Wuthering Heights Symbols

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Wuthering Heights

The childhood home of many of the book's characters (Heathcliff, Catherine, Hindley, Nelly Dean, and Hareton), Wuthering Heights is a centuries-old farmhouse that symbolizes simplicity, wildness, and passion. Sturdy, substantial, and stubborn, the house is at one with the surrounding moors; it is fierce but unchanging. Its inhabitants share its characteristics—like it or not, they are in touch with their raw, natural, and animalistic instincts. Wuthering Heights stands for unfettered, primal emotions—it is nature.

Thrushcross Grange

Thrushcross Grange, the house owned by the Lintons and then inhabited by Lockwood, is a symbol of tamed, refined, civilized culture. Even when Heathcliff owns it, he chooses to rent it rather than live in it, for its formality does not suit the likes of him. In contrast to Wuthering Heights, "The Grange" stands for manners and civility. It is an outpost of education and urbanity in the midst of the wildness of the northern English moors.

The Weather

The frequent storms and wind that sweep through Wuthering Heights symbolize how the characters are at the mercy of forces they cannot control. For example, Lockwood, the city boy, thinks he can walk back to Thrushcross Grange through a storm, but the nature-respecting folks at Wuthering Heights tell him he's crazy; they know that the weather—nature—is far stronger than he is. Brontë uses the weather as a metaphor for nature, which she portrays as a magnificently strong force that can conquer any character. The strongest characters are those who give the weather the respect it deserves.

Look for the red text to track where The Weather appears in: Chapter 1, Chapter 2