Wuthering Heights - Characters

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Catherine - (Characters)

She is brought up at Wuthering Heights

She gets married to Edgar Linton when she really loves Heathcliff and she then dies after giving birth to young Cathy

Us as readers are introduced to Catherine through her ghost form and the names that Lockwood finds by the window at WH could imply that her identity is unknown

Nelly describes Catherine as 'mischievous and wayward' (Page 38) which implies that she could make unpredictable and surprising decisions and that she is loving and loyal but at the same time destructive

Catherine says to Nelly that 'I am Heathcliff' (Page 82) and this shows her unstable identity

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Heathcliff

Heathcliff is adopted by Mr Earnshaw and he is named after Mr Earnshaw's dead son

Clearly throughout the novel, Heathcliff has strong feelings for Catherine

Heathcliff marries Isabella Linton and they have a child

Heathcliff is the only character with a single name which is his Christian name and surname -> Automatically doesn't fit in

He is perceived as a gift and a threat which portrays him as an unpredictable character (Hero or monster)

The best way to describe him is as a 'Byronic hero'

He is described by Catherine as an 'unreclaimed creature' (Page 102) which implies he is unwanted and hard to read and she also says that 'He's not a rough diamond - a pearl-containing oyster of a rustic; he's a fierce, pitiless, wolfish man' (Page 103) which implies he is going to be horrible to Isabella

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Edgar Linton

He is heir to Thrushcross Grange and Isabella's brother

The first time we see him he is a child and he is portrayed as a harmless and charming person however as a man he is shown to be lacking in many qualities and easy to read

Nelly says 'Edgar Linton shall look quite a doll beside you' (Page 57) to Heathcliff implying that Edgar is weak and easy to push aside

Catherine describes Edgar 'Your type is not a lamb, it's a sucking leveret' (Page 115) and this shows that he is weaker than a lamb and that he needs to be loved

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Isabella

She becomes disowned by Edgar and she is treated very badly by Heathcliff

She escapes to the South of England and remains there for the rest of her life and looks after Heathcliff's son

She is compared with a monkey, canary, sparrow's egg, cat, tigress, vixen and dove which presents her as a complex person and that her decisions punish her just like the cycle of nature

Catherine says to Nelly that 'the brightness of Isabella's yellow hair, and the whiteness of her skin... her dainty elegance, and the fondness all the family exhibit for her' (Page 98) -> Depicts her as lifeless but also as a similar person to her brother

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Linton

He is Cathy's first cousin and he lives in the South of England until his mother dies (Isabella)

Linton and Cathy 'get married' even though his health starts to decline

His name, Linton Heathcliff, emphasises the porr union between Heathcliff and the Lintons

Linton can be seen as effeminate; he is manipulative, fickle, sickly, babyish and enfeebled

Linton is described as 'a pet', a 'puling chicken' and a 'whelp (Pages 199, 207 and 208) -> Shows him as immature and less than a human

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Hareton

Hareton is the son of Hindley and Frances Earnshaw

He is ill-educated and ill-treated by Heathcliff

He's the cousin of Cathy Linton and at the end of the novel he and Cathy are planning to get married

Hareton fails in inheriting Wuthering Heights because he is uneducated and Heathcliff takes control of Wuthering Heights -> However Hareton eventually takes back what is his

When Cathy kisses Hareton 'He trembled, and his face glowed - all his rudeness, and all his surly harshness had deserted him' (Page 314) -> This can be seen as putting an end to the conflicts

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Cathy

She grows up in a protected environment and she gets married to Linton Heathcliff, and she still lives at WH when he dies

Cathy inherits the goodness from her parents whereas Linton doesn't

Cathy has a great deal of pride and she ridicules Hareton's intelligence and she is the more powerful person in her relationship with Hareton

Nelly describes Cathy as 'the most winning thing that ever brought sunshine into a desolate house - a real beauty in face - with Earnshaws' handsome dark eyes, but the Lintons' fair skin and small features, and yellow curling hair. Her spirit was high, though not rough, and qualified by a heart, sensitive and lively to excess in its affections ... her love never fierce; it was deep and tender' (Page 189) -> Shapes our view on the naughty behaviour of Cathy and Nelly may see Lockwood as an escape route for Cathy

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Nelly

Nelly is the 2nd dominant narrative perspective within the novel

Nelly has two names, Nelly used by people who know her and Ellen where people are being respectful

She acts as both a servant and mother figure at both TG and WH

She can be perceived as an educated woman having read nearly all of the books at Thrushcross Grange -> She doesn't speak the local dialect but understands all of it

She can be perceived as the servant when she is narrating, delivering the story to all of us readers

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