A Letter To Emily Bronte

I wonder how you’d fare in today’s society. You barely crossed the threshold of your home, so I’ve heard. They’d likely call you more than a recluse, you’d be considered downright anti-social. But I understand what it’s like to find fortitude in the familiar, peace in a private world, and solace in your own singularity. I envy your life of solitude, how you spent your time wandering the vast and sprawling hillsides of northern England, only to come home to the company of your books, your papers, and your siblings.

Ironic how you thought your novel a failure…what would you say today if you knew that you made literary history? In fact, you’ve helped define it. What would you say if you knew that your story would still give birth to new theories and revelations to this day? No one has concretely cracked the code that you entwined in your characters.

I know you paid out of pocket to get your story published because no one would accept your supposedly radically crude plot. I even read somewhere that the money you paid would be equivalent to over five thousand dollars today.

If anything I just want you to know, that I know, that Wuthering Heights was no quaint love story. But rather, you wrote a tale of the human condition; the pain that can be had in self-identity. That palpable sorrow that is present when you try to hold on to that innocently nostalgic spark of self-recognition in a world that beckons you to forget the deepest parts of yourself. I suppose I’d want you to know most of all that I understood what you meant when Catherine lost her mind. Her psyche was fractured, and she lost who she was in the end…if she ever even had herself at all. I know Catherine wasn’t meant to be understood as the merely innocent girl, and I know that Heathcliff was no monster. How funny how the majority of people think that this is the case. I suppose it goes to show how intelligent you were, for you’re still fooling people to this day. Your story is an entity within itself. I could analyze the moors of your mind forever.

But thoughts of death don’t plague me as they plagued you. I suspect that’s due to the fact that death was always a powerful force in your life, a threatening force that impeached your image of life to the point where it darkened your mind. You lost your mother when you were three, your two eldest sisters died when you were young, and I think it was Charlotte who said you died from a broken heart after you lost your brother, Branwell. If I lost one of my sisters, I’m sure it could potentially kill me too.

Something that has always stuck out in my mind about you is how you knew everyone. You knew of people outside your family in the most personal way, as if you couldn’t help but become familiarized of their circumstances and their quandaries. Yet, you kept them at a distance. They would have never guessed you knew so much about them. I’ve always been so intrigued by that. It’s almost like you couldn’t help but notice every minute detail around you. I hate to say I relate to that, but I do. It is indeed a surreal thing to realize that you’re someone who puts yourself on the outside, in isolation…but somehow you were made to see the way the world’s wheel spins.

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