While staying at Thrushcross Grange, Mr. Lockwood made a visit to meet Mr. Heathcliff for a second time, and the horriblesnow storm that he encounters is the first piece of evidence that he should haveperceived about Heathcliff’s personality. The setting of the moors is one thatmakes them a very special place for Catherine and Heathcliff, and they are thusvery symbolic of their friendship and spirts. The weather and setting are veryeffective tools used throughout the end of the novel as well, for when theweather becomes nice it is not only symbolic of the changing times, and thechanging people, but also a new beginning. During his stay at Thrushcross GrangeMr.
Lockwood made the perilous journey to Wuthering Heights only a few times. Onthe occasion of his second visit, “the snow began to drive thickly”(7)during his walk, and this horrible weather should have been foreshadowing toLockwood about Heathcliff’s, and the other member’s of the household’s truepersonalities. Upon arriving he was forced to bang continually upon the doorbefore someone would take the care to let him in out of the cold. The dinnerthat Lockwood was permitted to have with the ?family’ was anything buthospitable. Lockwood was treated not unlike an ignorant and unworthy guest, andhence the visit was in no way enjoyable for him.
Upon desiring to leave thedestitute home, Lockwood finds the weather too intolerable for him to evenconsider venturing out on his own, and upon being attacked by one of the dogs,”he was pulled into the kitchen”(15) and allowed, howeverungraciously, to stay the night at Wuthering Heights. Once his walk homecommenced the following day, Lockwood found himself being escorted by Heathcliffhimself. The path that is used as a means of connection between the two housesdoes well to exemplify the feeling contained within each. The path that isnearest to the Heights is long and winding, with “many pits, at least, werefilled to a level; and entire ranges of mounds, the refuse of the quarries . .
. blotted from the chart”(28). This description is a disheartening one, andcauses the reader to associate this kind of representation with the Heights. Upon reaching the pass between the Heights and the Grange, Heathcliff did notcontinue to direct Lockwood’s travels.
He stated that he “could make noerror there”(28), for the path is transformed into one that is straight andeasy for Lockwood to follow. These preliminary descriptions of the path betweenthe two houses, and the weather upon first being introduced to the characters,help in conveying the personalities of the characters in a more subtle manner. The area surrounding both the Heights and the Grange are referred to as themoors, and they are an important setting for many characters throughout thecourse of the novel. The two characters that the moors are most symbolic of,however, are Heathcliff and Catherine Linton.
The two would play on the moors aschildren, and this area of land was very expressive of their wild personalities,and of their friendship. The moors are thought of by them as a place where theycould be free and unrestricted to be themselves. Bront? once again utilizes asetting to represent the personalities of her characters, for here she uses thewildness of the moors to express the wildness of Heathcliff and Catherine. Oneevening Catherine makes the decision to marry Edgar Linton, and not her truelove Heathcliff. Heathcliff hears her declaration and runs off into the moors. Not long after Heathcliff leaves the vicinity of the Grange, a “storm camerattling over the Heights in full fury”(78), and Catherine refuses to sleepwithout her love present in the Heights.
“Catherine would not be persuadedinto tranquility. She kept wandering to and fro, from the gate to the door . . .
and at length took up a permanent situation on one side of the wall, near theroad, where, . . . great drops began to plash around her(78).
She wasdesperate for Heathcliff to come home, and without Catherine even speaking, thereader can know of this desperation. Bront? is able to allow the outer weatherto symbolize the inner emotional state of Catherine. The setting of the moors isnot only able to distinguish the personalities of characters, but also is ableto differentiate between different characters. When Catherine went toThrushcross Grange, the ominous description of the moors followed her. Thechange in how setting is described is a tool utilized by Bront? as a way ofshowing the reader that the story is within the Characters, and the words usedto describe the setting around any specific character is meant to exemplify thatparticular individual. Toward the end of the novel, around the time ofLockwood’s return to visit Wuthering Heights, the weather suddenly becomeskinder and the setting more amiable.
Upon walking up to the door of the Heights”all that remained of day was a beamless, amber light along the west’ but could see every pebble on the path, and every blade of grass by thatsplendid moon”(286). This feeling that the reader acquires from thedescription of the weather is a much more placid one than used before within thenovel. Lockwood was able to enter freely into the yard of Heights, and there was”a fragrance of stocks and wall flowers, wafted on the air, fromamongst them homely fruit trees”(286). Never before was the Heightsdescribed as a tranquil place, and yet it is here. The garden that Cathy plantedis outside of the doors and is filled with twisted fir trees, and domesticplant.
These two kinds of plants mingling together represent Cathy’s personalityvery well. Cathy has wildness, as the twisted fir tree, like her mother, anddecorousness, as the domestic plants, like her father. Bront? is able toexpress the changing times to the reader, even before the characters arereintroduced into the dialogue. Upon once again meeting the character, it isquite apparent that times have changed for the better. Heathcliff has died, andwith him he takes the foreboding atmosphere of the Heights with him.
What isleft behind is the carefree feeling that Bront? want the reader to associatewith the love developing between Haerton Earnshaw and Cathy Linton. Within thelast paragraph of the novel the reader becomes very aware of the end to thestory, this is because of the use of setting to donate the feeling of an end tothe reader and a “quiet slumber for the sleepers in that quietearth”(315). Bronte very effectively uses the weather and the settingwithin Wuthering Heights to always allow the reader a little more insight intothe minds of the characters. The setting and weather seem to mimic the feelingof the individuals that are within the novel. Bront?’s use of this as aliterary tool is very intriguing, and very helpful in aiding the reader in theirgrasping the complexity of the characters within the novel.BibliographyBronte, Emily: Wuthering Heights, Amsco School Publications, Inc., (c) 1970