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What is Bronte suggesting by Catherine's decision to marry Edgar ?

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Introduction

This weeks essay 1500-2000 words. What is Bronte suggesting by Catherine's decision to marry Edgar ? Have some help Social conventions Property and inheritance Gentility of Thrushcross Grange Looks Wealth Ability to dominate him ? Inability to come to terms with her own sexual feelings for Heathcliff ( Frost and Fire) Foliage in the woods / Rocks beneath Degrade me now to marry Heathcliff Catherine as a metaphor for Bronte's own repression Catherine as the gothic heroine Heathcliff as incestuous insider / attractive outsider Bronte illustrating that Catherine rejects her soul for her economic well being. Therefore a capitalist novel rejecting feminism ? Maybe consider why Isabella can marry Heathcliff and how she is then treated . Living amongst the elegance of the Lintons transforms Catherine from a coarse youth into a delicate lady. However, sublimation into Victorian society does not fit her nature and confines her individuality. Her transformation alienates Heathcliff, her soul mate and the love of her life. Catherine fits into society like a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. However, she feels pressure to file her rough edges and marry Edgar Linton. Catherine justifies her union with Edgar for all the wrong reasons, "because he is handsome, and pleasant to be with.^... ^because he is young and cheerful.^...^because he loves me.^...^And he will be rich, and I shall like to be the greatest woman of the neighborhood, and I shall be proud of having such a husband."(70-71) ...read more.

Middle

Her passion was described as-: "gunpowder which lay as harmless as sand because no fire came near to explode it". While Catherine is wild, wilful and passionate, she also possesses a double character. Her five week sojourn at the grange awakens in her an appreciation of the civilised world. When she returns to the Heights, both manner and appearance have changed and is shocked in appearance of Heathcliff and Edgar. From then on, Catherine adopts a split personality - an amusing lady-like disposition in the company of the Lintons and returning to her wild passionate self when accompanied by Heathcliff. She declared her wish to be 'the greatest lady in the neighbourhood" as the materialistic side to her personality begins to assert itself. For the first time in the novel, Catherine worries how others see her and she confesses to Nelly it would degrade her to marry Heathcliff. The duality of Catherine's character revealed a crisis point with her marriage to Edgar - the one event in the novel above all others which determines the futures of the central characters. Catherine's marriage to him is a betrayal of her nature. Not only has she broken with her kindred spirit, Heathcliff, but she has physically removed herself from the wildness and freedom from the Heights and the crags. This choice made by Catherine favoured wealth, civilisation and social position over her natural affinity with the untamed, uncivilised world represented by Heathcliff. ...read more.

Conclusion

Catherine's illness and death represent perhaps a natural and predictable result of her movement from the Heights to the Grange, by not staying true to her nature and by swapping the outdoor life that she had with Heathcliff for the role as the lady of the manor. She has in a sense cut off her own oxygen supply, instead of the wild air of the moors she now breaths the stifled air of the Grange, like a flower without light she eventually withers and dies, a situation entirely of her own making. Having rejected Heathcliff in favour of marriage to Edgar, she was found by the society in which she lived, once this course was chosen there was no going back, although she realised the error of her ways, she had placed herself in a situation in which death could only extricate her, therefore she was buried at the edge of the kirkyard where the border between it and the surrounding moors was ill-defined. In death, she had returned to nature and regained her freedom, the dire consequences of her failure to remain loyal to her true self. A significant feature of Catherine's character is the influence she continues to have after her death, like Heathcliff she has a troubled spirit which torments Heathcliff to the point of madness and even to his own death. ...read more.

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