Charlotte Bronte opposes the dark Wuthering Heights and light Thrushcross Grange. In such a way, she emphasizes the conflict between the characters. The author uses vivid descriptions and metaphors to convey the difference. The two worlds of the novel’s characters reveal the duality in Wuthering Heights.
The difference between the houses appears in every detail of the interior and the surrounding nature. The location of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange is the first noticeable difference. The first is located on a hill blown by cold winds far from the villages and surrounded by nature. The second is in a picturesque valley sheltered from the winds. It has access to other settlements.
This depiction contrasts the wild nature of Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw and the calm Linton siblings. It shows up after Catherine’s marriage to Mr. Linton. Even though the girl learned manners, she never left the wild temper of Thrushcross Grange. At the same time, Mr. Linton is always a gentleman. He is patient with all his wife’s vagaries.
The description of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange interiors carries symbolism. It reflects the character of their inhabitants. Wuthering Heights is a dark stone house with narrow windows and doors, which scares other people. The place is always cold, and the rooms are poorly lit by daylight from the street and candles inside it.
The house is as unfriendly as its owners, between whom there is always enmity. Heathcliff is as unwelcome to other people as the house. Hindley is a gambler and alcoholic. He does not let knowledge enter his family as narrow windows prevent daylight. The house has no place for strangers or personal space for its inhabitants. These features add claustrophobic feelings to the novel. In particular, they demonstrate the unhealthy addiction of Katherine and Heathcliff.
Thrushcross Grange is the complete opposite of Wuthering Heights. It is the epitome of elegance and openness. A large house in a sunny valley surrounded by a small park has large windows, bright colors, books, and art. The friendly and cheerful place matches the character of its owners. The Lintons received high-quality education and manners from their parents. Mr. Linton and his sister are kind and naive, and they know how to love. Although Heathcliff and Catherine describe the Linstons as spoiled, they envy their lives. But ultimately, Catherine becomes a part of it.
Through this contrast, Brontë conveys Wuthering Heights’s themes. She highlights the conflict between social classes, good and evil, knowledge and ignorance, love and revenge. There is another confirmation that the images of the houses reveal the characters of their inhabitants. After the death of Heathcliff, Catherine, and Hindley, their children transform Wuthering Heights into a hospitable home. They fill it with sympathy and love.