If we read Catherine's dismissal as the climax of the novel, everything that takes place thereafter is falling action. Henry's proposal is quickly tendered to Catherine when he arrives in Fullerton, and we do not get to read the exchange between Catherine and Henry as they get engaged; the narrator sums up the transaction in a few lines. The tone of the last two chapters suggests that the marriage of Henry and Catherine is a foregone conclusion, a loose end that the author needs to tie up. The narrator makes the frank statement that Henry did not become attracted to Catherine until after he realized she was attracted to him, a circumstance "dreadfully derogatory of an heroine's dignity." In short, the marriage is not nearly as important as Catherine's personal progression. The marriage seems almost a happy ending tacked on to placate the reader. The true journey of the novel is Catherine's coming of age.