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CompareWuthering Heightsand Thrushcross Grange and their contrasting settings.

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Introduction

Compare Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange and their contrasting settings. Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange are the respective dwellings of the two central families of the novel; the Earnshaws and the Lintons, of which similarities and differences can be drawn between the two. The key difference is focused upon structure; the rough indiscipline of the Heights compared with the cultivated and civilized atmosphere of the Grange. From a metaphysical perspective they are like the opposition of storm and calm; and the houses certainly fare a war of some kind, which exists through two generations before some sort of resolution at the end of the novel. The Earnshaw residence is aptly named, Wuthering being "a significant and provincial adjective" which applies on two levels; both to the "atmospheric tumult" surrounding the house and the emotions of those within. 'Wuthering' conjures up an image of tempestuous winds, fortifying and threatening and of a hostile, imposing and above all a robust building; "happily the architect had the foresight to build it strong" stoically enduring the "pure bracing ventilation". The Heights is fitting geographically, as it is surrounded by the moors, "a perfect misanthropist's heaven" and is a toil to reach; you have to "wade through heath and mud" cleverly reflective of the inhospitality too of its master. ...read more.

Middle

Later when Lockwood caresses the "ruffianly bitch" he receives a "long, guttural gnarl" and Heathcliff admonishes Lockwood for his action "You'd better let the dog alone....she's not accustomed to be spoiled- she's not kept as a pet". The presence of dogs is a similarity between the two houses, which Bronte portrays with clarity. Despite the culture of the Grange, the Lintons' dog savages Catherine and "[seizes] her ankle; [Heathcliff] heard this abominable snorting". Heathcliff describes the tussle between Catherine and the dog in revolting details, with the phallic "huge, purple tongue, hanging half a foot out of his mouth". The appealing description of the Grange has already been thwarted with the incident where the dogs "pendant lips streamed with blood slaver" hinting that it is not as harmonious as it would primarily appear. In chapter 13 the reference by Isabella to the gun is indicative that violence is as much a part of civilized life (which Isabella hitherto represented) as the natural brutality of the Heights. Instead of adopting a stance of horror at Hindley's desire to use the gun to injure Heathcliff, she receives this information with fervor, "How powerful I should be possessing such an instrument!" ...read more.

Conclusion

Yet her love for Heathcliff has not diminished and despite obstacles never does; "she [flies] to embrace him and bestowed seven or eight kisses on his cheek." At the end of the novel, Wuthering Heights is revealed to now be a combination of both culture and nature; themes that have rallied against each other, often tragically, throughout the book. At the end of the novel, the rationally founded relationship of Hareton and Cathy that has overcome social impossibilities and hostility reflects itself upon the Heights. The Heights has been converted by Cathy into a place of pleasure and she digs up the pious Joseph's plants to replace them with flowers, which are the essence of docility. Despite this, Lockwood last ruminate is how "[he doesn't] like being left in the grim house...... [He] shall be glad when they leave it, and shift to the Grange". Having looked beyond the perceptions and clich�s of both the sumptuous Grange and the stormy Heights I believe them to be equally volatile and threatening households. Lockwood's last comment is one of an unreliable narrator, who believes the Grange to be more comforting purely based on the appearance of the house and its inhabitants, unappreciative of the legacy within. Pandora Sykes LVI ...read more.

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