Analysis, Wuhtering Heights
In the Gothic Romance novel Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, there are two properties that possess very different atmospheres to the people that inhabit them. Wuthering Heights in particular tends to house the more chaotic characters; furthermore, the characters who start out at Wuthering Heights tend to stay by the property their whole lives whether they like it or not.
Thrushcross Grange is first mentioned by Lockwood in chapter one page three of Wuthering Heights as Heathcliff’s new tenant arrives. Heathcliff claims ownership of Thrushcross Grange by saying, “Thrushcross Grange is my own, sir” (Bronte 3). The setting here is oddly quiet, almost dead. As a snowstorm comes, Lockwood is trapped there much like the newly discovered Mrs. Heathcliff is. This entrapment can signify how Wuthering Heights is a place that imprisons and traps people.
Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering heights settings influence the characters greatly. Symbolism in Wuthering Heights include the weather between the two areas. It is symbolic how Lockwood is trapped there by Wuthering Height’s violent weather, even more symbolic on how he tries to leave. Once outside Heathcliff orders the dogs to attack him for ‘stealing a lantern’. Despite not wanting Lockwood to be there, Heathcliff find it amusing to hinder his exit off the property. By nature, Heathcliff finds enjoyment in hindering people’s ability to leave Wuthering Heights for example: Catherine Heathcliff as her husband tying her to Heathcliff is now dead, but she is still Catherine Heathcliff. This character is a casualty of Heathcliff’s revenge and Heathcliff would be alone otherwise, perhaps knowing he is alone in the world makes him want to keep company at Wuthering Heights despite not being sociable.
However, this pattern of entrapment did not start with Heathcliff, but Hindley. Hindley was his own special creature in Wuthering Heights throughout childhood he possessed a great hatred for Heathcliff due to Mr. Earnshaw loving the adoptive son more than his own. As Mr. Earnshaw’s health declined, Hindley got sent away from Wuthering heights until his father died. Hindley had to come back, as he was now the man of the house, which was a major responsibility. It is almost unheard of to live away from Wuthering Heights if you originated from there, as he is again uprooted from his boarding school and now returned home. Later in life as Hindley’s Health declines, he finds that Heathcliff has come across great wealth in which Hindley is more than happy to borrow and ‘pay back later’, as Hindley becomes trapped in his drinking and gambling addiction, he also becomes trapped in debt via Heathcliff and fully acknowledges in in chapter (blank) when he says (Oh, damnation! I will have it back; and I'll have his gold too; and then his blood; and hell shall have his soul! It will be ten times blacker with that guest than ever it was before!" (13.63). As Isabella is introduced to life at Wuthering Heights, she is particularly surprised at Hindley , wondering what Heathcliff did to merit such hatred and inquired as to why he let him live in the same house to begin with, to which Hindley replied “If you suggest him to escape you are a murderess because if he tries to leave, I will kill him.” Hindley, holding onto the last bit of power he has, wants to keep Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights. The sole person in the story who is trying to get revenge on Hindley cannot and does not leave, and this gives Hindley some illusion of power. If he cannot be happy then no one can be. It is obvious that the pattern of psychopathy and entrapment began with him.
This brings Isabelle into the mix. As Heathcliff marries her, she is severed from Thrushcross Grange and basically disowned by Edgar. She now too, is trapped at Wuthering Heights and legally bound to Heathcliff until she escapes. This is where Thrushcross Grange shines as a beacon of peace, as Isabelle tries to contact Nelly and her brother, but due to better judgement, her pleas are not taken too seriously, and she is not aided in anyway. Once married to Heathcliff she is abused and can be seen gazing at her old home from the windows of Wuthering Heights, much like a sailor would a lighthouse in rough seas. Heathcliff has learned cruelty that surpasses Hindley’s , by not allowing Isabella to express emotions such as love or grief, as he ridicules her for wanting to have sex with her husband. When Heathcliff is talking to Isabella, he states, “I should guess it was her own,’ said Heathcliff. ‘She degenerates into a mere slut! She is tired of trying to please me uncommonly early.” (14 Bronte) as well as grieving Catherine’s death (). This abuse is diabolical as it dehumanizes Isabelle and reduces Catherine to a mere object of his affection that no one else can grieve and cry over but him because he loved her so much. Heathcliff has been abused and has learned selfish habits and defenses to survive his cruel upbringing, but as he takes charge of Wuthering Heights, the evil spirit tends to take over not only his property, but Thrushcross Grange as well. Like a disease, he states his legal right to both properties all because Heathcliff wants to take away the hope of the people. Much like he did with Hareton, the ‘bonny lad’ who suffered Hindley’s neglect and abuse, Heathcliff will take and twist people and properties to his will. He wants to destroy anything that is safe and innocent.
Thrushcross Grange is about a four mile walk from Wuthering Heights with manicured Gardens and protective walls. This is where Lockwood is supposed to live, but before he came along, this was obviously the Linton’s home. The Linton family, where well-adjusted wealthy people, who taught Catherine of all people, how to be a lady. The five weeks away from Wuthering Heights transformed Catherine into a completely new person. After having a taste of what the ‘finer life’ could offer her, she has a perspective that is outside of Heathcliff and Wuthering Heights. Thrushcross Grange is like a castle on the hill compare to the chaos that is her home. Catherine knows this, but despite her love for Heathcliff, common sense of her classist society takes over and she marries her new friend. Edgar Linton falls for Cathy despite her violent outburst in (blank), again this is an example of entrapment as Catherine Earnshaw –later Catherine Linton will trap Edgar Linton into an emotionally unfaithful and unloving marriage. However, despite all of this, as Catharine grows ill, Nelly observes in Chapter Blank (quote), despite being unhappy, Catherine is at peace and her personality is wiped almost blank of any dysfunction caused by Wuthering Heights or Heathcliff himself. Though as Heathcliff arrives and witnesses the change in Catherine, he cannot bear it, Catherine is at peace, but to his knowledge it is because of her forgetting about their love. Without dysfunction, anger, and hatred Heathcliff cannot thrive the way he did. It drove him to get as rich as he did through means still unknown. Again, without this dysfunction their love cannot thrive, a sunflower in the shade cannot grow. Since Catherine is out of the element she grew up in, and away from the love she is adapted to, she dies. It seems like once a habitant of Wuthering Heights leaves, they must come back, or they perish... However even in death Catherine still must return.
Catherine’s ghost is seen by Lockwood in Chapter three and Heathcliff traps Catherine even in death. There is no peace for her departed soul until Heathcliff dies as well and they reunite. He curses her in a way by saying, “Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you—haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always—take any form—drive me mad!” (Chapter 16 Bronte) So she does. Catherine’s child ghost figures haunt Heathcliff as she is trapped on the mortal plane. She haunts Wuthering Heights for three reasons: It's her childhood home, Heathcliff (subject of haunting) is there, and her daughter is trapped there. The ghost of Catherine depicts itself as a child, which is the form Heathcliff can relate to with the most, as this is the form of Catherine, he remembers to be his unwavering friend. Heathcliff has revealed that he has crafted his own prison, he is trapped in the past and will never have Catherine Earnshaw as she lives.
Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights differ greatly when it comes to atmosphere and this greatly compliments the inhabitants of each property. Thrushcross Grange is a beacon of safety that people can or want to hide away to when chaos breaks loose, meanwhile Wuthering Heights tends to trap people during times of chaos. The walls of Wuthering Heights hold painful memories that haunt even the tenant, Lockwood in the form of Catherine’s ghost. The ghost of Catherine present and visible to unrelated people shows that even in death, if Heathcliff or ‘the master’ bids it so, you cannot leave Wuthering Heights.
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