• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Bronte use natural setting and imagery in ‘Wuthering Heights’?

Extracts from this document...


How does Bronte use natural setting and imagery in 'Wuthering Heights'? Natural setting and imagery is instrumental in Bronte's creation of 'Wuthering Heights'. They are central in reflecting characters, attitudes and events while giving us invaluable insight into social class. In a highly complex plot of double chronologies, natural setting and imagery links past and present while directly advancing the plot. Moreover, they can create and intensify the mood and atmosphere of an incident while adding depth throughout the novel with symbolism. The vivid natural backdrop and rich language description greatly enhances the enchanting plot. The most prominent characters that can be linked with natural setting and imagery are Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw. Heathcliff's name, a combination of two aspects of basic nature, is an immediate indication of his close link with the natural surroundings. His character can be seen to directly conform to the stormy moors that become his refuge and solitude from the tyranny of Wuthering Heights. Both then, are unpredictable, wild, dangerous and threatening. Much description of Heathcliff draws on symbolism from the natural setting of the novel. For example, the image of Heathcliff being like 'whinstone' is repeated. This natural aspect reflects Heathcliff's toughened and unemotional character. He is also described as 'an arid wilderness of furze.' ...read more.


Her love for Heathcliff however is true, deep and as steadfast at nature itself. This implies that the empathy of Catherine and Heathcliff with nature extends to an affinity of their souls. Despite this, Catherine marries Edgar. From this the reader can surmise that Catherine has a poor attitude to love; she does not value it highly enough. Natural setting is used highly effectively in marking significant events in the progress of the novel. Again, the affinity of Heathcliff with nature makes events surrounding him most susceptible to a change in the natural setting. His arrival and departure then, are clearly marked with similar weather. Mr. Earnshaw returns in the dark of night, breeding immediate ominous feelings. Heathcliff also dies in the dead of night, suggesting that the plot has come full circle. The weather at his death however, is ferocious, with 'driving' rain, 'indeed, it poured down.' In this way nature is reflecting the reuniting of Catherine and Heathcliff's passionate and wild souls. Death is also marked with miserable weather, such as was the case when Edgar Linton died. Nelly, the narrator, describes the weather shortly prior to Edgar's death as 'close and sultry...devoid of sunshine.' Storms often marked important events, and the most memorable storm occurs when Heathcliff leaves Catherine behind at Wuthering Heights. ...read more.


The 'benign' moors and 'blue sky' suggest peace and tranquillity have replaced the harsh regime of Heathcliff. This would support the idea that it is human nature that effects nature in life, for Wuthering Heights is transformed entirely by the presence of Hareton and Cathy. Yet once again the unregenerate strength of past turmoil threatens the surface serenity as a feeling of unease surrounds the mention of the three graves. As Bronte suggests, Catherine and Heathcliff are united in death and their affinity with nature remains so strong that it can effect the living world. For instance, the storm that broke out at the reuniting of Catherine and Heathcliff's souls. Finally then, Bronte uses meticulous detail in describing the natural setting of 'Wuthering Heights' in order to counter balance the more unbelievable events of the novel. Natural imagery and setting provides a foundation of realism so that the extremity of the plot is not continually questioned. Whilst the natural setting of the moors and descriptions of nature hold the novel together and provide continuity, they are neither separate from the happenings or characters. It is debatable however, whether Bronte uses nature to reflect the intrinsic strength of character emotions or whether the rawness of nature causes the passions of its inhabitants. Either way, the natural imagery and setting of 'Wuthering Heights' enriches the language by creating a harrowing and haunting backdrop and adding depth and soul to the novel. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Emily Bronte section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Emily Bronte essays

  1. Discuss Jane Austen's use of settings in the novel Northanger Abbey, showing how this ...

    Catherine as if you have to have an invitation and be a very close person of the family. Also he includes about his wealth and how Henry wouldn't have to have a profession to have enough money which makes you almost feel in awe of this place before you are

  2. Compare the Presentation of the Characters of Rochesterin "Jane Eyre" and Heathcliff in "WutheringHeights".

    The house is built to withstand stormy weather, which also reflects Heathcliff's ability to withstand rejection in love and society, his reduction to a slave, and ability to withstand abuse and beatings. Rochester lives at Thornfield, and Rochester can cause emotional pain, just like a thorn field can physically cause

  1. Consider the importance of setting and weather in 'Wuthering Heights'.

    Wuthering Heights has been built to survive the weather and the moors. The moors are lonely and not many people live there or like to visit and give the impression that they are harsh and unforgiving. "Gaunt thorns all stretching their limbs one way, as if craving alms of the sun."

  2. Wuthering Heights is a Story About Love and Revenge; How Is The Gothic Genre ...

    He is not able to speak English and the other children resent him. Heathcliff was Mr Earnshaws favourite and when Mr Earnshaw dies Heathcliff becomes even more isolated. Hindley degrades him to a servant and beats him every so often just because his father liked Heathcliff more than he liked Hindley (put quote here).

  1. Discuss the portrayal of Heathcliff and Hareton Earnshaw in 'WutheringHeights'. Are they products of ...

    Earnshaw bringing him to Wuthering Heights). This must have deeply affected Heathcliff, especially in his youth. When he is adopted by the Earnshaws he is given the name Heathcliff, but he is not given a surname. This gives him a limited identity in a very close-knit community, singling him out even further.

  2. Both Wuthering Heights and Catcher in the Rye use very distinctive and individual characters ...

    Holden goes to watch the game at his school, and then visits one of his teachers before he leaves in a few days time. He then returns to his dormitory and joins his roommate, Stradlater, who he calls phoney. Robert Ackley is also there.


    The word 'aah' in this context can be taken as meaning that Heathcliff is overwhelmed by what he sees. Moving on from the first impressions of the two houses to the size. Both houses are very large and the sizes of the rooms and features suggest things about the moods or habits of the people who live there.

  2. What are your impressions of Catherine Earnshaw, Heathcliff and Edgar Linton? Consider the way ...

    While Catherine was away, Heathcliff had become very untidy and unkempt. She saw how he was and was quite taken-aback: "Why, how very black and cross you look! And how - how funny and grim! But that's because I'm used to Edgar and Isabella Linton."

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work