In Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë explores the theme of social class through the stark contrast between the two family estates of Earnshaws and Lintons. Wuthering Heights is a place of turmoil, passion, and wildness, while Thrushcross Grange is a comfortable and tranquil home. Heathcliff and Catherine are from Wuthering Heights and long to rebel against the rules and restrictions imposed on them by Hindley, their older brother. Edgar and Isabella are from Thrushcross Grange, and although they are well-educated and well-mannered, they are also arrogant and nervous.
One day, Catherine and Heathcliff decide to escape from their house and visit Thrushcross Grange to observe the Lintons’ way of life. They are fascinated by the elegant interior of the house and the refined behavior of its occupants. They make fun of Isabella and Edgar’s fuss over a dog they both want to play with. However, things take a violent turn when the Earnshaws scare the Lintons by releasing a bulldog, which ends up mauling Catherine’s leg.
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Catherine ends up staying at Thrushcross Grange for five weeks to recover from her injury. During this time, she begins to see the differences between her own family and the Lintons more clearly. Brontë uses this episode to highlight the divide between the two families, with the Earnshaws representing the search for true feelings and the Lintons representing personal comfort. Ultimately, this clash between the two families serves as a powerful metaphor for the larger social conflicts of the time.
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