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What is the difference in the atmosphere and society of Wuthering Heights compared to...

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brendawm | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted September 18, 2009 at 2:21 AM via web

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What is the difference in the atmosphere and society of Wuthering Heights compared to the atmosphere and society of Thrushcross grange?

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sfwriter | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted September 18, 2009 at 5:36 AM (Answer #1)

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Thrushcross Grange (even the name is evocative, inviting the picture of songbirds crossing in flight above a lovely "grange", which is an old name for a farmhouse, but by Bronte's time had come to mean a refined, often luxurious "country house") is a very different place than Wuthering Heights.  Not only is it down in the valley, amid the green feels and soft earth of the farmers, it is not too much of a stretch to say that Thrushcross Grange is a place of civilization and cultivation, whereas Wuthering Heights (again, the name is evocative) is a place which represents the wild past, and the chaos of nature.  Bronte makes this all too clear in her writing; the wind always blows and the moorlands are wild and craggy around Wuthering Heights,

Wuthering Heights is the name of Mr. Heathcliff's dwelling. “Wuthering” being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather. Pure, bracing ventilation they must have up there at all times, indeed: one may guess the power of the north wind blowing over the edge, by the excessive slant of a few stunted firs at the end of the house; and by a range of gaunt thorns all stretching their limbs one way, as if craving alms of the sun. (Chapter 1)

Not only is Wuthering Heights older (sixteenth century, and much in the heavy, late medieval style) it is desolate by any standards.

Thrushcross Grange, however, is ever described as restful and lovely, comfortable, and sheltered from the wind.  The place reflects the character of the inhabitants; the Lintons are more cultivated and far more social people than the Earnshaws (and, later, Heathcliff), and more educated.  The differences in the houses are reflected in the differences in the people who live in them.

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