Many authors use contrasting settings in order to enhance literary work. Whether it is the sun versus the rain or Othello versus Iago, never has there been any opposing force similar to Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, creates a powerful contrast which further heightens the dynamic theme of good versus evil. Through powerful symbolism, abundant diction, and intoxicating personification, Bronte manipulates the mysterious setting and potent characters in order to illustrate the meaning of the author’s remarkable work.
Wuthering Heights is the dwelling of Hindley, Heathcliff, and Catherine that experiences commotion during stormy weather, hence the significant adjective: Wuthering. The mansion stands alone, only companioned by dreary, muddy moors, creating a mood of dark isolation. Bronte’s use of diction in the description of Wuthering Heights makes the mansion seem almost demonic. It possessed “a quantity of grotesque carving lavished over the front”, and a “villainous” collection of guns. It is depicted as a “pervading spirit of neglect”, accompanied by cruel canines and uninviting dwellers.
Bronte cleverly has Wuthering Heights reflect its inhabitants. Hindley had a stormy attitude and “bred bad feeling in the house”. He had “bad ways and bad companions” and possessed a “tyrannical and evil” persona. While Hindley held negative traits so did Heathcliff. The Byronic hero “showed no lights from within”; his eyes were “full of black fire”. “Ferocity lurked yet in the brows” and the tortured lover possessed a “source of trouble”. Catherine, the selfish ignorant beauty, had a “naughty spirit. Always thinking of herself, she was “mischievous and wayward” and “plagued” her peers. Edgar and Isabella Linton, both inferior in all ways, resemble Thrushcross Grange. Edgar is gently bred, spoiled, and emotionally weak. Isabella is naïve, innocent, and said to have “keen feelings”. Bronte purposely gives more of a description of Wuthering Heights then of Thrushcross Grange in order to illustrate the theme: good versus evil. The power of good can not overcome the power of evil in the gothic novel. Wuthering Heights, being the dark house which holds misery and pain, is overly described and holds more attention than Thrushcross Grange, the peaceful, beautiful dwelling in the valley. Bronte also has Wuthering Heights set on a hill to assert the dominance it has over Thrushcross Grange, which is lower geographically. As well as the settings, the characters and tenants enhance the theme. Heathcliff and Catherine are both selfish in their love. They blame each other for their heartbreak and slowly, in the process, hurt themselves. However, their passion for each other is stronger than the relationship Catherine has with Edgar. Even in the afterlife, Heathcliff is “seen” with a woman, most likely Catherine. Heathcliff, the vengeful, cruel, anguished soul, has the love from Catherine. Heathcliff, the evil one, triumphs over Edgar, the good one. The opposed Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange are simply another way Bronte emphasizes the importance of how the power of evil is superior to that of good.
MEANING OF WORK: good versus evil= in this case, the power of good can not overcome the power of evil. Edgar Linton still lost (the good) at the end, heathcliffs ghost is seen with cathy. Heathcliff, the tortured soul who inflicted pain onto those who he felt anger towards. Although there is hope given at the end with the engagement of Cathy and Hareton, it is without a doubt, true that Wuthering Heights was the sanctuary for the heartbreaks, torment, and depression which resulted in the containment of the sould of the tragic Heathcliff and Catherine.