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The values of nature and weather are endorsed in the novel’s first half. Wuthering Heights is a real farmhouse set on the wild moors, and they are the natural habitat of Catherine and Heathcliff. The civilized and cultured world of Isabella and Edgar Linton, Thrushcross Grange, is removed from nature. Heathcliff’s name suggests his association with nature, while Edgar and Isabella’s names suggest a level of refinement that cuts them off from direct contract with the natural world. Emily’s book is fiercer than anything else we will read in this course. It depicts a world that is so primitive as to be primeval, thereby making everything we have read seem almost prim and proper by contrast. Here, emotion is the wellspring of being, allied to the natural elements themselves. Indeed, the novel makes a mockery of our notion of civilization, which seems to bear little relation to the organic, fierce, dark forces that roil in both the world and the human subject.
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