The Importance of the Setting in Wuthering Heights

1616 words 7 pages
The Importance of the Setting in Wuthering Heights

There are numerous approaches to analyzing and understanding a novel, with the setting being one of utmost importance. It is one of the first aspects noted by readers because it can potentially increase their identification of specific motifs, and subsequently themes, through repetitively emphasizing the natural setting that penetrates conversations, incidences, thoughts, and behaviors. The author typically creates a setting that facilitates the development of a proper atmosphere and mood while maintaining a sense of veracity for the reader. In Emily Bronte’s classic novel, Wuthering Heights, the setting not only successfully satisfies these fundamental guidelines, but it also
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Likewise, facial expressions are similar to the descriptions of the landscape as countenances are often described as clouding over or brightening alternatively. For example, when Mr. Lockwood invites Nelly Dean to recount the story of the inhabitants of Wuthering Heights, “a cloud of meditation over her ruddy countenance” appears (62). In addition, “Catherine’s face was just like the landscape-shadows and sunshine flitting over it, in rapid succession; but the shadows rested longer, and the sunshine was more transient” (253). This similarity of natural descriptions to characterize some of the inhabitants is particularly important for Heathcliff. It establishes and constantly reinforces an ominous feeling whenever his presence is noted in the novel, specifically the later half. Also, the utilization of these descriptions can indicate changes in attitude. One example concerns Heathcliff’s excitement, and his subsequent jealousy, when Nelly offers to properly clean and dress Heathcliff so he may join the rest for dinner after Edgar and Isabelle’s arrival to the Heights. “Heathcliff’s face brightened a moment; then he was overcastted afresh, and he sighed” (82). This perversion of landscape details in many aspects projects its importance to a higher level throughout the novel.

The pervasive setting also functions as a crucial character in the novel for not


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