Two Halves of a Whole
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is a novel full of passion, love and betrayal. It explores the love of two individuals and their influence on their surroundings. The story occurs in a small town. In this area are the two homes of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. The vast contrasts between these houses symbolizes the people who reside their and how these individuals effect the homes.
Wuthering Heights is portrayed as a dark, dismal mausoleum. There are long, narrow hallways with little light. In fact, when Isabella returns from being married, she has trouble finding her way across the house because it is so poorly lit. There is a dark presence about Wuthering Heights. The residence is run down and the walls are fading and peeling. Also it is a cold, drafty place. In fact, Linton always has fires going because it is always so chilly. Wuthering Heights is a gloomy, oppressive place.
On the other hand, Thrushcross Grange has a light, joyful presence. At this home, love is bountiful and its occupants are happy. It is the picture of a loving husband and wife with two beautiful children. The kids are seen playing with a dog, laughing, and having fun. In fact, when Catherine, the main character visits them, she stays for months. They treat her well, and she comes home refined and happy. Thrushcross Grange provides a feeling of a house redolent with joy.
Just as the homes differ greatly, so do the home’s inhabitants. Both of these houses symbolize their main occupants. Heathcliff, Hareton, and Linton all live at Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff is the dark, brooding character. He is mean, angry, and full of revenge. He viciously beats his own son and niece. Then Heathcliff forces them to marry each other, so that he can have control over Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange when his son dies. Heathcliff also marries Isabella, a women he hates. He does this to get revenge on her and her brother for having commented unfavorably about him. She is treated so atrociously that she runs away while pregnant. Yet, Heathcliff does not care and does not bother going after her. These are only a few of the actions of Heathcliff, yet they show his cruel nature and dark personality. Heathcliff also treats Hareton abdominally and thus Hareton becomes a younger version of Heathcliff. Hareton, too, is mean and vengeful. He never says anything nice to anyone and shuts himself away from others. Linton is Heathcliff’s son, and is a manipulative scoundrel. He uses his illness to coerce his cousin Cathy to visit him. Linton knows his father will force Cathy to marry him, but afraid of a beating, he still asks Cathy to come. Linton then allows Cathy to be held hostage in his home. He could obtain the key to let her out, but he is too scared for himself to rescue his cousin. Apparent is the selfish and cruel characteristics of these individuals. There is no joy in their lives, but they are filled with bitter anger. These feelings are transferred to Wuthering Heights and thus both the house and its occupants seem dismal and sinister.
Residing at Thrushcross Grange are Edgar, Catherine, and Cathy. They epitomize good people who are kind and not drawn to violence. Edgar never raises his hand to anyone. He shows a sweet, gentle love to Catherine. He worries about her and take cares of her when she is ill. Edgar never becomes mad when she spends time with Heathcliff. He gives her anything she wants and is always kind to her. Although Catherine is not perfect, she is basically a kind individual. She cares about Edgar and never yells at him or harms him. Yet, it is really Catherine’s outer beauty that is representative of Thrushcross Grange. Catherine is fair and beautiful. She appears angelic and thus this beauty is translated to her home. Cathy is a fine, young lady. She loves her father and stays at his side constantly when he is ill. She even consents to marry Linton, so she can see her father. Cathy is even kind to Linton who is a whining brat. Cathy is young, spirited, and happy. These same traits are found at Thrushcross Grange. There is a impression of peace that is felt by all.
Although it may seem that the homes control its occupants, it is actually the other way around. As the inhabitants change, so do the homes. In the end, Wuthering Heights becomes a happy, joyful place. It is surrounded by flowers and is a warm, safe haven. Much of this change is due to the people living there. Heathcliff is no longer present and his negative presence has disappeared.Hareton sheds his pessimistic demeanor and becomes a good person. Cathy also comes to reside at Wuthering Heights and adds here positive attributes. When the individuals are pleased, the houses seem like a happy place. Yet, when the dwellers are mean and pessimistic, the homes seem dull and dreary.Thus it is obvious that the residences alter to fit its inhabitants.