When Emily Bronte wrote Wuthering Heights England was going through a time of great change. It?s past agrarian society was changing and the common man was able to obtain wealth. Setting helps us to further understand the conflict between the natural world and cultured humanity, through the two main houses in text, and the social situation on the English Moors. Wuthering Heights uses this time of social unrest to develop the theme of the natural world in conflict with cultured humanity.
An example of the natural world is the house, Wuthering Heights which the text is named after. It is a place of violent emotion inside, and violent weather outside. The narrator, Lockwood describes it through the medium of his diary ?pure bracing ventilation they must have up there.? It is located up on the Yorkshire Moors and away from society, its isolation from the cultured world aides the violence and mistreatment that occurs to its inhabitants. To the reader, the Heights and its inhabitants show the dangers and severe turbulence of the natural world. The Moors, where the Heights is situated shows us the danger and unpredictability of nature. The narrator, Lockwood is caught in a storm ?sky and hills mingled in one bitter whirl of wind and suffocating snow? at the start of the novel and the setting of the moors has a big impact on the story from there hereafter it is a place ?where human beings, like the trees, grow gnarled and dwarfed and distorted by the inclement climate.?
In contrast with the Heights, is the house at Thrushcross Grange which represents cultured humanity. The house is typical of the time, however to Catherine and Heathcliff (from the Heights) the inhabitants seem silly, petted and spoiled. It is described as ?a splendid place carpeted with crimson, and crimson-covered chairs and tables, and a pure white ceiling bordered by gold, a shower of glass-drops hanging in silver chains from the centre, and shimmering with little soft tapers.? and located in a pleasant valley, sheltered from the harshness of nature. This house shows us the upper-class civilised humanity. The Linton?s, who live at the Grange are of a higher-class than Catherine and Heathcliff. The valley in which the Grange is located protects the inhabitants from the raging emotion that is nature. In our first encounter with Thrushcross Grange, we are told that, ?the light came from thence,? and we see Thrushcross Grange as a educated civilised place, filled with books, music and other lovely things.