The plot of the novel is mostly settled in Wuthering Heights, family Earnshaws’ manor, which is located in the isolated and vast moorland of Yorkshire in the north of England. The wild surroundings of the house and the weather represent a Gothic atmosphere of gloom and terror. The weather in those lands is characterized by strong winds and heavy snow during the winter as the narrator Mr. Lockwood states many times during the beginning of the novel “‘Wuthering’ being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather”; “YESTERDAY afternoon set in misty and cold”. However, Wuthering Heights, with its isolation and mystery, represents the Gothic element par excellence. Mr. Lockwood describes the architecture of the ancient and ruined house as grotesque “the narrow windows are deeply set in the wall, and the corners defended with large jutting stones” which gives an air of suspense and mystery to the novel.
It also pictured the glorious past of the ancestors of the Earnshaw family “Before passing the threshold, I paused to admire a quantity of grotesque carving lavished over the front, and especially about the principal door; above which, among a wilderness of crumbling griffins and shameless little boys, I detected the date ‘1500’”. The interior of the house also represents an ambience of darkness and gloom.
The Heights could be compared to the desolate gothic castle which contains family secrets, ghosts, appearances and strange events. As the tradition of Female Gothic, it symbolizes a prison for the characters of Isabella, Cathy and even the effeminate Linton 26 Heathcliff. Moreover, the visit of Lockwood, Isabella and Cathy represents the gothic convention of the arrival of a stranger to a desolate house. The gothic atmosphere of the manor intensifies with the cold behavior of the inhabitants. Lockwood’s first encounter with the occupants reveals violent manners among the members of the uncommon family. From the very beginning, the tyrant Heathcliff is described by Lockwood as a cold man of few words.
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