One of the more popular books by Emily Bronte is Wuthering Heights. It is simply about two houses, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, and the relationships between their inhabitants. Because of this well-known piece of literature, many scholars have commented on it. For example, Sarah Tenge wrote: In Emily Brontes Wuthering Heights, we find two households separated by the cold, muddy, and barren moors, one by the name of Wuthering Heights, and the other Thrushcross Grange. Each house stands alone, in the mist of the dreary land, and the atmosphere creates a mood of isolation. Throughout the novel, there are two places where virtually all of the action takes place.
These two places, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, differ greatly in appearance and mood. These differences reflect the universal conflict between storm and calm that Emily Bronte develops as the theme in her novel, Wuthering Heights. This quote is a defense to the story because there are numerous contrasts between the environments of the two main locations of the story. Wuthering Heights symbolizes the storm while Thrushcross Granges personifies the calm because of the qualities of each households setting and inhabitants. Firstly, in Wuthering Heights, the word Wuthering is used as a description of the atmospheric uproar to which the house is exposed in stormy weather (2).
Thus, even before reading the novel, one can conclude that the Heights is a dark and dreary place. In addition, nature plays a large part of the storys setting. For example, when Catherine was telling Nelly about her arguments on whether or not to marry Edgar, Heathcliff overhears her saying that she has decided to marry Edgar to improve her social status. He fails to hear Catherine confess her love for him, and thus runs out of the house in complete embarrassment and disappointment.
Later, Catherine is devastated that Heathcliff has ru off. Nelly describes the situation as such, Where heedless of my expostulations, and the growing thunder, and the great drops that began to splash round her, she remained calling, at intervals, and then listening, and then crying outright (). The growing thunder and the great drops further depict the image of a storm. Also, after Catherines death, the dew that had gathered on the budded branches, and (had) fell pattering around him () can be looked upon as Brontes description of the rain.
In contrast, Thrushcross Grange possessed none of the qualities of the cold Wuthering Heights. It was 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 form the center, and shimmering with little soft tapers (42). Nothing of extreme importance ever happened within the surrounding of the Grange. It was always looked upon as a calm and relaxing place for its tenants. All of the main battles in the story occurred at Wuthering Heights to keep the atmosphere peaceful at Thrushcross Grange. As a result, the people who grew up there all possessed love and warmth.
Thus, the setting of the novel shows the difference between the loud and dark atmosphere of Wuthering Heights, as opposed to the placidity of Thrushcross Grange. This can also be viewed as a theme of the storm and calm.