AP English Literature
21 October 2013
Catherine’s Love Heathcliff
“It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how much I love him; and that, not because he’s handsome, Nelly, but because he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same, and Edgar’s is as different as a moonbeam from lighting, or frost from fire” (Brontë 70) .In this quote, Catherine proclaims her love for Heathcliff but also denying the existence of their relationship by saying it would “degrade” her to marry him. In “Wuthering Heights,” Heathcliff and Catherine have a superior bond that cannot be broken. Even though, the world of society and class refutes them, death does not.
As members of the gentry, the Earnshaws and the Lintons inhabit somewhat a dangerous place within the order of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century British society, when the social classes were strictly defined, and changing between them was very uncommon. At the top of British society was the royalty, followed by the aristocracy, then by the gentry, and then by the lower classes. Edgar is wealthy with possessions; he is also an educated gentleman. Almost the ideal gentleman as Catherine truthfully describes him as “handsome,” “pleasant to be with,” “cheerful,” and “rich” (Brontë 70). Unfortunately being an orphan with no family ties and no land, Heathcliff is the lowest on the totem pole and Catherine depends on her social class. She chooses Edgar over Heathcliff even their souls were made of the same “material”, only because of the opportunities she thought the Linton’s aristocratic past could bring her.
Certainly, Catherine intends to be somehow essentially united with both the gentle, graceful, cultivated, and restrained Edgar and the passionate, robust, impulsive, and natural Heathcliff. As Catherine describes her love for Edgar as “the foliage in the woods” (Brontë 71) she describes her love for Heathcliff...