The two settings of the novel, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, were found in Yorkshire Moors, Northern England. Wuthering Heights represented the dark, evil, and violent environment where most of the conflicts in the story would occur at because of it being lower class. In contrast, Thrushcross Grange was the positive and proper standard representing the idea of a higher class of life. The Moors represented the in-between of Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights and represented an escape from social norms and Victorian customs.
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”. 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 and 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.
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