Redemption in Wuthering Heights and Tale of Two Cities

2426 Words10 Pages
Redemption in British Literature Though Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, and Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, are novels written in the same era with radical stylistic and genre specific conventional differences, the two novels have quite a bit in common thematically. Both stories throw the reader into confusion at first, leaving them to slowly unravel the past of the characters, which makes the climax of each novel about redeeming their past transgressions, or the transgressions of others. Wuthering Heights is a gothic romance and seems like a response to the literature of Austen while Tale of Two Cities is more of a sentimental novel, meant to inspire feelings about the French Revolution and to describe human nature. These novels focus on groups of people who seem radically different, but there is the common theme of resurrection and redemption. Each novel approaches this theme according to its genre; so while Heathcliff and Cathy’s sins must be redeemed by the next generation, Carton must find redemption for his own life. The way that Bronte and Dickens demonstrate how characters can be redeemed and “recalled to life,” illustrates how different these books are yet simultaneously unites them as pieces of literature that strive to further understand the nature of man. Tale of Two Cities deals largely with the resurrection and redemption of people on an individual level while Wuthering Heights resurrects characters, but shows that redemption can be on a generational level as well. Redemption and resurrection would have been especially important themes to readers at the time that Bronte and Dickens were writing simply because life was very different in the 1800’s. People typically didn’t have the opportunities that they have today, such as social mobility and the chance to marry outside of their social rank. As a reaction to the realities of a crueler
Open Document