An individual’s environment can play a major role in that individuals coming of character. Emily Bronte develops characters for her novel Wuthering Heights based on their individual environments. Wuthering Heights is the residence of the Earnshaws’, an uncultivated, strong, stormy, manor where Hindley and Catherine grew up along side the adapted orphan Heathcliff. Catherine and Heathcliff develop a passionate love for one another. The house was overwhelmed with all forms of passions. Hindley and Heathcliff throughout the novel maintain revengeful passions aimed toward one another.
Four miles a way sits the cultivated, beautiful, Thrushcross Grange where the Lintons’ dwell. Edgar and Isabella Linton cross paths with the inhabitants of Wuthering Heights only to provide contrast and raise conflict. Catherine choices wealth over love and marries Edgar while vengeful Heathcliff takes advantage of the infatuated Isabella by marrying her. By this Heathcliff is furthering his plans of revenge over Edgar for marry his Catherine. Emily Bronte uses two contrasting places to reveal the emotional flaws of the characters.
Through the individuals of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, flaws of passion, revenge, strong willingness, naivety, infatuation, refinement as well as cultivation and un-cultivation are reveled. Wuthering Heights mirrors the emotion flaws of its inhabitants, who are Passionate, revengeful, strong willed, and uncultivated. Since their childhood days in the Moors surrounding Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff and Catherine had a passionate love for each other. Catherine testified to her companion Nelly Dean, “I am Heathcliff. In her opinion they were so in love and so intertwined that “Whatever [their] souls are made of, his and [hers] are the same. ” However Catherine’s passion was not expressed solely.
Heathcliff was so filled with passion that after Catherine’s death he begged her to “be with [him] always,” he wanted Catherine to haunt him so that he could never be “without [his] soul. ” Heathcliff is a passionate character on many levels. His passionate love turned to passionate revenge when Catherine chose the road of wealth over love. Heathcliff warned Catherine for a final time, “I know that you have treated me infernally- infernally … f you think I can be consoled by your sweet words, than you’re an idiot, and if you fancy I’ll suffer unrevenged, I’ll convince you the contrary. ”
Heathcliff spent a lifetime pursuing his revenge and chasing his passionate lover. He sought revenge over the simple man his wild love fell for. He ruined Edgar Linton’s life, truthfully he ruined the lives of anyone who stepped in his “stormy,” “turbulent” path. Hindley was a victim of Heathcliff’s passionate drive for revenge, for it was Hindley who robbed Heathcliff of an education, treated him as a servant and most traumatically suppressed Heathcliff and Catherine’s relationship.
Heathcliff swore “I shall pay Hindley back. I don’t care how long I wait, if I can only do it at last. I hope he will not die before I do,” he knew Hindley would eventually pay the price. Hindley was not an innocent victim, his treatment of Heathcliff arouse from his own vengeful passion toward Heathcliff because their father, in Hindley’s eyes loved Heathcliff more. The combination of the burden of Heathcliff’s revenge and the lost of his wife would force Hindley down a grief stricken path. His gambling debts and alcoholism would turn a once strong willed man into an uncultivated pitiful character.
As passionately as Catherine felt for Heathcliff she could not marry him, after all, in her own words, “It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now. ” Catherine was strong willed. As her house stood strong against the storms, she would stand strong and not allow her passion to override her need for wealth and social status. Catherine was wild, too wild for the Grange, but something changed in her as she spent more time in a cultivated society, suddenly she wasn’t so uncultivated, she lost the wildness and the strong willity that filled her at Wuthering Heights. The Grange changed Catherine, it stiffed her wildness.
However no marriage, separation, or revenge could break Catherine’s passion for Heathcliff. It was the reflection of Wuthering Heights and its stormy, uncultivated thorny grounds that were scene in the eyes of its inhabitants. Thrushcross Grange and the Linton family represent cultivated, infatuation, refinement and naivety. Edgar and Isabella grew up in a beautiful home, untouched by the dangers of its surrounding environment. Opposite of Wuthering Heights, Thrushcross Grange is filled with light and warmth. “Unlike Wuthering Heights, it is elegant and comfortable… splendid place carpeted with crimson, and crimson covered chairs and tables, and a pure white ceiling bordered by gold’.
” Thrushcross Grange was the epitome a cultured society and thus the appropriate home of cultivated children. Unlike his foil character Heathcliff, Edgar is literate, worldly and a citizen of cultured society. The cultured manner of the men of the Grange preludes Catherine’s mocking of Heathcliff, the uncultivated “stable boy. ” Although Edgar and Isabella’s appearance at the Grange was often nai??ve compared to Wuthering Heights’ chaos, life at the Grange was placid and refined.
Edgar’s existence at Thrushcross Grange was as “different from Heathcliff’s ‘as moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire’. ” The Lintons’ were often portrayed as naive, and pampered, but their life was much more jovial than the lives of the inmates of Wuthering Heights. Edgar never experienced a wild spirit or the feeling of a broken heart until his path crossed with Catherine’s. Catherine shattered Edgar’s naively manner when he fell in love with her.
Edgar’s infatuation of Catherine turned into love, although never returned, for as Catherine would say, “I’ve no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven. Her heart belonged to Heathcliff and was something Edgar could never have. Isabella did not know infatuation until she saw Heathcliff. She would never experience the passion that existed between Heathcliff and Catherine but she would have to decide on Edgar’s ultimatum, “Give up Heathcliff hereafter or… give up me? ” It was once Isabella chose her infatuation for Heathcliff over her brother that her infatuation turned to hate. It was not Thrushcross Grange where she gained her strength of character, but Wuthering Heights where she came to the conclusion, “I recovered from my first desire to be killed by him-I’d rather he’d kill himself!
He has extinguished my love effectually, and so I’m at my ease. ” Isabella married Heathcliff and was exposed to the storminess of Wuthering Heights, but it was that stormy place that granted her strength. The Linton children did not know of the moors where their eventual companions founded their love for each other nor did they have the temptation to resist society and culture as those of Wuthering Heights did. The cultivated, faire skinned, blonde haired children of Thrushcross Grange led the lives of beauty and serenity that their home possessed, until they crossed Paths with the stormy Wuthering Heights characters.
Emily Bronte created characters that polarized to one of two houses and provided contrast for the reader. Bronte introduced the stormy, passionate, uncultivated Earnshaws of Wuthering Heights and the nai??ve, sheltered, cultivated Lintons from Thrushcross Grange, so that each character resembles their home, that is until they left home and either gained or lost a part of them with the experience. Such contrasting environments provide a platform for the characters’ flaws to be reveled. For the characters of Wuthering Heights home is not just a place, it is who they are.