Four Motifs in Wuthering Heights

A Master Thesis by Louise Hsin-Ling Wang from The National Taiwan Normal University. Four Major Motifs In Wuthering Heights
The book motif
The book plays functions in this novel. In Wuthering Heights, the book is not a source of spiritual comfort and guidance but a torment for Catherine and Heathcliff.  The book (Bible) becomes a symbol of arbitrary constraint.  In Thrushcross Grange, the book not only is a chief source of knowledge and experience for the people, but also is their spiritual refuge. Later on, book also has a reconciliation function between two opposite places (Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange). Although the book does not succeed in reconciling the first generation (Catherine and Edgar), it does succeed the second one (Cathy and Hareton).
The window motif
Window separates two different world (The ghost of Catherine canít get into her room in Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff was watching Catherine out the window of Thrushcross Grange). Window also is a communication for Catherine and Heathcliff (she crept through the skylight to talk to him in the Christmas night). Close and shut the window reflects Catherineís mind. The window is a symbol of some obstacle or limitation to Linton Heathcliff and also is a symbol of escape to Catherine.
The nature motif
Nature plays a very important role in Wuthering Heights. The weather reflects the characterís mind and face and it also can predict the future condition. When the character is very worry, sad and unhappy, there is always cloudy and rainy. If there is any miserable thing happens, it always is stormy or snowy with heavy rain or wild wind outside. When there is calm and no any sorrow, the weather is fine. Besides the images of cloud, wind and water, the image of fire also is very important in the novel. Fire image is connected with strong emotions. It reflects the strong feelings experienced by different characters and also it is a symbol of reconstruction after destruction (After the destruction of the books by Heathcliff, Cathy bring others to Hareton from Thrushcross Grange). Since there lacks motherly love in the novel, nature plays a mother for the children to give them happiness (Catherine and Heathcliff feel happy in the moors). Nature is also a symbol of reconciliation. It reflects the love of Cathy and Hareton for each other (Cathy plants the flowers in Wuthering Heights with Hareton).
The animal motif
The animal is among the major images that make up the metaphorical context of Wuthering Heights. A large portion of the subconscious forces in man is expressed by means of the passions of animals. Nearly every character suggests or is compared to a certain kind of animal.

These are the general ideas of four motifs (book, window, nature and animal) from the  Four Major Motifs in Wuthering Heights. If you want to know more detail about them, you can read this book.