Civilization vs. Wilderness in Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights is a story full of symbols, themes and motifs among which we can also encounter the opposition between civilization and wilderness. 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 desolate moors, one by the name of Wuthering Heights, and the other by the name of Thrushcross Grange. Each house stands alone 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. However, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, differ greatly from each other in appearance and atmosphere. These differences reflect the universal conflict between the storm and calm that Emily Bronte develops as the theme in the novel. This paper analyzes the way the above introduced opposition is representative for the two estates in the story: Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange as well as for their owners: Heathcliff and the Lintons.
From the very beginning, the writer identifies Wuthering Heights with Heathcliff, although the estate had previously belonged to Mr. Earnshaw, the man who gave to Heathcliff a family, the latter being an orphan.
“,Wuthering Heights is the name of Mr. Heathcliff's dwelling, "wuthering" being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather.”,
As Emily Bronte bluntly puts it, the estate’,s name can be related to a changeable character, the use of the noun “,tumult”, expressing more than it might seem at first sight. It gives the impression of a dynamic character, accustomed to do its way, very impulsive and sometimes savage.
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’,s when he is illustrated having, "black eyes withdrawn so suspiciously under their brow."
Thrushcross Grange, in contrast to the unwelcoming farmhouse on the heights, is situated in the valley with none of the harsh features of Heathcliff's home. Opposite to Wuthering Heights, Thrushcross Grange is filled with light and warmth. It...