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感受文字之美 尽享英语之乐:英语专业学生必读小说20本(图)

http://en.eol.cn  来源:  作者:中国教育在线  2013-07-26    

 

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  8.Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte 《呼啸山庄》艾米莉.勃朗特著

  内容简介······

  This novel is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine's father. Humiliated by Catherine's brother and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, Heathcliff seeks revenge.

  Plot summary

  The novel opens in 1801 with the arrival of Mr. Lockwood, the first narrator,[a] to Thrushcross Grange, a grand house on the Yorkshire moors that he is renting from the unsociable Heathcliff, also master of nearby Wuthering Heights. Visiting the Heights to greet Heathcliff, Lockwood is treated rudely and coldly by its inhabitants, whose relationships with one another he does not understand. After attempting to leave and being attacked by the household's dogs, he is forced to stay overnight. In his overnight room he finds the diary of a girl named Catherine Earnshaw, and learns that she was a close childhood friend of Heathcliff. After falling asleep, Lockwood has a terrifying dream of Catherine's ghost appearing at his window and begging to be let in. As he struggles to keep her out of the room, Heathcliff, awakened by Lockwood's shouts, enters. Upon hearing of Catherine's ghost, Heathcliff asks Mr. Lockwood to leave the room and Lockwood hears him sobbing outside the door saying, "Oh Cathy, please come in."

  The next morning, after returning to Thrushcross Grange, Lockwood asks the housekeeper, Nelly Dean, to tell the story of Heathcliff, Catherine, and Wuthering Heights. Nelly (Ellen) Dean takes over the narration and begins her story thirty years earlier, when Heathcliff, a "gypsy" from the streets of Liverpool, is brought to Wuthering Heights by the then-owner, Mr. Earnshaw, and raised as his own. Both Earnshaw children, Catherine and Hindley, initially resent Heathcliff, however Catherine and Heathcliff become inseperable. Her brother Hindley, continues to hate and physically abuse him, seeing him as an interloper and rival for his father's attention. When Mr. Earnshaw dies three years later, Hindley, by this time married to a woman named Frances, inherits the estate. He brutalises Heathcliff, forcing him to work as a hired hand. Catherine becomes friends with the neighbouring Linton family who live at Thrushcross Grange, who mellow her wild personality. She is attracted to the refined and mild young Edgar Linton, whom Heathcliff instantly dislikes.

  A year later, Hindley's wife dies, apparently of "consumption", shortly after giving birth to a son, Hareton. Hindley takes to drinking and becomes dangerous, at one point dropping Hareton from the stairs into the unassuming arms of Heathcliff. Some two years, Catherine agrees to marry Edgar. Nelly knows that this will crush Heathcliff, and Heathcliff overhears Catherine's explanation that it would be "degrading" to marry him. Heathcliff storms out and leaves Wuthering Heights, not hearing Catherine declaring her love for him: "I am Heathcliff". After realizing Heathcliff has left her, Catherine becomes desperate and is struck down by a fever. Edgar's attentions slowly return Catherine back to health, and some years later she marries him. She lives in apparent happiness for a few months, until Heathcliff returns, intent on destroying those who prevent him from being with Catherine. He has, mysteriously, become very wealthy. Through loans he has made to the drunken and dissipated Hindley that Hindley cannot repay, Heathcliff takes ownership of Wuthering Heights upon Hindley's death. Intent on ruining Edgar, Heathcliff elopes with Edgar's sister Isabella, which places him in a position to inherit Thrushcross Grange upon Edgar's death.

  Catherine is initially very happy at seeing Heathcliff again, but then becomes very ill after a harsh argument with Heathcliff regarding Isabella. They reconcile a few hours before her death, however, reaffirming their feelings for one another. Catherine dies after giving birth to a daughter also named Catherine, or Cathy. Heathcliff becomes more bitter and vengeful towards those around him. Isabella flees her abusive marriage a month later and subsequently gives birth to a boy, Linton. At around the same time, Hindley dies. Heathcliff takes ownership of Wuthering Heights and vows to raise Hindley's son Hareton with as much neglect as he had suffered at Hindley's hands years earlier. Heathcliff chooses to ignore paternal emotions so that he might continue to degrade Hareton as Hindley degraded him, thereby achieving his revenge.

  Twelve years later, the dying Isabella asks Edgar to raise her and Heathcliff's son, Linton. However, Heathcliff finds out about this and takes the sickly, spoiled child to Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff has nothing but contempt for his son, but delights in the idea of him ruling the property of his enemies. Cathy, accompanied by Nelly, and Linton, accompanied by Hareton, meet while Cathy is riding on the moors. Linton treats Hareton, who is illiterate, with equal disrespect and contempt as his father does, believing Hareton to be an imbecile. Nelly is appalled by the state of Hareton, remembering him as a bright, loving toddler. Cathy feels sorry for Linton, who knows his father despises him and is utterly miserable. Heathcliff uses his son to issue Cathy invitations to Wuthering Heights, but Edgar senses a trap and refuses to let Cathy go. Cathy's nature is much sweeter than her mother's and she reluctantly obeys her father. But when she receives news that Linton has fallen ill, she refuses to stay at home and hurries to Wuthering Heights to see if she can be of help. Heathcliff attempts to persuade her to marry Linton. With Linton's health diminishing swiftly, he puts Cathy under house arrest and forces the two to marry. Soon after, Edgar Linton dies, followed shortly by Linton Heathcliff. This leaves Cathy a widow and a virtual prisoner at Wuthering Heights, as Heathcliff has gained complete control of both Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. It is at this point in the narrative that Lockwood arrives, renting Thrushcross Grange from Heathcliff, and hearing Nelly Dean's story. Shocked, Lockwood leaves for London.

  During Lockwood's absence, events, described to him by Nelly upon returning, reach a climax; Cathy gradually softens toward her rough, uneducated cousin Hareton, just as her mother was tender towards Heathcliff. She teaches him to read and he allows her to open up again after becoming so bitter from Heathcliff's brutal treatment. When Heathcliff is confronted by Cathy and Hareton's love, notably Hareton's determination to protect the defiant Cathy from Heathcliff's attacks, he seems to suffer a mental breakdown and begins to see Catherine's ghost. He seemingly abandons his life-long vendetta and dies, having "swallowed nothing for four days". Nelly describes finding Heathcliff's corpse as lying on the bed, stiff with rigor mortis, with the window open and rain pouring in through it, soaking Heathcliff's body. Only Hareton mourns Heathcliff's death. He is buried, according to his wishes, next to Catherine in the graveyard, with Edgar's grave on the other side of Catherine's. Lockwood hastily leaves Nelly and on his walk home visits the graves, noting the peacefulness of the spot.

  《呼啸山庄》是英国杰出的浪漫主义女作家艾米莉·勃朗特唯一的一部长篇小说,被誉为“英国最佳十部小说”之一。 1847年该小说问世之初,并不被世人接受、理解,遭到普遍的冷淡和严厉的贬抑。小说中桀骜不训的人物性格,异乎寻常的炽热爱情,憎恨与复仇意识,完全有悖于“维多利亚”小说的正统观念。但是20世纪以来,随着文学对人性话题的关注,人们逐渐意识到这部小说的艺术独创性,对它的社会和艺术成就的评价日趋提高。

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