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Wuthering Heights

by Emily Brontë

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“‘Don’t you cant, Nelly,’ he said....‘He carried her in; I followed, grumbling execrations and vengeance’":

How does Brontë, with this quote from Chapter 6, vividly convey the differences between life at Thrushcross Grange 

and life at Wuthering Heights at this moment in the novel?

Expert Answers

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In Chapter 6, Emily Bronte paints a contrast between the typical upperclass Victorian home with its luxury and pampered occupants and the rustic Wuthering Heights with its bare white floor and dog kennel in the main room and its unrefined residents, who have run from the top of the Heights across the bog in order to observe the Lintons under a drawing-room window.  Expecting to find a quiet and sophisticated family group, Heathcliff and Catherine discover, instead, a quarreling brother and his sister who is "shrieking as if witches were running red-hot needles into her." A little dog holds up its wounded paw that was damaged by the spoiled children who have quarreled over it. Heathcliff tells Nelly,

"We laughed outright at the petted things; we did despise them! When would you catch me wishing to have what Catherine wanted?"

Further, Heathcliff avows to Nelly,

"I'd not exchange for a thousand lives, my condition here, for Edgar Linton's at Thrushcross Grange...."

Clearly, despite the exterior refinement of their dress and the luxurious decor of their room with its chandeliers, carpet, chairs, and table of crimson, embellished with gold and silver, there is little that is genuine or loving within the occupants of this splendid room.

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