Although most of Wuthering Heights takes place indoors, readers sense that nature is a major element in the novel. Nature is present in figurative language, which accounts for the impression of realism, but why does Bronte choose an indirect mode of presentation over a direct one? The figurative uses of nature form a highly abstract symbolic system, distinct from “real” nature, while “real” nature is unrepresentable. Psychoanalytic theory may account for this discrepancy, if the text is treated as if it were a psyche. Nature, or the destructive reality it represents, is so threatening that it must be repressed, while the figurative use of nature is a sublimation, redirecting the dangerous force into a safe and constructive channel. Analysis of the heroine, Cathy, helps to confirm this reading. Similar forces are at work in her psyche, but unlike the author she cannot sublimate and succumbs to nature’s power.