Wuthering Heights VS Thrushcross Grange = Storm Vs Calm

Essay by DaRkNeO April 2004

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In the novel by Emile Bronte, Wuthering Heights, a strong contrast exist between storm and calm. Wuthering Heights and Thrusscross Grange, illustrate this concept, as they are binary opposites in the story, where Wuthering Heights represents storm, and Thrusscross Grangpe represents calm. The physical characteristics of the two places and the people that reside there are the driving forces for this opposition.

The name of the residence, Wuthering Heights, in itself shows us how this storm is illustrated. "Wuthering" meaning subject to persistent blustery or noisy winds and"Heights"referring to the hill on top of which it resides. There are physical storms described in the book that "[rattle] over the Heights in a full fury"(p. 248), that have "growling thunder, and great drops" (p. 248) . On the night of Mr. Earnshaw's death "a high wind blustered round the house [...] it sounded wild and stormy" (p. 43). The house is described by the author as cruel one, the "narrow windows are deeply set in the wall, and the corners are defended with large jutting stones" (p.

4). Furthermore, there are in the house cruel dogs that bite Mr. Lockwood upon his arrival. These dogs are said to be "robbing [the] wood of pheasants" (p. 328). The vegetation also illustrates the misery of the house, there are "a few stunted firs at the end of the house" (Chapter I) and "a range of gaunt thorns" (p. 4), the word "gaunt" demonstrates effectively the coldness of the house. The physical description of the house makes the reader believe that Wuthering Heights is not a calm place.

Wuthering Heights representing the storm, lodges fierce people. Wuthering Heights is a "perfect misanthropist's heaven" (p. 4). The best example is Heathcliff. He spends most of his life seeking revenge by ruining other people lives. Isabel asks "Is Mr. Heathcliff a man? If so, is he mad? And if not, is he the devil?"(p. 137). He is one of the causes of the death of Catherine, Hindley, Isabella and Linton. He is described to have "black eyes [that] withdraw so suspiciously under their brows" (p. 5). Catherine, whose ghost haunts Heathcliff until he dies, is another resident of Wuthering Heights that is wed to Edgar, but cannot move on from her love from Heathcliff and dies. Hindley the third tenant"neither wept nor prayed" (p. 136). He dies of alcohol poisoning after trying to kill his enemy, Heathcliff. All these characters illustrate the negative atmosphere that subsists in the house.

Thrushcross Grange in contrast is a calm place. It is the opposite of Wuthering Heights. It is a "beautiful, a splendid place carpeted with crimson" (p. 48). The reader encounters a form of happiness that he could otherwise not find at Wuthering Heights. As the Heights is set in a stormy environment, Thrushcross Grange is set in a place that represents calm. The house is set on a valley with "garden trees" and a "wild green park", showing the opposition with Wuthering Heights. The Grange is seen as a beautiful place for those who occupy Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff describes Thrushcross Grange the first time he sees it as "a beautiful, splendid place", that it was "heaven" (p. 48). Unlike Wuthering Heights, Thrushcross Grange is described as a calm, peaceful place.

The occupants of Thrushcross Grange represent calm as well. The Lintons are described having "light hair" and "fair skin"(p. 62). They are a polite and respectable family. Edgar Linton is very gentle, polite and a very loving father. Even after realizing that his wife Catherine is in love with Heathcliff, he continues to love her. Isabella Linton is described as being a calm and pretty girl that however makes the fatal decision of marrying Heathcliff.

These two houses, which are the two main settings of the novel, are constantly being put into contrast. From the beginning of the story the reader is presented with these two opposite places and slowly sees how the storm of Wuthering Heights takes over the calm of the Grange. The novel is based on this contrast between the two houses. The storm of Wuthering Heights, upon the return of Heathcliff from his hiatus, starts to take over. In the end, however, the calm of Thrushcross Grange prevails and good defeats evil.