Friday, July 10, 2015

Wuthering Heights: Catherine's Self-Imposed Solitary Confinement

I just love Emily Bronte!

After the scene in the kitchen when Edgar confronts Heathcliff regarding his romantic advances toward Isabella in the garden as reported by Nelly, Catherine flees to the parlor in anger feeling slighted when both men fail to behave the way she wants. Heathcliff is rude and insulting causing Edgar to order him off the property and punch him in the throat. Catherine blames them both for ruining the situation for her. She wants Heathcliff to behave in a manner that Edgar will accept and she wants Edgar to be welcoming and open to Heathcliff's visits. She actually believes that could work? When the men's natural feelings and override their desire to make Catherine happy, she is livid.

Edgar approaches her in the parlor and demands that she choose between Heathcliff and himself stating that she can't have both men. Her response is to throw a fit, which terrifies him until Nelly exposes Catherine as a fake by revealing that she had threatened to have a fit before he entered the room. Her manipulations foiled, Catherine storms to her room and refuses to eat or open the door for three days.

Is it a coincidence that Bronte has Catherine locked away for three days, the same amount of time Jesus spent in his tomb before his resurrection? At least he was unconscious. What would a person alone in a bedroom do for three days with nothing to do but stare at the walls? It must have been freezing in that room too with no fire or central heating. Not to mention the overflowing stinking bedpan. Maybe she dumped it out the window. Three days alone with nothing but her own distressed mind. Self-destructive behavior for a self-involved person.

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