Describe the different settings at the beginning and middle of the book, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

1 Answer

jess-akcinar's profile pic

Jessica Akcinar | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

The two very different settings of Wuthering Heights are symbolic of both Heathcliff and Linton, two very different men. The first setting we are introduced to is Wuthering Heights, home to Heathcliff and Catherine's childhood home as it was once the estate of her family, the Earnshaws. This setting is called "certainly a beautiful country" but is cold, rocky, and tumultuously windy, which mirrors Heathcliff's wintry and bleak state of mind. Catherine sees it as home and is able to roam around it wildly and happily at will.

The later setting we see is Thrushcross Grange, home to Edgar and Isabella Linton and to the married Catherine. In its beauty and grandiosity, it makes an impression on Catherine and converts her into a proper lady. It is set in a large park and has lush, stunning green gardens surrounding it. Despite its foliage and attractiveness, Catherine rarely leaves the house to explore it because she does not feel the same freedom she did at Wuthering Heights.

Both of these settings represent the two men in Catherine’s life and have a tremendous impact on her. Catherine tells Nelly, "My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it, I am well aware, as winter changes the trees—my love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath—a source of little visible delight, but necessary."