Setting in Wuthering Heights (By Emily Bronte)

Essay by coonkineHigh School, 10th gradeA+, April 2004

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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description is adjacent to Heathcliff when he is illustrated having, "black eyes withdrawn so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.