We get introduced to Catherine Earnshaw and Cathy Linton in chapter 3 of Wuthering Heights. Lockwood is lead, by Zillah, to a room to spend the night in. A room in which Heathcliff does not allow any visitors to sleep in. It is presumed to be "haunted" according to Zillah and she wants another witness, but of course does not tell Lockwood that. He finds the names Catherine Earnshaw, Catherine Linton, and Catherine Heathcliff scratched into a ledge by the bed. In addition, Lockwood also finds a diary that belonged to Catherine Earnshaw. He starts to read it and learns things about Wuthering Heights. Soon after, Lockwood falls asleep and starts to go into a series of nightmares. There are many details of the nightmare, but to be short Cathy Linton appears as a ghost and is sobbing/demanding to be let in. She will not let go of his hand, so in order to be free Lockwood rubs Cathy's hand against the window glass. She lets go and there is a hole in the window from how the incident all got started. He tries to cover the window with books, but they fall and Lockwood screams in fear. Heathcliff comes running into the room and Lockwood immediately says it is haunted. Heathcliff curses in anger. In chapter 4 we are briefly told of Nelly Dean's experience at Wuthering Heights which involves a little bit of Catherine Earnshaw in it.
Important quotes: “The ledge, where I placed my candle, had a few mildewed books piled up in one corner; and it was covered with writing scratched on the paint. This writing, however, was nothing but a name repeated in all kinds of characters, large and small—Catherine Earnshaw, here and there varied to Catherine Heathcliff, and then again to Catherine Linton.
In vapid listlessness I leant my head against the window, and continued spelling over Catherine Earnshaw—Heathcliff—Linton, till my eyes closed; but they had not rested five minutes when a glare of white letters started from the dark, as vivid as spectres—the air swarmed with Catherines” (Brontë 21).
This quote is important because this is when Lockwood's nightmares begin and the screams start to happen.
In chapter 5 Mr. Earnshaw dies which leads to Catherine and Heathcliff turning to each other and religion for comfort and peace. Hindley is now the new master of Wuthering Heights. One night Catherine and Heathcliff go away to Thrushcross Grange(the Linton's house) and when they do not come back Hindley orders that the doors are to be bolted. Later on, Nelly sees Heathcliff coming back and he informs her that they were spying on the Linton children and that the guard dog got out. Also, that the dog hurt Catherine's ankle. Catherine spends five weeks at Thrushcross Grange recovering and while she is there, she gets turned into a young woman. When Catherine comes back she continues to spend time with Edgar Linton and asks Nelly to leave the room, but refuses because Hindley told her to be a chaperone. Catherine pinches, slaps her in front of Edgar, and when he attempts to stop her, she boxes his ears. He is shock with her actions/temper and leaves the house. When Edgar is leaving he gets one last look of her and comes back inside because of how pretty she is. Nelly leaves them alone and they soon confess their love that they have for each other.
“Her spirits were always at high-water mark, her tongue always going—singing, laughing, and plaguing everybody who would not do the same. A wild, wicked slip she was—but she had the bonniest eye, the sweetest smile, and lightest foot in the parish: and, after all, I believe she meant no harm” (Brontë 44). This quote is very important because it gives a great disruption about Catherine.
“Can I stay after you have struck me?’ asked Linton. Catherine was mute" (Brontë 75). This quote gives off importance because it shows how in love Edgar was with Catherine.
“I saw the quarrel had merely effected a closer intimacy—had broken the outworks of youthful timidity, and enabled them to forsake the disguise of friendship, and confess themselves lovers" (Brontë 76). The fight that Catherine put up lead to something bigger.
In chapter 9, Catherine tells Nelly about Edgar asking her to marry him and how she said yes. They go back and forth about why she loves Edgar and then Catherine explains to Nelly the dream she had. She says, "I was only going to say that heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy" (Brontë 85-86). This dream is of great significance because it explains the dream that Lockwood had about Catherine sobbing and demanding to come inside to see Heathcliff. After, Nelly realizes that Heathcliff was listening to a good part of their conversation and that he ran away. Which leaves Catherine weeping because she feels as though it is all her fault. A while after, Catherine marries Edgar and, "Persuaded [Nelly] to leave Wuthering Heights and accompany her [at Thrushcross Grange]" (Brontë 95). Which leads Nelly to saying, "Little Hareton was nearly five years old... We made a sad parting; but Catherine's tears were more powerful than ours" (Brontë 95). After 6 moths of Catherine and Edgar being married, Heathcliff comes to see them and Catherine is very happy. Isabella starts to take interest in Heathcliff and Nelly still believes that Heathcliff has come back with some bad motives. Catherine does not approve of Heathcliff liking Isabella and he says to her, "I have a right to kiss her, if she chooses; and you have no right to object. I am not your husband: you needn’t be jealous of me" (Brontë 120). Edgar has had it with Heathcliff and says to Catherine, "It is impossible for you to be my friend and his at the same time; and I absolutely require to know which you choose" (Brontë 127). Catherine storms off in anger and locks herself in her room. After three days, Catherine unlocks her door and thinks that she is dying. She is sick and for a moment thinks she is a little girl again at Wuthering Heights with Heathcliff. Catherine tells Nelly, "I wish I were a girl again, half savage and hardy, and free; and laughing at injuries, not maddening under them! Why am I so changed" (Brontë 135). Soon after a very significant moment happens. Catherine, once again, thinks she is dying and says, "Heathcliff, if I dare you now, will you venture? If you do, I’ll keep you. I’ll not lie there by myself: they may bury me twelve feet deep, and throw the church down over me, but I won't rest till you are with me. I never will" (Brontë 136). This is very significant because it explains more of Lockwood's dream and why she was not resting, but demanding to be let in to see Heathcliff.
Catherine is still sick and her fever gets worse, and on top of everything she has a baby and names it Catherine. After a series of events, Nelly is forced to make a way where Heathcliff is able to see Catherine. He goes into her rooms and says, "Oh, Cathy! Oh, my life! How can I bear it" (Brontë 170). In reply, she says, "You and Edgar have broken my heart, Heathcliff!.... You have killed me" (Brontë 170). Catherine claims that her life is a prison and she just wants to die and take Heathcliff with her. They hug for a while and he says to her that she has been betraying her own heart and himself by agreeing to marry Edgar. Then, in chaper 16, "That night was born the Catherine you saw at Wuthering Heights: a puny, seven-months’ child; and two hours after the mother died” (Brontë 177). This is very heartbreaking for Edgar and especially Heathcliff. Heathcliff calls out to her and cries, "May you not rest... Haunt me, then" (Brontë 180). This is very significant because it explains more about why Catherine is haunting Wurhering Heights (Lockwood's dream).
Edgar and Cathy have a very special relationship. Nelly says that to Edgar, "The little one was always Cathy" (Brontë 198). Cathy is a very sweet and healthy child and Nelly also says that, "Her spirit was high, though not rough, and qualified by a heart sensitive and lively to excess in its affections. That capacity for intense attachments reminded me of her mother: still she did not resemble her: for she could be soft and mild as a dove, and she had a gentle voice and pensive expression: her anger was never furious; her love never fierce: it was deep and tender" (Brontë 203). This quote is very important because it shows how she was and was not like her mother, Catherine.
Other important quotes- "He didn’t pray for Catherine’s soul to haunt him. Time brought resignation, and a melancholy sweeter than common joy. He recalled her memory with ardent, tender love, and hopeful aspiring to the better world; where he doubted not she was gone" (Brontë 198). This is important because it is having to do with Catherine, and it tells that Edgar unlike Heathcliff did not pray for Catherine to haunt him. "Wuthering Heights and Mr. Heathcliff did not exist for her" (Brontë 204). Edgar draws a fine line and he does not want Heathcliff to be an influence in Cathy's life. "I explained how he objected to the whole household at the Heights, and how sorry he would be to find she had been there; but I insisted most on the fact, that if she revealed my negligence of his orders, he would perhaps be so angry that I should have to leave; and Cathy couldn’t bear that prospect: she pledged her word, and kept it for my sake. After all, she was a sweet little girl" (Brontë 213). Cathy runs away to Wuthering Heights because she wants to explore and Nelly says her father would not be happy if he heard this. Cathy promises not to tell.
Cathy very quickly starts to fall in love with Edgar and they start to write letters. However, that connection is quickly taken away. Edgar is very sick and Cathy says that she loves him and would never do anything to hurt him. Once again, she goes to the Heights and she gets into a situation started by mocking Hareton. A situation very similar to the situation her mom got in with Edgar, she pushes Linton's chair across the room. Catherine similarity hit Edgar. After, with Nelly and Edgar both being sick, she does what she wants. That entails Cathy sneaking away to see Linton at Wuthering Heights. She is once again forbidden to see him.
Important quotes- "That the two cousins may fall in love, and get married" (Brontë 233). Heathcliff's plan for Cathy and Linton, so that he may inherit Thrushcross Grange. "Miss Catherine, you are tolerably far on, it seems: you may well be ashamed of them! A fine bundle of trash you study in your leisure hours, to be sure" (Brontë 245). Nelly finds out that Cathy and Linton have been exchanging letters. "And I'll never... do an act or say a word to vex him. I love him better than myself" (Brontë 251). Cathy contradicts herself because she later sneaks off to Wuthering Heights. "'I can get over the wall,’ she said laughing. ‘The Grange is not a prison, Ellen, and you are not my gaoler'" (Brontë 263). Cathy's response to her locking the gates. "I’ve been to Wuthering Heights, Ellen, and I’ve never missed going a day since you fell ill; except thrice before, and twice after you left your room" (Brontë 267). What Cathy does when Edgar and Nelly are sick.
Edgar is dying and declining in health. He becomes more ok with the idea of Linton and Cathy being married because, "she would not now be left entirely alone after his death" (Brontë 287). To be short, Linton says to Cathy, "Catherine, Catherine, I’m a traitor, too, and I dare not tell you! But leave me, and I shall be killed" (Brontë 289). Linton shares his true feelings and Nelly and Cathy are held captive for days by Heathcliff. Linton is turned against Cathy and Nelly is let go. Linton and Cathy are married and days later she escapes out of her mother's window to see her father one last time. Edgar, "died blissfully, Mr. Lockwood: he died so. Kissing her cheek, he murmured,—‘I am going to her; and you, darling child, shall come to us" Brontë 307). He dies with Cathy being, as she always was, the apple of his eye.
Edgar is dead and Heathcliff starts to take over Cathy's life immediately and Nelly can do nothing about it. Heathcliff starts the narrative and says,"You know I was wild after she died; and eternally, from dawn to dawn, praying her to return to me her spirit! I have a strong faith in ghosts: I have a conviction that they can, and do, exist among us" (Brontë 312). He also says, "I felt her by me—I could almost see her" (Brontë 313). Nelly has not seen Cathy since the day that she left for the a Heights and Zillah says that no one likes Cathy and that Linton died. He gave nothing to her, of course, and Heathcliff inherited everything. Nelly's story ends and Lockwood says that he is going to go tell Heathcliff that he is leaving the Grange for London. He also goes to deliver a note from Nelly to Cathy but she can not reply because she does not have paper. Various things happen between Hareton, Cathy, and Heathcliff. In the end, Cathy's books get thrown into the fire. Lockwood says, "What a realisation of something more romantic than a fairy tale it would have been for Mrs. Linton Heathcliff, had she and I struck up an attachment, as her good nurse desired, and migrated together into the stirring atmosphere of the town" (Brontë 329).
Lockwood notices an extreme change in Wuthering Heights, "Both doors and lattices were open; and yet, as is usually the case in a coal-district, a fine red fire illumined the chimney: the comfort which the eye derives from it renders the extra heat endurable" (Brontë 332). Also, there Cathy and Hareton are showing obvious affection for one another. Nelly says, "I have to scold them every evening for their late night rambles" (Brontë 335). Their, "intimacy thus commenced grew rapidly," and Nelly also says, "on their wedding day: there won't be a happier woman than myself in England" (Brontë 342). As a shocker, Heathcliff says that he no longer seeks revenge and that he sees Catherine in everything. He later dies and Nelly says, "I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth" (Brontë 366). That concludes the novel.