Contrast Between Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights

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  • 0:04 A House is Not a Home
  • 1:18 The Earnshaw Family
  • 2:03 The Linton Family
  • 2:36 When Houses Collide
  • 3:41 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Ian Matthews

Ian teaches college writing and has a Master's in Writing and Publishing

The twin houses of Emily Bronte's 'Wuthering Heights,' Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, could not be more different. The differences in these two estates parallels the differences between the inhabitants of each. Let's take a look at the contrast between these two domiciles.

A House Is Not a Home

The differences between Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange start with the houses' appearance and surroundings.

The stark and cold Wuthering Heights sits at the top of a hill surrounded by wind-bent trees and thorny grass. The house is built to match, with stocky, imposing construction and narrow windows (which are never lit up with the light of a nice fire in the fireplace) set deep into the walls. It's not super inviting. The weather on the hill is frequently terrible, and when Lockwood arrives there at the beginning of the book, the house seems at least a little bit haunted. The mood of the folks that live at Wuthering Heights is as dour as the weather, no matter what's going on.

The warm and inviting Thrushcross Grange in its heyday, is the polar opposite of Wuthering Heights. It's four miles away from Wuthering Heights, down in a valley where the weather isn't so harsh. It's comforting, calm, and welcoming -- the windows and doors are often open to the outside, and it's well-lit by sunlight and by fires at night. Heathcliff describes it as 'a splendid place carpeted with crimson, and crimson-covered chairs and tables, and a pure white ceiling bordered by gold, a shower of glass-drops hanging in silver chains from the centre, and shimmering with little soft tapers.' It's fancy.

The Earnshaw Family

The Earnshaw family are the owners of Wuthering Heights. Throughout the novel, they have a really rough time -- Mr. Earnshaw, father of Hindley and Catherine Earnshaw, brings Heathcliff home and is somewhat neglectful toward his actual children in favor of Heathcliff. Hindley, in turn, is abusive toward Heathcliff (doubly so after Hindley's wife dies), and Heathcliff pays him back by abusing Hindley's son Hareton. Catherine dies of a fever after being caught between two loves.

The Earnshaw family reflect their surroundings. They don't like outsiders so much and the house is unwelcoming. Also, just as they are separated physically in distance and appearance from Thrushcross Grange, the Earnshaws are separated from other people by class, as well.

The Linton Family

As Wuthering Heights reflects its owners, so does Thrushcross Grange. The Linton family are the symbol of the upper class. Their house is welcoming to people of equal social status (so Heathcliff is right out), and it looks the part with its warmth and its open windows.

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