Wuthering Heights: Child's Emotions vs. Adult Emotions

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Child Emotions vs. Adult Emotions
By Andrea Lee

All appearances said that Catherine Linton was as grown up as she could be, she was married and quite past the age when one is considered an adult. But, if one would look just a little farther, they could see that in all her rebelliousness she is maintaining a carefully constructed façade, created to look adult while she spends hours of time dreaming about the childhood that she wished would last forever.

When we first see Catherine enter Nelly's story she selfishly wanted the gift that her father promised her despite the fact that her father had gone out of his was to help a little boy that was all alone in the world. This is the first view of the selfish little girl emotions that eventually make her seem as if she is a little girl trapped in a woman's body. But of course in this scene she was a child so it is excused individually but as a whole when put together along with the rest of the proof that she was a childish woman it shows just the beginning of the downward spiral that was Catherine Linton's life.

She soon became very attached to Heathcliff. "She was much too fond of Heathcliff. The greatest punishment we could invent for her was to keep her separate from him…" (E. Bronte pg67) it was quite clear that Catherine felt very strongly for Heathcliff, maybe even too strongly. An adult knows that it's good for them to have some time of their own but that is not how a child thinks, they think they can be with their best friend forever without end. This is probably what led to the drastic change in Catherine's personality after returning from the Grange after her stay as a young girl. Her love for Heathcliff and want to be with him cemented her younger personality but when separated that foundation broke and she found a new self. Both from the perspective of wanting to be with her best friend forever as well as the not knowing her true self, Catherine was still showing signs of not growing up. Sure...
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