Wuthering Heights Essay

1194 words - 5 pages

Presently, society is constructed in such a way that the upper class and the lower class cannot work to change places unless they are extremely fortunate. The ladder of society has always existed in this manner, and many authors have chosen to explore what pushing the constraints of a set society will do. In Wuthering Heights, a novel by Emily Brontë, the social constraints of the community in which the characters live, are constantly being pushed as the characters change social classes, through marriage and hard work, and in the treatment of other characters. The actions are often motivated by a superficial impression; many interactions between the characters are based on the influence of ...view middle of the document...

Earnshaw brings home this disheveled orphan from the streets, the family begins to worry how this will affect their social life. “Mrs. Earnshaw was ready to fling it out of doors.” Mrs. Earnshaw is judging the child based on how it looks, as well as how it behaves in the first few seconds she met him. Due to this impression, everyone in the Earnshaw household treats him differently due to his lower class-ranking. As Heathcliff is an outsider in the family, though he is favored by Mr. Earnshaw, he is still distrusted and scorned by all of the other members, and their neighbors. “[Mr. Earnshaw] lets her grow up in absolute heathenism.” The Lintons, who are a higher middle class family, treat Heathcliff as a “heathen” due to his lower class status. In contrast, Catherine Earnshaw was treated in a manner that was similar to a titled lady when she is resting her injured ankle at the Linton house, as she was in the same social class as them. This was noted by Heathcliff, “She was a young lady, and they made a distinction between her treatment and mine.” Brontë utilizes imagery to develop the symbols of the houses to contrast the characters that lived in the respective houses.
Wuthering Heights, where Heathcliff resides, is an old stone house with bare interior furnishings, which indicates that the owner of the house is a member of the lower class, and thus has furnished his house in a manner that he can afford. “The apartment and furniture would have been nothing extraordinary as belonging to a homely, northern farmer.” This shows that Heathcliff still thinks in the manner of a lower-class person rather than a person in his current socio-economic class. However, Heathcliff, who has earned his fortune, has the money to decorate his house in an appropriate manner for his class, but chooses not to change the gloomy mood of his abode. Thrushcross Grange, the place the Mr. Lockwood rents and the home of the Lintons 30 years ago is open and more exposed to sunlight, which indicates that they are a family of sophistication and are sophisticated. In the scene where Catherine gets injured by the Linton’s dog, Heathcliff states “We saw - ah! It was beautiful! - a splendid place carpeted with crimson and crimson-covered chairs and tables, and a pure white ceiling bordered gold, a shower of glass drops hanging in silver chains from the center, and shimmering with little soft tapers.” The interior decorations of each house represent the personality of the people that live in the house....

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