The Grange, the Heights and Penistone Crags-how do these localities help reveal the ideas of Wuthering Heights?
Heathcliff sees Wuthering Heights for the first time when Mr. Earnshaw brings him home. For Heathcliff Wuthering Heights is Catherine. She is everything wonderful about it. After Mr. Earnshaw dies and Hindley inherits the estate it is a prison for Heathcliff. He is trapped by his love for Cathy and his ill treatment by Hindley. Wuthering Heights also begins to deteriorate after Hindley's wife dies in childbirth.
"Wuthering" being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather.
Thrushcross Grange is the opposite of Wuthering Heights. It is lavishly decorated has two siblings who talk, dance, and laugh. After Cathy is injured she sees the difference between the riches in the home and the life style. It is far more elegant than Wuthering Heights and seems more alive. She marries Edgar Linton and moves there. However, her heart yearns for the dark soul of Heathcliff.
The Penestone-Carigs are desolate landscapes of rocks. In the spring flowers bloom among the rocks and beauty appears. It is the place that Cathy and Heathcliff go to escape Hindley. They are both free spirited as children. The place signifies their innocence and raw needs. It also represents the beutiful side of their love.
Each of the three places represents different events in Catherine and Heathcliff’s life. For Catherine, Wuthering Heights was a place of Heathcliff’s brooding face and the prison of her childhood. Thrush-cross Grange is a place where she lives with her husband. At first it is beauty and elegance, but it later becomes a prison to her as her soul longs to be back with Heathcliff at Wuthering Heights. The only place Cathy has for freedom is to escape to the rocks and moors.
For Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights represents his prison after Hindley inherits the place. It is also his revenge. It is dark like his soul. Thrushcross Grange is a forbidden place. Heathcliff deems it the enemy’s territory. It is the place where his Catherine has been stolen to by Edgar. Heathcliff eventually also gains ownership of the place. Penistone Crags for represents the freedom of his and Cathy's love. Later in the story Harenton and Cathy's daughter will also go there to find some happiness.
Wuthering Heights is associated with the Earnshaws and the passionate Catherine and Heathcliff. Thrushcross Grange is the home of the refined and socially superior Lintons. The contrast with the neighbouring house, even though they are separated by only four miles, could not be greater. The vegetation is lush and beautiful and sheltered by the Grange's position. It is tucked away on lower ground.
The Grange is not as perfect as it may seem on the surface. Edgar and Isabella Linton are spoilt, silly and greatly concerned with superficial matters such as appearance. It is Catherine's great misfortune that she finds herself torn between her love for Heathcliff and her desire for the wealth and social position that goes with the position of lady of the house at Thrushcross Grange.
The Grange is also a place of boundaries and restrictions, surrounded by a high wall. When Catherine lies ill in bed at the Grange, all she wants is to return to her old home:
"Oh, dear! I thought I was at home," she sighed. "I thought I was lying in my chamber at Wuthering Heights." (Chapter 12)
and her daughter Cathy is forbidden to go beyond the boundary walls. If the residents of Wuthering Heights find themselves exposed, those of the Grange are overly sheltered from the realities of life.
The one place where characters are free to be themselves is out on the moors- Penistone Crags. This location is predominantly associated with Catherine and Heathcliff; young Cathy also shows her affinity with her mother through her yearning to escape the confinement of the Grange and run free on the moors. The imagery of these wild, rolling moors runs throughout the novel, finding perhaps its most famous expression in Catherine's metaphorical description of her love:
My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff.