The setting used throughout the novel Wuthering Heights helps to set the mood to describe
the characters. We find two households separated by the cold, muddy, and barren moors, one by
the name of Wuthering Heights, and the other by the name of Thrushcross Grange. Each house
stands alone, in the mist of the dreary land, and the atmosphere creates a mood of isolation. In the
novel, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange are the two places where virtually all of the
action takes place.
Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, differ greatly from each other in appearance
and mood. These differences reflect the universal conflict between the storm and calm, that Emily
Bronte develops as the theme in the novel. Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange both
represent several opposing properties. The residents of Wuthering Heights were that of the
working class, while those of Thrushcross Grange were higher on the social ladder.
The people of
Wuthering Heights aspired to be on the same level as the Lintons. This is evident when Heathcliff
and Catherine peek through their window. In addition, Wuthering Heights is always in a state of
storminess and its surroundings depict the cold, dark, and evil side of life, while Thrushcross
Grange always seems calm. Emily Bronte describes Wuthering Heights as having "narrow
windows deeply set in the wall, and the corners defended with large jutting stones." This
description is adjacent to Heathcliff when he is illustrated having, "black eyes withdrawn so
suspiciously under their brow."
Thrushcross Grange, in contrast to the bleak exposed farmhouse on the heights, is situated
in the valley with none of the grim features of Heathcliff's home. Opposite of Wuthering Heights,
Thrushcross Grange is filled with light and warmth. It is the appropriate home of the children of
the calm. While Wuthering Heights was always full of activity, sometimes to the point of chaos.
Linton's existence at Thrushcross Grange was as "different from Heathcliff's 'as moonbeam from
lightning, or frost from fire'."
It is Bronte's remarkable imagination, emotional power, and figures of speech, is what
makes the characters of Wuthering Heights relate so closely with their surroundings. The contrast
between the houses is more than physical, rather these two houses represent the people which are
living in them. Bronte made Heathcliff and Wuthering Height as one, by making both of them
cold, dark, and menacing, similar to a storm. She also made Thrushcross Grange parallel with the
Lintons, which was more of a welcoming and peaceful setting. The personality of both of the
houses are warm and helps draw in the reader. The contrast of these two houses adds much to the
meaning of this novel, and without it, the story would not be the interesting, complex novel it is.