EVANSTON, IL—In yet another example of the increasingly polarized cultural landscape, a new poll released Wednesday by Northwestern University found that Americans continue to be fiercely divided along Charlotte Brontë–Emily Brontë lines. “Emily still has a strong base in the heartland, but attributing her support to geography alone is an oversimplification,” said polling expert Molly Duffy, who explained that age especially now plays an important factor in Brontë identification with younger generations preferring Jane Eyre author Charlotte Brontë by a two-to-one margin. “We are also seeing Emily struggle in urban areas where people don’t seem to appreciate the ‘dog whistle’ of an affable character like Heathcliff returning from the city consumed by greed and spite. Then again, some progressives remain uncomfortable with Charlotte’s handling of mental illness via attic incarceration. It’s very much a mixed bag.” At press time, researchers confirmed that the least surprising result of the poll was that the majority of Maine’s population strongly preferred Anne.
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