Thrushcross Grange And Wuthering Heights English Literature Essay

1734 words (7 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 English Literature Reference this

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Social Environment – The social environment in Wuthering Heights reveals the importance of socio-economic class of the time, as shown by the actions of Catherine, who picks Edgar Linton, a civil gentleman, over her true love, Heathcliff.

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Atmosphere – Wuthering Heights has a distinctly dark atmosphere to it. This can be attributed to many factors such as the description of Wuthering Heights, the destructive personalities of Hindley and Heathcliff, and even the ghost of Catherine.

Significance – The social environment is especially significant to the story, as Catherine’s decision to marry Edgar and Heathcliff’s anger and resentment due to this sets a basis for much of the action in the story. The atmosphere adds a darker tone to the story that appeals to the reader.

Structure

The story is narrated by Lockwood in the first person, but Nelly Dean recounts her past in the first person as well. The book is divided into chapters that divide the book during changes of action or subject. Breaks from Nelly’s story also divide that story into sections that neatly organize the story so that each section shows childhood, adulthood, and nearing the present.

Plot

In 1801, Lockwood rents Thrushcross Grange and meets the landlord, Heathcliff, who lives in Wuthering Heights. There he meets the various denizens of the two houses. At Thrushcross Grange, Lockwood asks Nelly Dean, his housekeeper, to recount her experiences at Wuthering Heights with Heathcliff. When Nelly was a young girl, she was a servant for the Earnshaw family, the then owners of Wuthering Heights. When suddenly Mr. Earnshaw comes home from Liverpool with an orphan, Heathcliff, his other children don’t like him. But later, Mr. Earnshaw’s daughter, Catherine begins to love Heathcliff. When Mr. Earnshaw’s biological son, Hindley continues to be mean to Heathcliff, Mr. Earnshaw consents to send Hindley to college. After Mr. Earnshaw dies three years later, Hindley comes back with his new wife, Frances. He immediately resumes his cruelty to Heathcliff, making Heathcliff work for him. This does not deter Heathcliff from spending time with Catherine. When they wander to Thrushwood Grange one night, Catherine gets bitten by a dog and has to remain there for 5 weeks to recover. After those 5 weeks, Catherine has become attracted to Edgar Linton and his gentlemanliness. Later, Frances dies after giving birth to her and Hindley’s son, Hareton, and Hindley, devastated, begins to consume more and more alcohol, causing him to become even meaner to Heathcliff. When Catherine decides to marry Edgar, even though she really loves Heathcliff, Heathcliff runs away from Wuthering heights for 3 years. He comes back, resentful and suddenly wealthy, after Catherine marries Edgar. After Hindley dies, Heathcliff inherits Wuthering Heights and prepares to inherit Thrushcross Grange by marrying Isabella Linton, Edgar’s sister. Catherine dies giving birth to a daughter, and Heathcliff begs her spirit to stay on the earth with him. Isabella gives birth to Heathcliff’s son, Linton, who comes to live at Wuthering Heights once Isabella dies. Catherine’s daughter and Linton meet one day at Wuthering Heights and begin to love each other, sending each other romantic letters and later sneaking out to spend time with each other. Heathcliff forces Catherine’s daughter to marry Linton in order to completely inherit Thrushcross Grange, after both Edgar and Linton die. When this happens, Heathcliff forces Catherine’s daughter to work for him as a servant. That ends Nelly’s story for the time being, and Lockwood, surprised, decides to return to London. 6 months later, he comes back, and Nelly informs him of happenings during that time: Catherine’s daughter falls in love with Hareton and Heathcliff dies after becoming increasingly obsessed with Catherine’s ghost. After this, Lockwood visits Catherine and Heathcliff’s graves.

5. Characters

Catherine- in love with Heathcliff (“I am Heathcliff”), marries Edgar Linton, fierce, beautiful, arrogant, fickle

Heathcliff- orphan, in love with Catherine, abused by Hindley, miserable, wants revenge, fierce, strong, cruel

Edgar Linton- well-mannered, cowardly, loving, ideal, good looking, rich

Nelly Dean- smart, caring, sane narrator

Lockwood- confused, misunderstanding, presuming, second narrator

Young Catherine- headstrong, fierce, arrogant, persistent, caring

Hareton Earnshaw- Catherine’s nephew, uneducated, strong, fiery, persistent

Linton Heathcliff- weak, sickly, manipulative, dies after marrying young Catherine

Hindley Earnshaw- hates Heathcliff, marries Frances, alcoholic after Frances dies, wants to kill Heathcliff for his fortune

Isabella Linton- falls in love with Heathcliff, innocent, weak

Mr. Earnshaw- Catherine and Hindley’s father, adopts Heathcliff

Mrs. Earnshaw- Catherine and Hindley’s mother, dies

Joseph- religious servant at WH, has Yorkshire accent

Frances Earnshaw- Hindley’s wife, dies after childbirth

Mr. Linton- well mannered, raises Edgar and Isabella

Mrs. Linton-snobby, teaches Catherine manners

Zillah- WH’s housekeeper

Mr. Green- Edgar’s lawyer

6. Symbols

1. the moors- As the moors are wild land that is easy to get lost in, they directly represent the love between Catherine and Heathcliff. The two bond in the moors, which are constant throughout their lives. The moors express the wildness of their passion and the destructiveness of their unchanging love. The land has no boundary, also, which allows it to act as a refuge for them in the midst of all the social boundaries keeping them for being together.

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2. the houses- Wuthering Heights, named in reference to stormy weather, represents the intense height to which Catherine and Heathcliff’s passion reaches. “Wuthering” helps convey the destructive qualities of their love and helps to epitomize the characteristics of Heathcliff who, long after Catherine’s death, still reaches wild heights of passion for her. Thrushcross Grange, on the other hand, symbolizes Catherine’s social aspirations of sophistication and class, for it houses well-mannered children like Edgar and Isabella and is serene, as opposed to the storminess of Wuthering Heights.

3. Ghosts- Even though they are possibly unreal in the book, ghosts help signify the memories that are left behind when a character dies. Catherine’s ghost haunts Heathcliff, symbolizing how affection doesn’t die, even though the person loved may.

7. Motifs

1. Doubles- The motif of pairings appears several times in the novel, helping to represent the complex relationships between characters. Catherine and Heathcliff are the dominant double, as she even states, “Nelly, I am Heathcliff” (Bronte, 104). Their intense relationship is shaped by the idea that they are one and the same. Hareton and Heathcliff also make up a double, as they have both been uneducated because of the oppression of the master of the house. Their doubling shows the differences in their characters; Heathcliff is passionate and cruel, unable to get over his mistreatment, while Hareton is able to transcend that boundary and try to move on with Cathy.

2. Books/Education- In Thrushcross Grange, the more dignified of the two houses, books represent sophistication and refinement. However, books repeatedly show up in Wuthering Heights, where they help further the idea of learning to better oneself. Heathcliff, as a child, attempts to learn using Catherine’s books to learn. Years later, Hareton attempts the same thing in order to be more like Cathy. Books not only act as a way of learning, but also a way of bringing people together, since Cathy teaching Hareton how to read is essentially what drives them to fall in love.

3. Repetition- There being two Catherine’s, two houses, two boys who are oppressed by a master, and even 2 Hareton’s (one from 1500 with his name engraved over Wuthering Heights) helps to emphasize the motif of repetition. After Catherine dies, a lot of the plot appears to repeat itself in Heathcliff’s tyranny over Hareton being similar to Hindley’s over Heathcliff and in Cathy and Hareton’s relationship developing in ways similar to events that occurred in Catherine and Heathcliff’s. The repetition conveys to the reader that although events may be similar, the way characters react to them is significantly different based on their character. Catherine and Heathcliff lost all chance of living happily ever after when she died, whereas Catherine and Hareton become engaged to be married after defeating the challenges facing them.

8. Genre

The book is a Gothic novel because of its elements of passion, cruelty, and supernatural occurrences. However, there are also qualities of realistic fiction because Wuthering Heights primarily deals with relationships between characters that have the potential to have actually existed.

Style: Emily Bronte uses rich imagery to develop the plot, while expertly using a complex style of narration to write the story.

9. Theme

Passion, when left wild and uncontrolled, can provoke unnecessarily vicious actions and can destroy all in its path.

10. Quotation

“Be with me always-take any form-drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!” (Brontë, 213)

Heathcliff’s haunting invocation for Catherine’s ghost to haunt him exemplifies the theme that unrestrained love and passion lead to rash, destructive actions. Toward the end of the book, Heathcliff states that Catherine’s ghost has not left him alone for a day and his actions show how mad he has been driven. Left alone on the earth, he methodically plots his revenge, which consists of destroying the lives of those who are circumstantially around him: Hareton, Cathy, Edgar, and even his own son Linton.

11. Sources

Brontë, Emily. Wuthering Heights. New York: Penguin, 1995. Print.

Social Environment – The social environment in Wuthering Heights reveals the importance of socio-economic class of the time, as shown by the actions of Catherine, who picks Edgar Linton, a civil gentleman, over her true love, Heathcliff.

Atmosphere – Wuthering Heights has a distinctly dark atmosphere to it. This can be attributed to many factors such as the description of Wuthering Heights, the destructive personalities of Hindley and Heathcliff, and even the ghost of Catherine.

Significance – The social environment is especially significant to the story, as Catherine’s decision to marry Edgar and Heathcliff’s anger and resentment due to this sets a basis for much of the action in the story. The atmosphere adds a darker tone to the story that appeals to the reader.

Structure

The story is narrated by Lockwood in the first person, but Nelly Dean recounts her past in the first person as well. The book is divided into chapters that divide the book during changes of action or subject. Breaks from Nelly’s story also divide that story into sections that neatly organize the story so that each section shows childhood, adulthood, and nearing the present.

Plot

In 1801, Lockwood rents Thrushcross Grange and meets the landlord, Heathcliff, who lives in Wuthering Heights. There he meets the various denizens of the two houses. At Thrushcross Grange, Lockwood asks Nelly Dean, his housekeeper, to recount her experiences at Wuthering Heights with Heathcliff. When Nelly was a young girl, she was a servant for the Earnshaw family, the then owners of Wuthering Heights. When suddenly Mr. Earnshaw comes home from Liverpool with an orphan, Heathcliff, his other children don’t like him. But later, Mr. Earnshaw’s daughter, Catherine begins to love Heathcliff. When Mr. Earnshaw’s biological son, Hindley continues to be mean to Heathcliff, Mr. Earnshaw consents to send Hindley to college. After Mr. Earnshaw dies three years later, Hindley comes back with his new wife, Frances. He immediately resumes his cruelty to Heathcliff, making Heathcliff work for him. This does not deter Heathcliff from spending time with Catherine. When they wander to Thrushwood Grange one night, Catherine gets bitten by a dog and has to remain there for 5 weeks to recover. After those 5 weeks, Catherine has become attracted to Edgar Linton and his gentlemanliness. Later, Frances dies after giving birth to her and Hindley’s son, Hareton, and Hindley, devastated, begins to consume more and more alcohol, causing him to become even meaner to Heathcliff. When Catherine decides to marry Edgar, even though she really loves Heathcliff, Heathcliff runs away from Wuthering heights for 3 years. He comes back, resentful and suddenly wealthy, after Catherine marries Edgar. After Hindley dies, Heathcliff inherits Wuthering Heights and prepares to inherit Thrushcross Grange by marrying Isabella Linton, Edgar’s sister. Catherine dies giving birth to a daughter, and Heathcliff begs her spirit to stay on the earth with him. Isabella gives birth to Heathcliff’s son, Linton, who comes to live at Wuthering Heights once Isabella dies. Catherine’s daughter and Linton meet one day at Wuthering Heights and begin to love each other, sending each other romantic letters and later sneaking out to spend time with each other. Heathcliff forces Catherine’s daughter to marry Linton in order to completely inherit Thrushcross Grange, after both Edgar and Linton die. When this happens, Heathcliff forces Catherine’s daughter to work for him as a servant. That ends Nelly’s story for the time being, and Lockwood, surprised, decides to return to London. 6 months later, he comes back, and Nelly informs him of happenings during that time: Catherine’s daughter falls in love with Hareton and Heathcliff dies after becoming increasingly obsessed with Catherine’s ghost. After this, Lockwood visits Catherine and Heathcliff’s graves.

5. Characters

Catherine- in love with Heathcliff (“I am Heathcliff”), marries Edgar Linton, fierce, beautiful, arrogant, fickle

Heathcliff- orphan, in love with Catherine, abused by Hindley, miserable, wants revenge, fierce, strong, cruel

Edgar Linton- well-mannered, cowardly, loving, ideal, good looking, rich

Nelly Dean- smart, caring, sane narrator

Lockwood- confused, misunderstanding, presuming, second narrator

Young Catherine- headstrong, fierce, arrogant, persistent, caring

Hareton Earnshaw- Catherine’s nephew, uneducated, strong, fiery, persistent

Linton Heathcliff- weak, sickly, manipulative, dies after marrying young Catherine

Hindley Earnshaw- hates Heathcliff, marries Frances, alcoholic after Frances dies, wants to kill Heathcliff for his fortune

Isabella Linton- falls in love with Heathcliff, innocent, weak

Mr. Earnshaw- Catherine and Hindley’s father, adopts Heathcliff

Mrs. Earnshaw- Catherine and Hindley’s mother, dies

Joseph- religious servant at WH, has Yorkshire accent

Frances Earnshaw- Hindley’s wife, dies after childbirth

Mr. Linton- well mannered, raises Edgar and Isabella

Mrs. Linton-snobby, teaches Catherine manners

Zillah- WH’s housekeeper

Mr. Green- Edgar’s lawyer

6. Symbols

1. the moors- As the moors are wild land that is easy to get lost in, they directly represent the love between Catherine and Heathcliff. The two bond in the moors, which are constant throughout their lives. The moors express the wildness of their passion and the destructiveness of their unchanging love. The land has no boundary, also, which allows it to act as a refuge for them in the midst of all the social boundaries keeping them for being together.

2. the houses- Wuthering Heights, named in reference to stormy weather, represents the intense height to which Catherine and Heathcliff’s passion reaches. “Wuthering” helps convey the destructive qualities of their love and helps to epitomize the characteristics of Heathcliff who, long after Catherine’s death, still reaches wild heights of passion for her. Thrushcross Grange, on the other hand, symbolizes Catherine’s social aspirations of sophistication and class, for it houses well-mannered children like Edgar and Isabella and is serene, as opposed to the storminess of Wuthering Heights.

3. Ghosts- Even though they are possibly unreal in the book, ghosts help signify the memories that are left behind when a character dies. Catherine’s ghost haunts Heathcliff, symbolizing how affection doesn’t die, even though the person loved may.

7. Motifs

1. Doubles- The motif of pairings appears several times in the novel, helping to represent the complex relationships between characters. Catherine and Heathcliff are the dominant double, as she even states, “Nelly, I am Heathcliff” (Bronte, 104). Their intense relationship is shaped by the idea that they are one and the same. Hareton and Heathcliff also make up a double, as they have both been uneducated because of the oppression of the master of the house. Their doubling shows the differences in their characters; Heathcliff is passionate and cruel, unable to get over his mistreatment, while Hareton is able to transcend that boundary and try to move on with Cathy.

2. Books/Education- In Thrushcross Grange, the more dignified of the two houses, books represent sophistication and refinement. However, books repeatedly show up in Wuthering Heights, where they help further the idea of learning to better oneself. Heathcliff, as a child, attempts to learn using Catherine’s books to learn. Years later, Hareton attempts the same thing in order to be more like Cathy. Books not only act as a way of learning, but also a way of bringing people together, since Cathy teaching Hareton how to read is essentially what drives them to fall in love.

3. Repetition- There being two Catherine’s, two houses, two boys who are oppressed by a master, and even 2 Hareton’s (one from 1500 with his name engraved over Wuthering Heights) helps to emphasize the motif of repetition. After Catherine dies, a lot of the plot appears to repeat itself in Heathcliff’s tyranny over Hareton being similar to Hindley’s over Heathcliff and in Cathy and Hareton’s relationship developing in ways similar to events that occurred in Catherine and Heathcliff’s. The repetition conveys to the reader that although events may be similar, the way characters react to them is significantly different based on their character. Catherine and Heathcliff lost all chance of living happily ever after when she died, whereas Catherine and Hareton become engaged to be married after defeating the challenges facing them.

8. Genre

The book is a Gothic novel because of its elements of passion, cruelty, and supernatural occurrences. However, there are also qualities of realistic fiction because Wuthering Heights primarily deals with relationships between characters that have the potential to have actually existed.

Style: Emily Bronte uses rich imagery to develop the plot, while expertly using a complex style of narration to write the story.

9. Theme

Passion, when left wild and uncontrolled, can provoke unnecessarily vicious actions and can destroy all in its path.

10. Quotation

“Be with me always-take any form-drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!” (Brontë, 213)

Heathcliff’s haunting invocation for Catherine’s ghost to haunt him exemplifies the theme that unrestrained love and passion lead to rash, destructive actions. Toward the end of the book, Heathcliff states that Catherine’s ghost has not left him alone for a day and his actions show how mad he has been driven. Left alone on the earth, he methodically plots his revenge, which consists of destroying the lives of those who are circumstantially around him: Hareton, Cathy, Edgar, and even his own son Linton.

11. Sources

Brontë, Emily. Wuthering Heights. New York: Penguin, 1995. Print.

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