Essay on Importance of Setting in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights

Essay on Importance of Setting in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights

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The Importance of Setting in Wuthering Heights

 
   Wuthering Heights is a timeless classic in which Emily Brontë presents two opposite settings. Wuthering Heights and its occupants are wild, passionate, and strong while Thrushcross Grange and its inhabitants are calm and refined, and these two opposing forces struggle throughout the novel.

 

Wuthering Heights is out on the moors in a barren landscape. Originally a farming household, it sits "[o]n that bleak hilltop [where] the earth was hard with a black frost" (14). Because winds constantly buffet the house, "the architect?[built] it strong; the narrow windows are deeply set in the wall, and the corners defend with large jutting stones" (10). Even the name suggests its wildness: " 'Wuthering' being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed to" (10). The innards of Wuthering Heights "lay bare to the inquiring eye?Above the chimney were sundry villainous old guns, and a couple of horse-pistols: and by way of ornament, three gaudily painted canisters disposed along its ledge?the chairs, high-backed, primitive structures, painted green; one or two heavy black ones lurking in the shade" (11). Both the outside and inside of Wuthering Heights are clearly exposed to tumult and wildness.

 

In addition, the inhabitants of Wuthering Heights are stormy and wild. Hindley Earnshaw beats Heathcliff--the adopted, "dark-skinned gypsy" (11)--who, with strong fortitude, "would stand Hindley's blows without winking or shedding a tear" (42). In one particular instance, Hindley throws an iron weight at Heathcliff, "hitting him on the breast, and down he fell, but staggered up immediately, brea...


... middle of paper ...


...ediate, as they are joined in love.

 

Sources Cited and Consulted

 

Bronte, Emily.  Wuthering Heights. Norton Critical ed. 3rd ed.  Ed. William M. Sale, Jr., and Richard J. Dunn.  New York:  W. W. Norton, 1990.

Dawson, Terence. Physical and Psychological Settings: The Polarized Houses in Emily Bronte's 'Wuthering Heights'. 7 Nov. 2000 <http://landow.stg.brown.edu/victorian/bronte/ebronte/dawson1.html>.

Ferguson, Susan. "Place in Wuthering Heights."  Style 32.1 (1998). 24 Oct. 2002 <http://newfirstsearch.oclc.org/Web...recno=3:

 Entityemailfullresultset=2>.

 

McCarthy, Terence. "The Incompetent Narrator of Wuthering Heights" Modern Language

 Quarterly 42 (1981): 48-64.

 

Williams, Jeffrey. "The Powerful Settings in Wuthering Heights." Diss. State University of New York at Stony Brook,

 1990.

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