Emily Brontë: "Treachery and violence are spears pointed at both ends"

The English author's words resonate today as violent regimes reign across the globe and the United States grapples with the findings of the Senate torture report.

Emily Brontë (1818-1848) was an English novelist and poet whose only novel, Wuthering Heights, is concerned a classic in the British literary canon. Together with sisters Charlotte and Anne, the Brontës are considered one of the great families of literary tradition, though one of the major reasons for their fame is that none of the six Brontë siblings lived to see 40. This tragedy is likely attributable to unsanitary water sources near the family home. 


The following quote, spoken by the character Isabella Linton in Wuthering Heights, is one that is so steeped in moral universalism that it transcends time. It's certainly resonant in the wake of current events: from terrorist violence in the Middle East and abroad to the U.S. Senate torture report released this month.

"Treachery and violence are spears pointed at both ends — they wound those who resort to them worse than their enemies."

-from Wuthering Heights, the character Isabella Linton (Ch. XVII).

(h/t Wikiquote)

Got a question for a real NASA astronomer? Ask it here!

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller is coming back to Big Think to answer YOUR questions! Here's all you need to know to submit your science-related inquiries.

Surprising Science

Big Think's amazing audience has responded so well to our videos from NASA astronomer and Assistant Director for Science Communication Michelle Thaller that we couldn't wait to bring her back for more!

And this time, she's ready to tackle any questions you're willing to throw at her, like, "How big is the Universe?", "Am I really made of stars?" or, "How long until Elon Musk starts a colony on Mars?"

All you have to do is submit your questions to the form below, and we'll use them for an upcoming Q+A session with Michelle. You know what to do, Big Thinkers!

Keep reading Show less

The value of owning more books than you can read

Or how I learned to stop worrying and love my tsundoku.

(Photo from Wikimedia)
Personal Growth
  • Many readers buy books with every intention of reading them only to let them linger on the shelf.
  • Statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb believes surrounding ourselves with unread books enriches our lives as they remind us of all we don't know.
  • The Japanese call this practice tsundoku, and it may provide lasting benefits.
Keep reading Show less

Take the Big Think survey for a chance to win :)

Calling all big thinkers!

  • Tell us a little bit about where you find Big Think's videos, articles, and podcasts.
  • Be entered for a chance to win 1 of 3 Amazon gift cards each worth $100.
  • All survey information is anonymous and will be used only for this survey.
Keep reading Show less