Catherine Earnshaw Character Analysis

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The Dualism of Catherine Earnshaw’s Character in Wuthering Heights Wuthering Heights is a work marked by bewildering characterization. Perhaps most complex of all is Emily’s portrayal of Catherine Earnshaw as a pitiful victim and an abusive victimizer. With such qualities, Catherine’s character was violently at odds with ideals of the Victorian womanhood. Namely, that a woman should be passive, obedient, and an angel in the house. (Towheed, 2012). Indeed, not major characteristics of Bronte’s female protagonist. However, this victimizing behavior could be justified by Catherine’s own victimization; a mixture that is incapable of affecting one’s own sympathizes towards her. Notably, Catherine’s first victim is herself. To enumerate, she…show more content…
Catherine is most affected by this loss. According to Howard, Martin, Berlin and Gunn (2012), this absence could be seen as key to the instability of familial ties. Such instability is particularly obvious in the growing gap between Mr. Earnshaw and his children. In the beginning Mr. Earnshaw is introduced as a kind father, asking his children what to bring for them from Liverpool, however, after his wife’s death Mr. Earnshaw is unable to understand Jokes from his children and “Catherine, on her part, had no idea why her father should be crosser and less patient in his ailing condition” (Bronte, 2009). While Nelly assert that Mr. Earnshaw was a kindhearted father though he was rather severe and strict sometimes, this does not eliminate the fact his relationship with his children, following his wife’s death, was characterized by negligence and lack of understanding. Along with these observations, Howard, Martin, Berlin and Gunn (2012) maintain that a child’s separation from his mother is linked to behavior problems, particularly for girls. Consequently, the gulf between Catherine and her father along with her mother’s death had negatively impacted her mental health and her character formation. Lastly Catherine is also a victim of
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