Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë | The Human Predicament

The main reason that classics are classics is because they delve deep into the human soul. They expose the human predicament.

I had postponed reading Wuthering Heights because I considered it a gloomy, dark tale. It is! The only sane characters in the book are the narrators. But as a superb classic (it has plot and prose that makes the book hard to put down, and even love after death) it shows  the scourge of humanity at work, a psychotic egomania controls most of the characters. 

Let me tell you, as far as vengeance is concerned, Heathcliff can make The Count of Monte Cristo look like a toddler. And Catherine is such a selfish, spoiled bitch that she betrays Heathcliff to keep her status, but intends to keep both men. Ah! the right recipe for tragedy, the ego at work; there is not a single character (except for Nelly, the main narrator and Earnshaw, who adopts Heathcliff) who has anybody but themselves in mind. To defend the book you can say that the characters are strong―such heights of passion in them . . . and such is life, isn’t it? Precisely, such is the predicament of humankind: as long as the ego holds the baton such is life, our dream becomes a nightmare. 

And the collective ego impels the human race to follow its dictums, its program—the matrix. Once that program is implemented it is quite easy for a few to control the rest as long as they know how the program works. When we lose our virtue we are easy prey for vipers. Be aware!

Unexpectedly, the book has a happy ending, for Catherine’s daughter (Cathy), and Hareton (who had been wronged and diminished by Heathcliff) excel to restore sanity to Wuthering Heights.

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