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Examine the significance of place in Wuthering Heights.

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Introduction

Sophie Johnstone Examine the significance of place in Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte uses the idea of place in Wuthering Heights to portray many themes; the three main places within the novel are Wuthering Heights, Thrushcross Grange and the moors. Each one is very significant and symbolises it's own issue. Wuthering Heights is dark, inhospitable and fortress like, as if built for defence, "The narrow windows are deeply set into the wall and corners defended with large jutting stones", the residents of the house are also very defensive and the setting of the house frames the mood of the characters, " 'I don't want your help,' she snapped", the idea that the house changes the behaviour of the characters comes into motion at this point. However at the end of the novel I feel that this concept is reversed as the atmosphere of the house is completely changed and this is due to the characters who live there, "Both doors and lattices were open; and, yet, as is usually the case in a coal district, a fine, red fire illumined the chimney..." ...read more.

Middle

When he finally gets to the core, which seems to be the end, Cathy and Hareton are left and these two, who have been forced to retreat and finally they are allowed to come out into the open with life as they want, as their boundaries are removed and make Wuthering Heights into a place "That is an improvement!" The relationship with Wuthering Heights, which represents nature, "...borded with straggling goosebury bushes," is Thrushcross Grange, which represents culture, "...A splendid place carpeted with crimson..." The hostile and dark place is in total contrast to the polar opposite, Thrushcross Grange, being the park, down off the moors, enclosed by walls and parklands, unlike Wuthering Heights, which is open and subject to the harsh moor land weather. Unlike the characters at Wuthering Heights, Thrushcross Grange resisdents seem kind and considerate, Lockwood is sat in front of a 'cheerful fire and smoking coffee'. There is warmth and hospitality at Thrushcross Grange, which is completely unheard of at Wuthering Heights until the end. ...read more.

Conclusion

The moors is where they belong and this is empathised when Catherine has a dream of going to heaven and being flung back onto the moors, "...into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights;", here Catherine declares her love for Heathcliff in the most extravagant terms and this also helps to highlight that her love for the moors is on the same level as her love for Heathcliff. Even after Catherine's death, Heathcliff still feels that she will be on the moors as this is where the two of them shared their best times together, "I should meet her; when I walked on the moors..." The moors is a love that they both share and it joins the two of them together, just like it joins Thrushcoss Grange and Wuthering Heights. Emily Bronte uses place to empthasise feelings felt by the characters and also to form an atmosphere and style within the novel, She does with vivid, liminal imagery and polar opposites. ...read more.

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