Catherine In Wuthering Heights Essay, Research Paper
What role does Catherine play in Wuthering Heights? Emily Bront s Wuthering Heights is a story about the power of love between the two central characters Catherine & Heathcliff; and the destruction it causes to both themselves and the families of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. The love they hold for each other is both cruel and self-absorbed, and is catalyst for Heathcliff s revenge which comes about from Catherine s death. Whilst Catherine; is being part of this relationship, she is a significant person in the story, as she is the reason for Heathcliffs actions in which he brings about his own downfall, and that of those around him. As a character alone, Catherine represents the reason for the unfolding plot, and provides interest to the reader. She apart from a surface character, symbolises spirituality within the novel. Religious elements likewise occur in her love for Heathcliff. pg 122 I cannot express it, but surely you and everybody have a notion that there is, or should be an existence of your beyond you. What were the use of my creation if I were entirely contained here? Her longing to find solitude with Heathcliff in Heaven is too also a example of religion within the novel. Catherine s idea of death and how it will affect herself and Heathcliff. About the idea of a common soul between them and Catherine not resting until Heathcliff joins her in death. Bront explores the religious belief of Heaven, and life after death.Catherine is a character we can somewhat relate to in the novel; this can derived from the human characteristics she holds; her true love for Heathcliff, Nelly, I am Hethcliff- he s, always, always in my mind… so don t talk of our seperation.. (pg 122), her arrogance and behaviour towards Nelly especially, She pinched me, ..very spitefully on the arm. She stamped her foot..slapped me on the check a stinging blow.. (pg111), her materialistic views on the idea of prestige and comfort which brings about the marriage with Edgar, because he is handsome… he will be rich, and I shall like to be the greatest woman of the
neighbourhood. (pg 118), and her happiness at her reunion with Heathcliff (pg 136/137). They, despite not always provoking positive feelings towards Catherine, do lead the reader to relate and through comparing wit her human weaknesses and behaviour, hold a feeling of connection with her, regardless of the emotions she provokes in ourselves. We the reader also gain a somewhat sense of sympathy towards Catherine given the harsh account we receive from Nelly Dean. Nelly admits that she does not like Catherine, she was the queen of the countryside…she did turn out a haughty, headstrong creature!..after her infancy past; I vexed ..trying to bring down her arrogance.. (106), and therefore is often unfair to her. Catherine s character as stated consists of three main roles. Firstly as a character and catalyst in the plot of Wuthering Heights; a contributing factor to the destructive love, and the reason for the revenge in which Heathcliff brings about his downfall, and that of those around him. Secondly, it is to involve the audience within the storyline of the novel, by relating to the reader through appealing to our human characteristics, weaknesses and behaviour. That is not to say the other character do not hold human characteristics in which we can relate to, (eg Heathcliff; jealousy), however Catherine holds the most significant change as a character, from her fun-loving infancy, to her harsh arrogant and demoralising existence. It is for this reason the audience feels as if they have shared the journey with her, the destructive power of her love for Heathcliff, and inturn relate and find her a more appealing character, yet somewhat a victim of her own desire. Thirdly, she is representative of spiritual and religious elements into the novel. Her display towards pray at the beginning of the novel, her appearance to Lockwood as a ghost, and her belief in solitude with Heathcliff after death; all spiritual and supernatural elements in which Bront introduces into the storyline.