Heredity and enviornment have been examined to determine if either contributes to the character and actions of a person. In Wuthering Heights, the enviornment and what goes on in it determine the personality of the characters. Wuthering Heights is the residence of the Earnshaws. It has a gloomy look and is often affected by the north winds. The other home, Thrushcross Grange, is home to the Lintons. It is a beautiful place, almost heavenly. These two homes contribute to the behavior of Heathcliff, Catherine, Hareton, Linton, and Cathy.
Mr. Earnshaw brings Heathcliff to Wuthering Heights. This inspires a sense of jealousy from Hindley, Mr. Earnshaw's son. After Mr. Earnshaw's death, Hindley takes over the Heights and mistreats Heathcliff. Heathcliff is "hardened [ ] to ill-treatment" (27). This treatment lasts until Heathcliff is a young man. Wuthering Heights is full of malice and hatred that Heathcliff turns revengeful and hateful of all at Wuthering Heights. Hindley is lured into gambling and mortgaging the house to Heathcliff. When Hindley dies, the house and Hareton, Hindley's son, are in Heathcliff's possession.
As young children, Catherine, Mr. Earnshaw's daughter, and Heathcliff play together and are the best of friends. "It was one of their chief amusements to run away to the moors in the morning and remain there all day" (33). She is described as "a wild, hatless little savage" (37). However, when Catherine is injured at Thrushcross Grange, the Linton's have to take care of her. When she returns to Wuthering Heights, she returns as " a very dignified person" (37). Her association with the Lintons, a family of greater status than the Earnshaws, makes her "a haughty, headstrong creature" (47). She loves Heathcliff, but her stay at the Grange changes her. The change is so great that she rejects Heathcliff to marry Edgar Linton. .
Hareton is another character whose behavior is dictated by his surrounding environment.