Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights
2(a) Discuss the significance of the two houses in Wuthering Heights.
The houses; Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, are used by Bronte, to show how the interior of the two homes reflect the consequences of immoderate and excessive emotions. Thrushcross Grange’s interior is described as one of affluence and order as seen in the line ‘a splendid place carpeted with crimson, and crimson-covered chairs and tables and a pure white ceiling bordered by gold….’ However, amidst this affluent calm there is storm as seen in the conflict between the young Isabella and Edgar who have just quarrelled with Isabella ‘shrieking as if witches were running red hot needles into her.’ This place of seeming calm on the surface seethes with anger and jealousy; as does the home of Wuthering Heights. In Wuthering Heights, the interior is plain and primitive but encompassed by energy as seen in the line ‘the chairs, high-backed, primitive structure,…surrounded by a swarm of squealing puppies’. The line emphasises the primitive and stormy interior of the Heights. The storm in this house is also seen in the events that happen to the young Heathcliff who is brought low into servitude by his jealous brother, Hindley Earnshaw, after the death of Heathcliff’s adopted father. The homes become symbols of Bronte’s vision of calm and storm, where their interior acts as complementary symbols of the dangers of too much calm and too much storm. In the end Bronte resolves this question of immoderate calm and imbalanced storm by suggesting that the Grange’s more civilised and affluent calm is emotionally more conducive to grow the love of the children of calm and storm; Hareton and Catherine the second. 2.
Bronte uses the homes as contrasting devices where the Heights show the disturbing intrusion of man-made objects in the pristine world of nature while the Grange would continue to prosper in civilisation. The Heights are exposed to ‘the power of the...
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