Wuthering Heights Part 1

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

  There are two distinct locations in this book; Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights.  Thrushcross Grange was the home in which the Linton’s resided in and is being used in the beginning of the novel as the living quarters for Heathcliff’s tenant, Mr. Lockwood.  The way that Thrushcross Grange is described later in the book makes is sound very grand.  “A splendid place carpeted with crimson , and crimson-covered chairs and tables, and a pure white ceiling bordered by gold, a shower of glass-drops hanging in silver chains from the centre, and shimmering with little soft tapers.” (page 43-44).  Gold is often connected with wealth so this room seems to show how wealthy the Linton’s are and how grand Thrushcross Grange is compared to Wuthering Heights.

  Wuthering Heights, on the other hand, was the home of the Earnshaw’s.  Though Heathcliff owned both of them at the beginning of the novel, he chose to reside here.  From the descriptions in the book, it seems to be that Wuthering Heights is more humble that its counterpart.  You can infer this from the description of the entrance.  “…Among a wilderness of crumbling griffins and shameless little boys, I detected the date ‘1500,’ and the name ‘Hareton Earnshaw.’” (page 2).  From this page, it also seems like Wuthering Heights is somewhat fortress like in its design, having the windows deeply set into the walls.  Also, Mr. Lockwood remarks that there is no entry passage, and that one steps directly into the sitting room.  This seems to display that the house is not as grand as others might be.

  It is pretty obvious that Heathcliff does not like Edgar Linton.  “We laughed outright at the petted things; we did despise them!” (page 44).  The Linton’s are all very rude to Heathcliff in fact, declaring that he is unfit for their house and not allowing him to stay with Cathy when she was injured.  They also insisted that he be kept away from their children, as if he was some kind of animal.  “…Mrs. Linton begged that her darlings might be kept carefully apart from that ‘naughty swearing boy.’” (page 50).

  Cathy definitely changes during her stay at Thurshcross Grange.  “…And her manners much improved.  The mistress visited her often in the interval, and commenced her plan of reform by trying to raise her self-respect with fine clothes and flattery, which she took readily; so that, instead of a wild, hatless little savage jumping into the house, and rushing to squeeze us all breathless, there lightened from a handsome black pony a very dignified person, with brown ringlets falling from the cover of a feathered beaver, and a long cloth habit, which she was obligated to hold up with both hands that she might sail in.” (page 48).  She also seems changed in that fact that she comments about Heathcliff being dirty, and that she is so used to the Linton children.  It seems this hurts Heathcliff’s feelings, and he tries to be ‘good’ when the Linton’s visit.

  It seems to be that the reason behind Heathcliff staying at Wuthering Heights is because of his extreme dislike of the Linton’s, and Edgar Linton in particular.


Emily Zettle said...

It really is funny how a change of location can totally change a person. I thought it was a little unrealistic how quickly Cathy changed from being such a tom-boy to being more of a proper lady when she stayed with the Lintons at Thrushcross Grange. Sure, she was a child and is easily molded but she seemed so set in her ways with Heathcliff I just thought it was kind of sudden. I have to admit I kind of agree with Heathcliff on this one, I preferred her as she was before she became the proper little lady I think she was truer to herself and not so concerned with society’s standards. I understand it’s more realistic for her to behave and conform but I did feel a little disappointed in her change. I mean, Heathcliff was her closest friend and she called him dirty and looked disappointed to see her dress had been soiled by hugging him. I think she was a little too worried about material things and looking proper and it made me roll my eyes a little.

Looking at Thrushcross Grange as compared to Wuthering Heights they really are completely opposite. Wuthering Heights sounds so dismal and as it was described, “Wuthering Heights is the name of Mr. Heathcliff’s dwelling. ‘Wuthering’ being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather.”(p.4) makes it seem like the perfect setting for a horror film. Thrushcross Grange as you said sounds much more elegant and appealing.

Tom said...

I think that you make some good points regarding the lavish nature of Thruscross Grange and its inhabitants compared to Wuthering Heights and Heathcliff. But while you state that Catherine changes during her stay at Thrushcross Grange, I’m wondering if Cathy might change Thrushcross Grange more than it changes her. In my blog, I quoted a line describing that Catherine living at the Grange “was not the thorn bending to the honeysuckles, but the honeysuckles embracing the thorn” (86). I think this line implies that the Lintons embrace Catherine more than Catherine whole-heartedly embraces the Lintons and Thrushcross Grange. I also find it interesting that Catherine is referred to as the “thorn”, which seems to imply that while she is physically beautiful, she can easily cause pain if one gets too close. Edgar watches Catherine’s “painfully expressive features” (124) as she sleeps, another description that can be connected to the thorn imagery.

Before Catherine lived there, Thrushcross Grange was already “beautiful -- a splendid place carpeted with crimson” (43). While I agree to an extent that the Grange changed her, I think that her inclination towards the “finer things in life” was already in her psyche, especially since she never really considers Heathcliff because he is so uncouth compared to Edgar -- choosing Edgar is what is expected of her.

cmose said...

I kind of took the two towns depicted in the story as metaphors for Catherine's two love interests. Thrushcross Grange represents Edger. It is a lavish and well groomed town. It is upscale and sophisticated, much like Edgar. This is not the case with Wuthering Heights. It is a town struck by famine and run down. It stands in stark contrast to Thrushcroos Grange; much like Heathcliff. They are antagonists of each other in every way, even the towns that they call home. This was particularly interesting to me.

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