Wuthering Heights Essay Research Paper In the

Wuthering Heights Essay, Research Paper

In the novel Wuthering Heights, a story about love turned obsession, Emily Bronte

manipulates the desolate setting and dynamic characters to examine the self-destructive

pain of compulsion. Emily Bronte?s Wuthering Heights is a novel about lives that cross

paths and are intertwined with one another. Healthcliff, a orphan, is taken in by Mr.

Earnshaw, the owner of Wuthering Heights. Mr. Earnshaw has two children named

Catherine and Hindley. Jealousy between Hindley and Healthcliff was always a problem.

Catherine loves Healthcliff, but Hindley hates the stranger for stealing his fathers

affection away. Catherine meets Edgar Linton, a young gentleman who lives at

Thrushcross Grange. Despite being in love with Healthcliff she marries Edgar elevating

her social standing. The characters in this novel are commingled in their relationships

with Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange.

The series of events in Emily Bronte?s early life psychologically set the tone for

her fictional novel Wuthering Heights. Early in her life while living in Haworth, near the

moors, her mother died. At the time she was only three. At the age of nineteen, Emily

moved to Halifax to attend Law Hill School. There is confusion as of how long she

stayed here, suggestions ranging from a minimum of three months to a maximum of

eighteen months. However long, it was here where she discovered many of the ideas and

themes used in Wuthering Heights. Halifax, just like the Yorkshire moors of York, can

be described as bleak, baron, and bare. The moors are vast, rough grassland areas

covered in small shrubbery. The atmosphere that Emily Bronte encompassed herself in

as a young adult, reflects the setting she chose for Wuthering Heights.

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 Thrushcross Grange.

Each house stands alone, in the mist of the dreary land, and the atmosphere creates a

mood of isolation. In Emily Bronte?s novel Wuthering Heights, there are two places

where virtually all of the action takes place. These two places, Wuthering Heights and

Thrushcross Grange differ greatly in appearance and mood. These differences reflect the

universal conflict between storm and calm that Emily Bronte develops as the theme in

her novel Wuthering Heights.

Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange both represent several opposing

properties which bring about all sorts of bad happenings when they clash. For example,

the inhabitants of Wuthering Heights were that of the working class, while those of

Thrushcross Grange were high up on the social ladder. The people of Wuthering Heights

aspired to be on the same level as the Lintons. This is evident by Heathcliff and

Catherine when the peek through their window. In addition, Wuthering Heights was

always in a state of storminess while Thrushcross Grange always seemed calm.

Wuthering Heights, and its surroundings, depicts the cold, dark, and evil side of

life. Bronte chooses well, the language that she uses in Wuthering Heights. Even the

title of her book holds meaning. ?The very definition of the word wuthering may be

viewed as a premonitory indication of the mysterious happenings to be experienced by

those inhabiting the edifice.?1 ?Wuthering Heights, built in 1500, suffers from a kind of

malnutrition: its thorns have become barren, its firs stunted, everything seems to crave for

the ?alms of the sun? that sustain life.?2 This tenebrous home is decorated with

crumbling griffins over the front of the main door.3 Its lack of congeniality and ?warmth

is augmented by stone floors.? 4 The windows are set deep in the wall, and the corners

defended with large jutting stones. Although Wuthering Heights, the land of the storm,

sits high on the barren moorland, ?The world of Wuthering Heights is a world of sadism,

violence, and wanton cruelty.?5

It is the tenants of the Wuthering Heights that bring the storm to the house. The

Earnshaw family, including Heathcliff, grew up inflicting pain on one another. Pinching,

slapping and hair pulling occur constantly. Catherine, instead of shaking her gently,

wakes Nelly Dean, the servant of the house, up by pulling her hair. The Earnshaw

children grow up in a world ?where human beings, like the trees, grow gnarled and

dwarfed and distorted by the inclement climate.?6

Wuthering Heights is parallel to the life of Heathcliff. Both Heathcliff and

Wuthering Heights began as lovely and warm, and as time wore on both withered away

to become less of what they once were. Heathcliff is the very spirit of Wuthering

Heights. Healthcliff is a symbol of Wuthering Heights, the cold, dark, and dismal

dwelling. ?The authors use of parallel personifications to depict specific parts of the

house as analogous to Heathcliff?s face reveal stunning insights into his character.?7

Emily Bronte describes Wuthering Heights having ?narrow windows deeply set in the

wall, and the corners defended with large jutting stones.?8 This description using the

characteristics of Wuthering Heights is adjacent to Heathcliff when he is illustrated

having, ?black eyes withdrawn so suspiciously under their brow.?9 Heathcliff lived in a

primal identification with nature, from the rocks, stones, trees, the heavy skies and

eclipsed sun, which environs him. There is no true separation from the setting of nature

for Heathcliff and the lives with which his life is bound.

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. ?Unlike

Wuthering Heights, it is elegant and comfortable-?a splendid place carpeted with

crimson, and crimson covered chairs and tables, and a pure white ceiling bordered by

gold?.?10 Thrushcross Grange is the appropriate home of the children of the calm.

The atmosphere of Thrushcross Grange illustrates the link the inhabitants have

with the upper-class Victorian lifestyle. Although the Linton?s appearance was often

shallow, appearances were kept up for their friends and their social standing. While

Wuthering Heights was always full of activity, sometimes to the point of chaos, life at the

Grange always seemed placid. Linton?s existence here at Thrushcross Grange was as

?different from Heathcliff?s ?as moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire?.?11The

Linton?s often portrayed themselves as shallow, arrogant people, but life here was much

more jovial than the inmates of Wuthering Heights lives were.

Catherine Earnshaw, also a child of the storm, ties these two worlds of storm and

calm together. Despite the fact that she occupies a position midway between the two

worlds, Catherine is a product of the moors. She belongs in a sense to both worlds and is

constantly drawn first in Heathcliff?s direction, then in Linton?s.

Catherine does not ?like? Heathcliff, but she loves him with all

the strength of her being. For he, like her, is a child of the

storm; and this makes a bond between them, which

interweaves itself with the very nature of their existence. In a

sublime passage she tells Nelly Dean that she loves him-

?not because he?s handsome, Nelly, but because he?s more

myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and

mine are the same, and Linton?s is as different as a moonbeam

from lightning, or frost from fire. . . . My great miseries in this

world have been Heathcliff?s miseries, and I watched and felt

each from the beginning: my great thought in living is himself.

If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to

be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the

universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a

part of it. My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods:

time will change it, I?m well aware as winter changes the trees.

My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a

source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am

Heathcliff! He?s always, always in my mind; not as a pleasure,

any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own


Despite the fact she loves only Heathcliff, she marries Edgar Linton. Catherine

realizes that even though her love or lack of love for Edgar is questionable, she feels that

someday she will learn how to love him. ?Catherine sees that, whatever his faults,

Heathcliff transcends the Lintons? world.?13 ?Catherine?s account of Heathcliff may

appear on the surface to be scarcely more favorable than Linton?s; but it is certain that

she understands him in a way that Linton never could.?14 The bond between Heathcliff

and Catherine was formed long ago during their childhood at Wuthering Heights.

The setting throughout the novel often corresponded with the characters

emotions. It is best symbolized ?in a passage about nature?s obviousness to Heathcliff?s

grief over Cathy?s death. A symbol for tears lurks in the image of ?the dew that had

gathered on the budded branches, and fell pattering round him?.?15 Even though

Heathcliff was a hardened person, Catherine?s death truly devastated him. Heathcliff?s

emotions also corresponded with nature when he disappears into a raging storm after

hearing Catherine say that it would degrade her to marry Heathcliff. Emily Bronte gives

a brief description of Catherine?s actions after it is brought to her attention that Heathcliff

heard what she said. Catherine, going out to the road in search of him, ?where heedless

of my expostulations, and the growling thunder, and the great drops that began to plash

round her, she remained calling, at intervals, and then listening, and then crying

outright.?16 This description symbolizes the relationship and the internal bond that the

characters of Wuthering Heights had with nature.

It is Bronte?s remarkable imagination, emotional power, figures of speech, and

handling of dialect that makes the characters of Wuthering Heights relate so closely with

their surroundings. Emily Bronte?s style of writing is capable of drawing you into the

novel because of her ability to make inanimate objects become the characters of the


The contrast of these two houses adds much to the meaning of this novel, and

without it, the story wouldn?t be the interesting, complex novel it is without the contrast

between Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. The contrast between them is

more than physical, rather these two houses represent opposing forces which are

embodied in their inhabitants. Having this contrast is what brings about the presentation

of this story altogether.

Bronte made Heathcliff and Wuthering Height as one. Both of these being cold,

dark, and menacing similar to a storm. Thrushcross Grange and the Lintons were more a

welcoming and peaceful dwelling. The personality of both is warm and draws itself to

you by the warmth of the decor and richness of the surrounding landscape.


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