Character Review: Isabella Linton

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about Emily Bronte’s classic novel, Wuthering Heights. Read at your own risk if you are unfamiliar with the either book or the various adaptations.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Wuthering Heights to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

Not everyone can have their happy ending. Some of us, no matter how much we try, will never be able to walk into the proverbial sunset. In Wuthering Heights, Isabella Healthcliff (nee Linton) is Catherine Linton’s (nee Earnshaw) sister-in-law. When Heathcliff comes back into Catherine’s life a couple of years after she has married Edgar, Isabella develops a crush on Heathcliff. Why shouldn’t she? He is handsome, wealthy and in every sense of the word, eligible. Isabella is single, of age to marry and ready to marry.

The problem is that neither Catherine or Heathcliff have gotten over each other. Isabella becomes a pawn in their relationship. Running away with Heathcliff, they elope and Isabella is cut off from her brother. She will soon learn about the darker side of her husband. When she can no longer live with Heathcliff, she leaves hims and takes their young son, Linton to London.  She dies young,  hoping to leave her son in her brother’s care. But her husband wants his son back.

To sum it up: While we all wish for a happy ending, both on page with our characters and in our lives as human beings, we  may not get that happy ending. Isabella is unfortunately a character whose happy ending is not what she envisioned. But she does one thing that makes her ending stand out: instead of staying with her abusive husband, she leaves him and takes their son with him.

In 19th century Victorian England, this was a brave choice that is a small, but pivotal change in the way happy endings are portrayed. So in a way, Isabella got her happy ending, but it was on her own terms. In that sense, Bronte flipped the standard happy ending narrative on its ear, creating a new happy ending. If a writer is looking to clear up the loose ends of their story with a happy ending, why not change that ending? Flip that happy ending on it’s ear, make the story even more memorable and leave the reader wanting more.


Healthcare Is A Right, Not A Priviledge

If I were to compile a list of the important things in life, my health and the health of my family would be high on that list.

When Jimmy Kimmel’s son was born a few months ago with a congenital heart defect, he spoke to the audience not as a comedian and talk show host, but as a father who not only realized how lucky he was to have health insurance for him and his family, but also how precarious the health insurance system in America is.

Last night, during his monologue, he spoke of the bill being drafted by Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham.

Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Regardless of our income or employment status, we all have the right to not just healthcare, but quality healthcare.

The bill proposed by Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham is wrong on many levels. And of course, the irony is that while they are proposing to remove millions of Americans from the healthcare system, they will get healthcare for life because of their position.

I urge every one of my American readers to call their senators and urge them to vote no on this bill. We have a right to a voice in our government, it’s about time we used it.

Early Throwback Thursday Post-The Hour (2011-2013)

From the perspective of someone watching the news at home on the television, it seems like everything is smooth sailing. But like everything in life once the curtain is pulled back, what appears to be smooth sailing is actually rough waters.

The Hour aired for two seasons on BBC America. Starring Romola Garai, Ben Whishaw and Dominic West, The Hour was a behind the scenes look at a 1950’s news program in Britain. Integrating the chaos of running a daily news program with the chaos of the character’s private lives, The Hour was a fascinating drama that captivated viewers. Unfortunately, like many shows who are not given the chance to last, The Hour was only on the air for two years. Led by show-runner Abi Morgan (whose film credits include Shame and Suffragette), The Hour had potential, but the network did not see it that way.

I really enjoyed this show. It had great writing, great acting and contained a cast of British actors that Austen fans and fans of British drama will easily recognize.

I recommend it.

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