Catherin Earnshaw

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade December 2001

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Catherine Ernshaw has had many different characteristics about her. From loving friend, to controlling wife, but mainly just stubborn. With an attitude that can change at the drop of a hat, she is a very perceptive person. Although most wouldn't want to be so easily read, like that of a book, Catherine doesn't care. In fact she is very quick to tell you just what it is she's thinking.

In the ladder part of her life Catherine was very rude; before she became corrupt she did show a much softer side. She was a young girl who found great trust in Heathcliff. They were two childhood friends always around each other, playing, and getting into all sorts of mischief. She truly loved him, and was willing to be a good friend. Although this was one of Catherine's weakest trademarks it was very apparent to Heathcliff. Sometimes she would slip up and be a bit harsh with him, but that was only her way of showing it.

She was a bit of a brute while they played, but her tomboy attitude did not stop Heathcliff from enforcing their great friendship. He knew that she was a loving friend and would always be there for him. This is what made their friendship have the strength that it did. It withstood all the other things that tried to break down it's barriers with Catherine there supporting Heathcliff and he supporting her.

Once Catherine was married she found herself to become more and more controlling. She saw her marriage only as a duty rather then true love. This truly shows more depth, if you could call it that, to her character. She does not truly love Edgar, but she knows that he can easily provide for her and her family. Therefor she supposes that it would be all right to marry him. When Nelly Dean asks her the reasons for marring him she lists some of his social qualities, says that he's rich, and finally ends with well he loves me; therefor why shouldn't I. This is no reason to get married. Although in ways it wasn't completely intentional. She was quite naive. She did say that once married to Edgar she could easily help provide for Heathcliff. She obviously did not realize that once with one man things were through with all other men. So when with Edgar she sat back like a little princess waiting for him to take care of her every need. And Edgar was reluctant to give in.

Sadly the controlling attitude Edgar let go on was not one that was easily stopped in it's tracks, because Catherine is from a history of stubbornness. Even when it was just Nelly as her maid Catherine was constantly acting like a little child. She would sit up and complain constantly about stupid things. Catherine would always throw little fits. Always locking herself in her room, and throwing screaming fits. Catherine was no more a woman than Heathcliff was. Although most everyone tollerated it, because what else was there to do. One person who did not approve of these fits was Nelly Dean, a strong teacher to her. Neally was simply their maid, but was constantly keeping Catherine in line. It took a strong person to do so, therefor most just put up with it or just avoided it when all possible.

It is these characteristics that make up Catherine. Many may not like what is made up of her but it's those who are strong that can help it. Some may say that she didn't need help at all. This is just her personality, and this may be true. But whatever makes up Catherine it is truly strong. She is a bright person, constantly showing off her strengths, trying to hide her weaknesses, and always catching attention. Catherine Earnshaw was a brilliant character by Emily Bronte, and will be remembered by many literature students and teachers for all of her assets she brought to Wuthering Heights.