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Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte) > What do you think of Cathy? (Spoilers Allowed)

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message 1: by Raj (new)

Raj K-b | 4 comments Mod
What is your opinion on Cathy? (the first one?)

message 2: by Kiran (new)

Kiran (KiranAM) | 2 comments As soon as we are told Cathy 'was too mischievous and wayward', I had a bad feeling about how she might end. The terrific bold spark that animated her as a child was sure to dwindle for exposure with people other than her own. Dwindle and yet not die away completely. Cathy was too passionate a woman, we are uncertain about her, as she herself was uncertain about herself. Certainly a naughty child can be transformed into a dignified lady after five weeks of proper training but five weeks cannot change a tempestuous temperament to one of absolute self-control- she pinched Mrs Dean, in dress, frock and all. Impassioned women are rarely allowed to live their impulses as they wish, I believe this is Cathy's tragedy.

message 3: by Sultana (new)

Sultana Tornadoe | 2 comments Catherine/Cathy gives the impression of being a woman of frivolous nature and very much impulsive. Her character as a whole does seem to be dictated by the fact that she is very much conscious of her beauty and also of its effects on others in her surrounding. She tends to be self centered and throws tantrums which is significant of her childishness and it shows to what extent this graceful lady can be capricious. But Cathy is also the portrait of a very enthusiastic and lively woman though self centered but at no point a boring and passive character. The extent to which she is passionate is nature is overwhelming and sure does not fail to impress the reader but the paradox lies in Cathy's belief as being so in love with Heathcliff as to make only one. The question which arises is:Is capricious Cathy selfless enough to prove if she can really be one with Heathcliff?

message 4: by Jaimima (new)

Jaimima | 2 comments In the beginning, we are introduced to her as a very chaotic child, if we can call her a brat who pesters everyone yet loved by all. She has an uncontrollable fury which was ‘enough to make the calmest person lose temper’, this attributes of hers was quite obvious for she came from an affluent family, knowing no hardships to pocess something she liked, so it is quite natural to find her behave like she was. There was no one to stop her from doing what she wanted. We cannot talk of Cathy without the mention of Heathcliff, she had a great fondness of him which turned into love. She grew up with him, ‘as a servant’s child’, used foul languages, roamed without shoes everywhere, but we find a change in her once she met the Lintons. This shows her fickle-mindedness for she changed, and no longer wanted the company of Heathcliff, she cannot stick to one thing. Cathy was a girl who had social ambitions, yet there were impulses to violate these social conventions. She married Linton for she wanted to improve Heathcliff’s standard of living or rather of herself, showing her selfishness. This choice of hers destroyed the lives of many, Heathcliff, Linton, Isabella including herself. Even when she’s dead we find her buried with Edgar on one side and Heathcliff on the other. Her indecisive nature gave birth to her conflicted loyalties. But this is what brings a twist in the story for if she had chosen Heathcliff, the story would not have been the interesting, complex novel it is.

message 5: by Kiran (new)

Kiran (KiranAM) | 2 comments To your question Sultana, i admit even i had been wondering about the possibility of Cathy's and Heathcliff's union. Although they would have surely proved a lively couple, again their respective passionate temperaments would not have been conducive to a healthy, peaceful atmosphere. I remember Mrs March telling Jo in Louisa May Alcott's 'Good Wives' that two highly emotional individuals, like Jo herself and Laurie, would not make a good couple for the lack of moderation in one to appease the other. Linton provided Cathy the serenity she probably needed. I also think that despite her love for Heathcliff, Cathy knows him only too well, inside out, to imagine a life with him. Being aware of his violent feelings, she does not excuse him and we do not either; if the book were to end in such a way that they would be together, i think that i would have been highly strung, i would have expected an explosive disagreement any day.

message 6: by Raj (new)

Raj K-b | 4 comments Mod
I think that Cathy is a deliberate creation on the part of the author to counter all the stereotypes concerning Victorian womanhood. There is a vitality and an energy to her that defies the rules imposed by society. Note here that I do not mention patriarchal as there was no such thing as different currents such as feminism to contrast patriarchy with. At the same time, Bronte exploits the common association of woman and natural elements - Wuthering Heights with its tempestuous weather and sharp craggy moors resembles the indomitable Cathy - and to a lesser extent, Heathcliff.
The question I ask myself is: how does Bronte want us to see Cathy? I guess that notions of "good" and "being good" (which were predominantly Victorian concerns) are rendered null and void here with a character who does not even know or care about these notions - given she does not see how they apply to their lives.

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