The change of Catherine


PosterĄG Jennifer at 1:50:33 4/28/98 from 140.136.76.117
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Catherine is the first character I want to talk about. We can say that she is the center of this story. First, her ghost triggers Lockwood*s interest as well as ours. This frightened beginning leads to Nelly*s narration, then we see how passionate love and cruel revenge weave through the Yorkshire moors.
When Catherine is alive, she is the main cause of Edgar and Heathcliff*s unsolved hatred. Her beauty and her nature make no one her enemy, yet, it is worth of fighting for her. Her attraction overwhelms both Edgar and Heathcliff*s hearts. We could see how Edgar and Heathcliff make each an opponent after Catherine comes back from Grange.
Heathcliff tells Nelly his shame of not being able to compare with Edgar*s handsome, good manner and rich and so on. But later, he gathered his confidence because of Nelly*s encouragement on his brave and manly-like nature which cannot be found in weak Edgar. So he washed himself and dressed up to show his comparability with Edgar and capability of being company with Catherine.
As for Edgar, he looked down upon Heathcliff because he is from lower class. Also, he knows Catherine has a close and intimate relationship with Heathcliff which he would never reach. When he insulted Heathcliff publicly and get a hurt in return, Catherine scolded him for his misconduct. Catherine told him that she hated Heathcliff to be flogged. If there hadn*t been Catherine between Heathcliff and Edgar, there wouldn*t be such a complicated love*s triangle.
When Catherine died, her ghost haunted both Edgar and Heathcliff*s hearts. Though there is not as many and obvious descriptions about how Edgar haunted by Catherine as those for Heathcliff, we can tell Catherine still lives in his heart since he deeply mourned on every anniversary of her death. He would like to be alone even reject his loving daughter*s accompany. As for Heathcliff, showing great eagerness of being haunted. His love is so strong that he even open Catherine*s coffin to see her. Before he died, he was extra ordinary excited and spiritual. As Nelly said, he seems has a company, and she heard him murmuring the name of Catherine. However, there is no prove whether he did see Catherine or he was just insane. No matter what, the cause of his strange behavior and his death was Catherine. That*s for sure.
Catherine is the soul, the controversial center in this novel. Though she only appeared in the former part of the story, her influence reached till the end. The main character in the later part of the novel is Heathcliff who planned the cruel revenge. But Catherine possessed his heart. She made him believe he had to account for part of her death. In a struggle of regret, hatred and passionate love, Heathcliff went to extreme which caused everybody living in the Hal.
For Catherine*s great influence, it*s important to examine her obvious change in her life. There are two major factors which cause big changes in her.
She was naturally a naughty, lively trouble maker, yet she had a good heart that she couldn*t bare seeing somebody hurt because of her mischief and not comforting him/her. Her strong personality wouldn*t let her grievance last long. She cried for a while when her father told her not to love her, but then she recovered very soon and being naughty again. She grew naturally and wildly without any curbs actually, especially with uneducated Heathcliff. Both of them had a lot of fun and enjoyed each other*s company very much.
The first turning point is Catherine*s stay in Grange. Within a few weeks, she was totally changed. When she first saw Heathcliff, she said to him how very black and cross he looked. She complained about his dirtiness and odd appearance which Heathcliff couldn*t bare a little bit, because she used to be like him. Gradually, she grew up like an educated and civilized person, totally different from Heathcliff and getting closer to the Lintons. She even rejected Heathcliff*s presence when Edgar was coming. Like Nelly said, she adopted a double character. When Edgar was absent, she was like the old Catherine, wild and uncivilized, hanging around with Heathcliff. But once in front of Edgar, she was a lady. For instance, she pinched Nelly perceived that Edgar didn*t see this. She admired the life in high class, but she can hardly drop her old life style. When she addressed to Nelly in the kitchen, even she didn*t why she changed so much. According to their conversation in the kitchen, she loves Edgar for many reasonable reasons that she will be happy if she marries Edgar. But she also admitted that deep in her heart, she loved Heathcliff because he was more herself the she was. From here, we know Catherine eager to meet the social expect by hiding her true personality. She married Edgar finally.
The second change happened in her marriage. She purposely behave herself to be a good wife and a good sister-in-law, and she did. In her marriage, we cannot see the old Catherine any more. We don*t know if she*s happy or not, but at least we know she leads a peaceful life and seems satisfied for we don*t hear any complaint from her.
Until the back of Heathcliff, her nature seemed to be awakened. She treated Heathcliff as an old friend rather than an old lover. Although she was excited, she still conduct herself well. We know her strong, hidden and passionate love for Heathcliff when she was dying. She begged Heathcliff before Edgar was about to come in, "No! don*t go. It*s the last time! Edgar will not hurt us." Before she died, her passion explosive.
The change of her personality influenced her choice between Edgar and Heathcliff. And it*s also the cause of the sequences in the rest of the story.


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  • Re: The change of Catherine -- Kate Liu 14:37:17 5/11/98

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