Despite the book’s sometimes implausible plot and often melodramatic Characters, virtually all modern critics consider Wuthering Heights a masterpiece of world literature. Indeed, the novel convincingly argues that real-life situations actually seem implausible at times, and that real people often do behave melodramatically, especially when frustrated by the relentless imposition of restrictions made in the name of social progress. Wuthering Heights demands that readers fearlessly attempt to discover those qualities of human nature that, stripped of social pretense, are truly valuable. Furthermore, although the language of the novel is rich and the Themes complex, it is perhaps the most immediately readable of all Victorian novels. Young adults sympathize particularly with the early trials of Heathcliff; with Hindley’s jealousy of his unwelcome foster brother; and with Cathy’s dilemma in choosing between the wildly passionate Heathcliff and the somewhat meek Edgar Linton. Sophisticated readers are further intrigued by the unfolding of Heathcliff’s passions as an adult, and see him not only as a spellbinding character, but also as a symbol of momentous social reformation.

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