What is the significance of the setting and how does it affect the conflict(s) or theme(s) in chapters 22–28 of Wuthering Heights?

The setting in chapters 22–28 of Wuthering Heights consists of the two estates, Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights, and the undeveloped woods and moors between them. The setting represents the conflicts between Heathcliff and the Linton and Earnshaw families, along with the related themes of love and revenge. At Heathcliff’s urging, his son Linton and Cathy Earnshaw begin meeting at Wuthering Heights, advancing Heathcliff’s plan to destroy both families through the young people’s marriage.

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In chapters 22–28 of Wuthering Heights, the setting is closely connected to Heathcliff’s master plan to exact revenge by destroying the happiness of all the Lintons and Earnshaws. By the time chapter 22 begins, Heathcliff has long been the owner of the Wuthering Heights estate, while Edgar Linton and his daughter, the young Catherine, reside at Thrushcross Grange. These two estates and the rough lands between them, consisting of woods and moors, constitute the setting. There is a boundary wall between the estates, which is symbolically broached by Cathy. In the process, she meets Heathcliff, who strongly urges her to visit his son Linton. He claims Linton has fallen ill from his unreciprocated love for her.

The themes of love and revenge are bound up in the conflicts between the families, which date back to the Earnshaws’ mistreatment of Heathcliff and his beloved Catherine Earnshaw’s marriage to Edgar Linton. These conflicts and themes are intertwined with the settings. Heathcliff is not content merely to own Wuthering Heights: by arranging the marriage of Cathy and Linton, he will torture her father—whom he hates and blames for Catherine's death—and later gain control of Thrushcross Grange once Edgar dies. Cathy’s secret visits to Linton at Wuthering Heights, as she rides across the moors on her pony, foreshadow the joining of the two families. The cold environment of the house represents Heathcliff’s heartless state.

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