fact that they were not beautiful characters, but average and possibly even considered ugly by some. By creating characters like these Charlotte Bronte has shown that you don't need to be stereotypically beautiful to be loved and that everyone is beautiful in their own way. I think this is a great message to put in a novel because it makes readers feel more secure about themselves and because it is true.
"Jane Eyre" is a big favourite of mine and I rated it 5/5 on my shelfari page. I am always recommending this book to people and comparing other Victorian novels alongside. This book literally convinced me to try out some other books by this author and to take an interest in the author's life.
"Wuthering Heights" on the other hand was a bit of a disappointment. Now before you get all nasty about it hear me out. I know that I was biased and I had high expectations, but considering the great reviews that people were giving this book how could I not?
This novel showed a lot of potential and had some very promising ideas. The idea of telling a story through the eyes of a bystander was really cool. It made the novel seem like a really interesting Victorian gothic gossip session. And it was, minus the interesting aspect. I found that the novel dragged on through the entire duration and that there was no notification of a swapping of narrators when they changed mid-chapter.
The quality of the writing was nowhere near the standard of Jane Austen, let alone Charlotte Bronte. I felt that it was possibly too victorian and was a struggle to understand sometimes because of all the heavy words that I(the reader) was bogged down in. Also there were many instances where a housekeeper or servant would be speaking in an uneducated manner in the novel, where the writer had written it in that manner. It was very poorly done and took a while to decipher. This really made me lose interest in the book.
I thought the fact that Heathcliff was actually a gypsy child, was very very interesting and that the mannerisms of his household were very wild and eccentric. These things added to the gothic feel of the novel.
The story-line was very different to "Jane Eyre" in the aspect that Jane was the hero. "Jane Eyre" is almost considered a feminist novel compared with the barbaric and male-chauvinist characters in "Wuthering Heights".
Overall I gave "Wuthering Heights" 3/5 stars. I think the novel is really overrated. It was interesting and had some pretty quirky ideas, but compared to "Jane Eyre", "Wuthering Heights" just isn't worth the read.
Your Favourite Blogger,