Descriptions of Landscapes and Moors in Wuthering Heights

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In ''Wuthering Heights'' by Emily Bronte, the moors are much more than just part of the scenery. The beauty, danger, and unruliness that reflects the characters is inherent in the setting.

The Moors

What's with the moors? Moors are beautiful, wild grasslands with hidden dangers symbolizing some unexpected pitfalls that the characters face. The moors surround both Wuthering Heights, the home of the Heathcliffs and the Earnshaws, and Thrushcross Grange, the home of the Lintons. But just like with everything else, the Lintons at the Grange make much more of an effort to tame the landscape. In this lesson, we'll learn more about the landscapes in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

Lockwood's Impression

As a tenant at Thrushcross Grange, Lockwood's first journal entry indicates his first impression of the moors as he writes, ''In all England, I do not believe that I could have fixed on a situation so completely removed from the stir of society.'' However, when Lockwood visits Wuthering Heights at the beginning of a blizzard, Heathcliff does not hesitate to inform him of the dangers. ''Do you know that you run a risk of being lost in the marshes? People familiar with these moors often miss their road on such evenings…'' Through these few passages, Lockwood's character introduces the relationship between beauty, isolation, and danger that is explored through the rest of the novel.

Isabella's Escape

When Isabella flees Wuthering Heights after a dangerous, abusive encounter with Heathcliff, the emotional description of her escape likens Wuthering Heights to Hell, Thrushcross Grange to Heaven, and the moors between as a type of divide or moat that hinders her from easily passing between the two. Isabella describes the scene to Nelly, ''…blessed as a soul escaped from purgatory, I bounded, leaped, and flew down the steep road; then, quitting its windings, shot direct across the moor, rolling over banks, and wading through marshes: precipitating myself, in fact, towards the beacon-light of the Grange.'' Isabella's relationship with the landscape is from the perspective of the moors being something she must endure on the way to the place she wants to be.

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