The Importance of Setting in Developing a Theme for Wuthering Heights by Bronte

The Importance of Setting in Developing a Theme for Wuthering Heights by Bronte

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When Emily Bronte wrote Wuthering Heights England was going through a time of great change. It?s past agrarian society was changing and the common man was able to obtain wealth. Setting helps us to further understand the conflict between the natural world and cultured humanity, through the two main houses in text, and the social situation on the English Moors. Wuthering Heights uses this time of social unrest to develop the theme of the natural world in conflict with cultured humanity.

An example of the natural world is the house, Wuthering Heights which the text is named after. It is a place of violent emotion inside, and violent weather outside. The narrator, Lockwood describes it through the medium of his diary ?pure bracing ventilation they must have up there.? It is located up on the Yorkshire Moors and away from society, its isolation from the cultured world aides the violence and mistreatment that occurs to its inhabitants. To the reader, the Heights and its inhabitants show the dangers and severe turbulence of the natural world. The Moors, where the Heights is situated shows us the danger and unpredictability of nature. The narrator, Lockwood is caught in a storm ?sky and hills mingled in one bitter whirl of wind and suffocating snow? at the start of the novel and the setting of the moors has a big impact on the story from there hereafter it is a place ?where human beings, like the trees, grow gnarled and dwarfed and distorted by the inclement climate.?

In contrast with the Heights, is the house at Thrushcross Grange which represents cultured humanity. The house is typical of the time, however to Catherine and Heathcliff (from the Heights) the inhabitants seem silly, petted and spoiled. It is described as ?...

... middle of paper ... the novel behaves as though he has seen her ghost himself. When Heathcliff dies, he is found in the bedroom with the window open, raising the possibility that Catherine's ghost entered Wuthering Heights just as Lockwood saw in his dream. At the end of the novel, Nelly Dean reports that various superstitious locals have claimed to see Catherine and Heathcliff's ghosts roaming the moors. Lockwood, however, discounts the idea of "unquiet slumbers for those sleepers in that quiet earth." The reader is also given the impression of the natural worlds ?quiet earth? no longer struggling against the civilised world.

Setting helped to develope the theme of nature in conflict with civilisation in the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. We are shown both civilisation and nature through setting and the context of the novel helps us to further understand the conflict.

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