Catherine Earnshaw

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Catherine Earnshaw

Catherine Earnshaw is the daughter of Mr. Earnshaw and his wife; Catherine falls powerfully in love with Heathcliff, the orphan Mr. Earnshaw brings home from Liverpool. She was born at Wuthering Heights and was raised with her brother Hindley. Catherine loves Heathcliff so intensely that she claims they are the same person but does not marry him because Hindley has degraded him after their father's death so her desire for social advancement motivates her to marry Edgar Linton instead, a neighbour from Thrushcross Grange and he is handsome and rich, another reason for Catherine marrying him. She is quite passionate about Heathcliff though, and does not want to give him up. She becomes ill when Heathcliff and Edgar fight, and dies in childbirth. Catherine is free-spirited, wild, impetuous, and arrogant as a child, she grows up getting everything she wants as Nelly describes in chapter 5, ‘A wild, wicked slip she was'. She is given to fits of temper, and she is torn between her wild passion for Heathcliff and her social ambition. She brings misery to both of the men who love her, ultimately; Catherine's selfishness ends up hurting everyone she loves, including herself. As a child Cathy was wild and headstrong and her determination enables her to get everything that she wants. Although she only loves Heathcliff, she has a choice between him and Edgar Linton, as he too loves her. She chooses Edgar because of his status, but ends up hurting both him and Heathcliff. She dies prematurely after the birth of her daughter Catherine, and it is reputed that her ghost haunted Heathcliff for over eighteen years. Heathcliff is considered to be the main protagonist of the novel so Catherine is the dominant female spirit, which prevails the novel. She is a character dominated by obsession and her single greatest obsession is her love for Heathcliff. It is this, which gives food to her soul, which controls her life and gives a sense of meaning, purpose and...
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