For various reasons, I am only just now reading Wuthering Heights for the first time. (Actually, there’s only one reason: I read a few pages as a teenager and found it dreadfully dull.) I have referred to it for years as “the worst love story ever told,” and after re-discovering Kate Bush recently and listening to her song “Wuthering Heights” one million times, I thought maybe it was time to give it a chance.
I was nervous to start, because I assumed it would be like her sister Charlotte’s best known work, Jane Eyre, which is the worst book I have ever loved so many adaptations of. I did not expect Emily’s writing to be so exquisite. I am reading slowly, mostly to savor it but a tiny bit because I forgot to charge my Kindle for a month.
I’m not very far into the book, but so far I’m thinking I was right about hating the love story. Heathcliff is a total jerkface and I hate him. I can kiiiiiiind of understand why “bad boy” is a type that appeals to some women, but I can’t wrap my head around “tortured soul.” He is just not for me.
Here are a few other romantic heroes from the classics whom I would never consider dating:
Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice). I lost count years ago of the number of times I’ve seen people (and products!) express a sentiment along the lines of “you’re my Mr. Darcy” or “I’m looking for my Mr. Darcy.” Um, excuse me? He’s a stuck-up jackass you hate until he white knights for your sister? Okaaaaaay.
Mr. Rochester (Jane Eyre). The dude 1) abused his first wife, who 2) he is still married to, 3) keeps in the attic, and 4) totally lied to you about all of the above. Also he pretends to be a GYPSY FORTUNE TELLER, gaslights you all over the place, and is mean to everyone.
Rhett Butler (Gone with the Wind). I lied, I might date him. ROWR. (Except for the rape thing I guess. Not cool, if technically legal at the time.)
Romeo Montague (Romeo and Juliet). “Oh Rosalind, I love Rosal–hello, HOTTIE ALERT! Juliet. I love Juliet! I WILL KILL FOR JULIET. ALSO I WILL DIE FOR HER. SUCH ROMANCE.” Puke.
I’m sure there are countless other romantic heroes who are utterly unromantic. Add yours below!