Innovative Literary Analysis / Literary Reimaginings

Wuthering Heights would be better if Heathcliff had a tiny man who lived on his shoulder and said ‘Here We Go Again!’ whenever something crazy happened

Wuthering Heights is a classic of literature, and rightly so. Its themes of how adopting an unstable sociopath into your family makes you seem cool, and how alcohol is the only way to survive being an English person remain as relevant today as they ever were.

But Wuthering Heights is far from a perfect book.

Heathcliff often seems alien, his cruel actions arbitrary, and so he remains beyond the comprehension of the reader. Without somebody to root for, it’s difficult to establish a connection with the novel. Also, Wuthering Heights has no comic relief. Like, at all. Unless you find Nelly funny, but you shouldn’t because she’s terrible. They’re all terrible.

In my opinion, every single one of these problems could be solved by including a tiny friend for Heathcliff who lives on his shoulder and wisecracks about all of the crazy stuff that happens in the novel. This tiny sidekick could provide some grounding for Heathcliff’s actions, and inject some much needed humour into the proceedings.

For example, when Heathcliff is first brought home to (I don’t remember what the house is called), we don’t really know what he’s thinking. But, with his tiny shoulder friend, imagine how much easier his actions would be to understand!

‘Woah, Heathmeister General. This house is super rad.’ said the tiny man who lived on Heathcliff’s shoulder. ‘Hey did you meet our foster sister Cathy? She’s kind of annoying, right?’
‘I love Cathy.’ said Heathcliff. ‘That’s my one thing now.’
‘Heathcliff!’ the small man whined. ‘You need to play the field, man. Nobody gonna hold down the Heathdawg, you know what I’m saying?’
‘Also, you’re a demon or some shit. She isn’t going to marry you. What happens if she rejects you?’
Heathcliff shrugged. ‘I guess I’ll take revenge on everyone, because I’m kind of an asshole.’
The tiny man laughed for an awkwardly long time. ‘Here we go again!’ he said.

As you can see, Heathcliff is now a lot more understandable to the reader. He loves Cathy, which is never made clear in the novel, and he likes revenge because he is an asshole. He says as much to his tiny shoulder guy.

The nature of that revenge is never made clear, however. Later, he marries Isabella when he doesn’t even like her, an otherwise perplexing move. Is that part of the revenge? The novel doesn’t say. But with his tiny friend, it is finally explained.

‘Yo Heathey.’ called the small man who lived on Heathcliff’s shoulder. ‘I hear you’re marrying Isabella. Well done. She is hot.’
‘It’s all revenge!’ laughed Heathcliff.
The tiny shoulder stooge sighed. ‘Everything is revenge with you, H-Bomb. Why can’t we go out, get some hot lady action? I’ll buy the drinks.’
‘The tiny shoulder people have no concept of currency.’ Heathcliff pointed out.
‘Oh. Right. Yeah.’
‘Besides, I’m planning to kill Isabella’s dog!’ laughed Heathcliff. ‘I’ve written vows on that point, and will sing that old hymn, ‘I’m going to kill your dog Isabella’ at our wedding. It’ll be ever so much fun!’
‘Holy macaroni!’ gasped tiny shoulder elf. ‘That’s sure to make for an awkward brunch conversation.’
‘I don’t even care.’ snickered Heathcliff. ‘We’re gonna do it small sidekick who lives on my shoulder. We’re going to win at Wuthering Heights.’
‘Here we go again!’ laughed the tiny man.

As can clearly be seen here, the addition of the tiny man who lives on Heathcliff’s shoulder is vital to understanding what is going on here. Heathcliff is an asshole, and as such, acts like an asshole.

I don’t want to belabour the point, but one more example is needed. The relationship between Heathcliff and Cathy is ambiguous as hell, and nobody knows what is going on. But with the tiny man on his shoulder, the scene of Heathcliff’s final meeting with Cathy is so much more effective.

‘I love you Cathy.’ said Heathcliff. ‘That’s why I killed Isabella’s dog.’
‘You killed a dog?’ gasped Cathy. ‘Jesus, you’re a monster.’
‘You should have lied about the dog killing thing Freaky-Heathy.’ whispered the tiny man who lived on Heathcliff’s shoulder. ‘Chicks don’t dig men who act in a way that suggests they’re a budding serial killer.’
‘Ok, I didn’t kill the dog.’ said Heathcliff.
‘Oh Heathcliff, I love you!’ said Cathy.
‘I love you too!’ cried Heathcliff.
And then Cathy died.
‘Here we go again!’ laughed the tiny guy.

With tiny shoulder man in the mix, the nonsensical motivations of the idiots who populate the novel now seem slightly less confusing (though no less idiotic). Cathy and Heathcliff, who, up until this point, had no chemistry, are suddenly a romantic item for the ages if you have a very very messed up idea of romance. And Heathcliff’s bizarre actions later on also make sense. He did it for revenge! Though that does not explain why he kills a dog. I mean seriously, what the hell?

So there we have it. I have unequivocally proved my point that Wuthering Heights would be the greatest book ever if only they’d added a small man who lived on Heathcliff’s shoulder and said ‘Here we go again!’ whenever something crazy happened. If you liked my opinion piece, then please, feel free to give to my kickstarter to rewrite the book with the tiny man. Otherwise, thanks for now! And may God be with you.

Here we go again!

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