How are the homes in Wuthering Heights represented?
The importance of the two homes in this novel is very significant, as they both act to help elucidate the conflict that occurs between raw, elemental nature and civilisation. If we start off by considering Wuthering Heights as a house, its location is tremendously important as it is situated on an exposed part of the moor and is therefore open to all of the force of the elements. Note what Lockwood tells us about the physical description of the house in Chapter 1:
'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. Happily, the architect had foresight to build it strong: the narrow windows are deeply set in the wall, and the corners defended with large jutting stones.
It is exposed and it is unprotected and it is very strongly built. It is particularly key to note the parallel between the characters that live here and the way that they experience emotions and the weather that they have. Characters express their emotions like the weather that surrounds them and are just as fickle as the elements themselves.
Thrushcross Grange, by contrast, is situated in a protected part of the Moors and is surrounded by woods and a perimeter wall before you enter its grounds. It, as befitting the house representing civilisation, is therefore much more peaceful, calm and tranquil than its blustery neighbour. It is therefore significant that the Linton family dwell here. The comparison between the Earnshaws and the Lintons make the symbolic significance of the two houses clear as Thrushcross Grange clearly represents culture and society and Wuthering Heights stands for feeling and acting on instinct whatever the consequences.