The Everlasting Yes

After reading the first half of Wuthering Heights, I came to realize that it was very gloomy and mysterious. The first couples chapters are kind of confusing and there are many different odd characters that the readers have to get to know. It has a somewhat depressing beginning with Mr. Earnshaw and Catherine dying. Usually authors wait until further in the story to kill off characters, but Bronte decides to put them in the first few chapters. Then Bronte adds in the mystery when Lockwood sees the ghost of Catherine Earnshaw. At first, I didn’t get the sense that it was going to be a book on mystery so I was sort of surprised when I read that in Chapter 3. Finally, the first half of the novel ended with doom and despair with Heathcliff’s gradual descent into evil.

Although the first half of Wuthering Heights had a rough start, the second half does seem to turn a corner. Bronte spends most of it supplying chronological information and laying out the differences between the two generations. However, the novel as a whole is starting to end on a note of hope, peace, and joy, with young Catherine’s proposed marriage to Hareton. This aspect of the novel reminds me of Carlyle’s The Everlasting No. In this book, Carlyle states “Man is, properly speaking, based upon Hope, he has no other possession but Hope; this world of his is emphatically the Place of Hope.” Yes, most of the characters seem to have constant conflict in the beginning of the novel and even into the second half, they seem to still be holding onto hope, especially Catherine. After all she has been through, she is still able to stay headstrong, hold onto the possession of hope like Carlyle said, and have a happy ending.

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