Catherine Earnshaw  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Catherine Earnshaw, or Catherine Linton, is the principal female character in Emily Brontë's novel Wuthering Heights.

Born Catherine Earnshaw, and originally residing in Wuthering Heights, Catherine - or Cathy, as she is known in her childhood - is Hindley Earnshaw's sister and the adoptive sister of Heathcliff. The love between Catherine and Heathcliff forms the basis of Wuthering Heights' plot.

A flightly, free-spirited and somewhat spoiled young woman, Catherine returns Heathcliff's passionate love but does not consider herself able to marry him, instead choosing another childhood friend, the wealthy Edgar Linton of Thrushcross Grange. Upon Heathcliff's return, following a prolonged absence after the pairs' marriage, her physical and mental health is destroyed by the feud between Heathcliff and Edgar, and she dies in childbirth. She does, however, continue to haunt Wuthering Heights after her death.

The character of Catherine plays a major role in the plot of the novel, and she delivers many of the lines which have become synonymous with the work, such as her renowned declaration of love for Heathcliff, "My love for him resembles the great rocks beneath...I am Heathcliff...", or the famous ghostly utterance, "Let me in your window - I'm so cold!", later immortalised by Kate Bush in her 1978 hit Wuthering Heights.

Thematically, Catherine is also central to the issues of gender conflict, class division and violence in Wuthering Heights, as well as to the antithesis of good and evil or reality and fantasy which pervades the novel.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Catherine Earnshaw" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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