A Victim of Reality

PosterĄG Karina at 12:5:21 4/26/98 from h89.s244.ts.hinet.net

Karina Chen

A Victim of Reality

In "Wuthering Heights," we see tragedies follow one by one, and the first one that is the beginning of all the others happens on Catherine Earnshaw (Catherine Linton.) In other words, her decision of her marriage leads to the following tragedies. However, we should not blame her, for she herself is also a victim, a victim of reality.
In Chapter 9, Catherine reveals her love toward Heathcliff and Edgar in different ways in her chat with Nelly ~ "*he*s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same." "My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it, I*m well aware, as winter changes the trees-my love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath-a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff-he*s always, always in my mind-not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself-but, as my own being*" From Catherine*s words above, it is no doubt that she loves Heathcliff more than she loves Edgar. To Catherine, she is Heathcliff, which represents what a significant role Heathcliff plays in her mind. Besides, she also compares her love for Heathcliff to "the eternal rocks beneath," which means being permanent all the time, while she does not do so to Edgar. On the contrary, she thinks of her love for Edgar as "the foliage in the woods," which is bound to change someday. As a result, we can know that in Catherine*s mind, Edgar cannot replace Heathcliff, and that if anybody wants to separate Catherine and Heathcliff, it will parallel to dividing her soul into two parts fiercely.
Nevertheless, Catherine does not choose Heathcliff as her husband though she understand he is the one who knows her mind, for she considers that "it would degrade her to marry Heathcliff, now." In that era, the concept of class was still rooted deeply in most people*s minds, and Catherine was no exception, especially after she stayed in Thrushcross Grange. She became self-contradictory after she returned Wuthering Heights, where is just like a entirely different world when compared with Thrushcross Grange. Before Catherine went to the Lintons, Wuthering Heights was her only world. However, during the five weeks in Thrushcross Grange, she got to visit the world she had not met before. Gradually, she was attracted to that kind of life(metaphor of Edgar,) but this does not mean she forgets her old friend-Heathcliff. In outer appearance and behavior, she imitates the Lintons, while this does not obscure her inner recognition of her identity in Heathcliff and of his identity in her. Owing to this, she began to struggle in her mind, and Edgar was her choice in the end. From Nelly*s perspective, Catherine is so innocent that she thinks that if she marries Edgar, then Edgar "must shake off his antipathy, and tolerate Heathcliff, at least." It is her belief that "her marriage with Edgar can aid Heathcliff to rise and place him out of Hindley*s power". However, after all, this is only her own thought, not also Edgar*s, thus, her wish and reality can not be balanced, then the trouble(danger) came.
In my point of view, I suppose Catherine does not know clearly about what she really wants. She place things in wrong places. To her, her marriage with Edgar becomes a tool that can aid Heathcliff to rise. From her own aspect, she thinks her "sacrifice" enables the man she loves lead a better life. However, her thought cannot be accepted by Heathcliff. Were I Heathcliff, although I am treated badly by Hindley, I would remain happy if I stay with Catherine, the girl I love. Although she recognizes the fact eventually, it was too late. Consequently, she is a victim of reality, and I really feel sympathetic to her.


  • Re: A Victim of Reality -- Kate Liu 14:31:54 5/11/98

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