Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Wuthering Heights Party

A Wuthering Heights Theme Party might be the most fun event possible. Maybe you are looking for something different to do this weekend, I am. Ideas for a party featuring the classic English Gothic novel have been swirling through my head all day. But first, some background.

Once upon a time, there was an old dude who's only wish was to rent a cottage for peace and relaxation. Unfortunately, his landlord was a portentous miscreant named Heathcliff and Old Dude ended up stranded in a snowstorm at a terrifying bit of farmland called Wuthering Heights (the name should be warning enough). Old Dude was given a dusty abandoned bedroom and quickly discovered that it was haunted (this pleased Heathcliff greatly because in addition to being a portentous miscreant, he is the most romantic macabre character of all time). Old Dude finally made it back to his rental the next day. Serendipitously, Old Dude's housekeeper, Nelly Dean, had been a servant to all 3 generations of the Wuthering Heights clan and was able to relate their complete history in astonishing detail. Old Dude must have sat and listened for hours.

As for everything else you need to know, it can be learned from the charts below (click on the chart to enlarge). If you have not read the book, relating the remainder of the twisted tale is a lesson in why children should not be named after their parents, it's terribly confusing. Let it be noted, that some cousins get married in this book, but that is far from the most disturbing happening.

Key:
  • black line: son or daughter of; if dotted it means adoption
  • red line: wedding; if double it means second wedding
  • pink line: Relationship
  • blue line: affection
  • green line: hate
  • light yellow area: plot-driving characters
  • violet area: external observers

I first read Wuthering Heights as a teenager, probably as part of my unquenchable thirst to read every piece of classic literature I can get my hands on. It quickly became my favourite book and I have read it many times since. I love the setting, the poetry of Emily Bronte's descriptions. It feels real to me. There is madness in many of the characters, so much so, that I regularly take a "reading break" when Catherine Earnshaw is at peak insanity, perhaps to make sure I don't become insane myself. It becomes too much and I must stop reading, a true testament to an engaging novel. Part of me will always be in love with Heathcliff and part of me will always be terrified of Heathcliff. Wuthering Heights was pivotal for me in understanding that there are motivations behind other people's behaviour that I will never know and never understand. It also taught me that no matter the circumstance, one always has a choice as to what one does with those motivations.

I am sure that it has now become self-evident that Wuthering Heights creates the quintessential party atmosphere. The party could focus on the celebration of passion and cruelty as featured in the novel. Another idea is to celebrate the fact that Emily Bronte's masterpiece was published under a male pseudonym and did not become a success until long after her premature death at the age of 30. Or you could just play this video over and over (one of my mother's favourites, this is very telling of my childhood)...


Wuthering Heights Party Details

Location: Obviously your own home, no need to clean up or decorate. The goal is to feel forgotten and alone.

Guests: No one. Just have in attendance whomever you live with, whether you like them or not. Don't even tell them it's a party, and if they happen to stumble into the party area, be sure to be hateful toward them.

Dress: Period dress is the only acceptable clothing choice, 18th century English dress. Some ideas,



Party Food: Almost enough cake, basin of tea, dirty bread, toast. For more delicious ideas and a definitive ranking of every meal in Wuthering Heights in order of sadness, click here.

Entertainment: Watch any or all adaptations of Wuthering Heights on film, take a drink whenever Hindley is cruel. Or, if it is raining or otherwise miserable outside, have a group walk in the wilderness. Make sure that someone gets lost for a period of time.

Music: Kate Bush or the soundtrack to the wildly unpopular Wuthering Heights musical.

Party Favours: Empty hands and cold hearts. Maybe make heart shaped ice cubes. I couldn't find any ideas on Pinterest.

Wuthering Heights Party at my house this Saturday. I can't wait!

2 comments:

  1. Hahahaha! What an amazing idea. Fantastic post. Love your blog!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Karen. Wish you could come to my party, I just know that you would be in character and it would be hilarious!

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