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What is the significance of the two houses in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights?

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dawninmoon | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted January 22, 2011 at 2:21 PM via web

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What is the significance of the two houses in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights?

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amymc | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted January 24, 2011 at 1:01 AM (Answer #1)

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The houses to which you refer are Wuthering Heights, home of the Earnshaw family, and Thrushcross Grange, home of the Linton family.   Both houses are family estates located in the Yorkshire moors of England.  This areas was an open, marshy area with few people living close together.

These houses serve as a contrast to each other and represent the way of life of the inhabitants.  As the novel opens, the reader sees Wuthering Heights through the eyes of Lockwook; it is a dark, creepy, angry and unhappy place.  This reflects the figuratively dark natures of its inhabitants, Heathcliff, Catherine Linton and Hareton.  From the death of Mr. Earnshaw, the Heights has been filled with death, revenge, and anger.

Thrushcross Grange, however, is not filled with such hate.  It represents happiness and beauty.  The lights are bright; the house is filled with music, and the family entertains frequently.The Linton family is introduced as mirthful and genuine.  In fact, Catherine is drawn to it because of this, which sparks the animosities between the two families.

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