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Catherine Chapter 12 Wuthering Heights

Autor:   •  February 8, 2019  •  1,293 Words (6 Pages)  •  53 Views

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strong feminine associations. In Showalter’s “The Female Malady” it is described how doctors sought to regulate women’s minds by regulating their bodies as many believed menstruation was disruptive to the brain, this context suggests a secondary reason for Catherine’s sudden displays of madness, her pregnancy which is revealed within chapter 13, which acts as a permanent mark of her life with Edgar, further distancing Catherine from Heathcliff.

Furthermore, a sense of longing for her childhood is connected to Catherine’s emotional changes, as she uses a triadic structure to list events of her youth; “I was a child; my father was just buried, and my misery arose”, which creates a steady rhythm indicating that she is attempting to regain some control of herself while also disassociating from her present reality, since this steady rhythm is applied to when she “was a child”. Catherine describes how she was "wrenched" from "every early association" and in turn "Heathcliff", resulting in her marrying a “stranger” and becoming an ”exile, and outcast” from what “had been my world”, this allows the reader to infer that Catherine is once more dissociating from her current situation as she uses the possessive pronoun "my" when referring to her past life. Within the final section of her dialogue Catherine becomes more frantic demonstrated through a cluster of exclamatives and rapid change of topic as she cries out “Oh, I’m burning!” declaring how she wishes she “were out of doors” “laughing at injuries not maddening under them”. Catherine “burning” suggests that her wild nature was stifled as she was molded into the role of an “Angel of the House”, the ideal 19th Century women described in Coventry Patmore’s poem, producing a mad double within her, represented through Heathcliff- her id- and Edgar- her superego, before long she loses herself, driven mad, unable to operate within the confines of her new life, in which she is controlled by law, social constructs and even the restrictive clothing such as crinolines she would have been forced to wear. Moreover, Catherine’s wish to be “laughing at injuries not maddening under them” once again connects to a moment in her youth as in Chapter 6 "she did not yell out" as "she would have been scorned to do so", when being attacked by a dog, yet now she has become the antithesis of her younger self "maddening" under the injuries of her own mind, afraid even of her own reflection. As she wishes to return to her past self the reader can infer that Catherine is disassociating with her current persona. This is enforced by her exclamative, imperative sentence demanding for Nelly to “Open the window again wide: fasten it open!”, not only does this juxtapose her earlier questioning tone it also parallels how Heathcliff “wrenched” open the window in chapter 3 calling out for Catherine. Such a parallelism is highly effective as it allows the reader to infer that both Catherine and Heathcliff associate their connection with nature as an almost mystical force that controls their fate, therefore after losing Heathcliff Catherine is presented by Bronte as a character who has lost their sense of being.


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