Significance of Setting

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Significance of Setting

By | November 2012
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In Emil Brontë's novel "Wuthering Heights" the two main residences, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, are both grand, wealthy houses lying near the wild, Yorkshire moors, "completely removed from the stir of society" (pg1). Besides these similarities though, they are almost exact opposites. Wuthering Heights is associated with passion, nature and the elemental whereas Thrushcross Grange epitomises civilisation, peace and order. The characteristics of both abodes are also evident in their respective residents. I will examine the distinct differences in their interior and exterior appearance as well as their inhabitants.

A first difference is the location and exterior of the two residences. Wuthering Heights is built on high ground where it is subjected to severe storms. It is ?strong?, its ?narrow windows are deeply set in the wall? (pg2). The front is decorated by ?grotesque carving(s)? displaying a ?wilderness of crumbling griffins? (pg2). All the above depict Wuthering Heights as unwelcoming, rugged, gloomy yet natural and elemental.

Thrushcross Grange on the other hand lies in a pleasant, sunlit valley below the moors where it is sheltered from adverse weather. It is surrounded by a walled park with well-kept gardens. Flowerpots decorate the windows, which are ?only half closed? by the curtains emitting a warm, amiable light (pg43). These features give the impression of a civilised, sophisticated, serene house.

Apart from the exterior contrasts, the interior of the two households is also profoundly different. The furniture at Wuthering Heights is primitive: a ?vast oak dresser? and ?high-backed? chairs (pg3), meat and guns hang from the roof and Lockwood discovers a ?heap of dead rabbits? (pg8) ? further signs of nature but also of violence and danger. The huge fireplace ?glow(s) delightfully in the radiance of an immense fire? (pg7). This symbolises power, danger, uncontrollability and, foremost, passion. The dogs kept at Wuthering Heights...
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