Wuthering Heights

Catherine Earnshaw Linton Character Analysis

Daughter of Mr. Earnshaw, sister of Hindley, foster sister and true love of Heathcliff, wife of Edgar, mother of Cathy. Gorgeous and fiery with dark curls and penetrating eyes, Catherine is a woman in conflict— she craves the luxury, security, and serenity of ultra-civilized Edgar, even as she runs wild across the moors with brooding and unkempt Heathcliff. She loves Heathcliff with a huge and overwhelming passion. She is impetuous, proud, and sometimes haughty.

Catherine Earnshaw Linton Quotes in Wuthering Heights

The Wuthering Heights quotes below are all either spoken by Catherine Earnshaw Linton or refer to Catherine Earnshaw Linton. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Gothic Literature and the Supernatural Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Vintage edition of Wuthering Heights published in 2009.
Chapter 3 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.
Related Characters: Mr. Lockwood (speaker), Catherine Earnshaw Linton, Heathcliff, Edgar Linton
Related Symbols: Wuthering Heights
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 8 Quotes
Doubtless Catherine marked the difference between her friends, as one came in and the other went out. The contrast resembled what you see in exchanging a bleak, hilly, coal country for a beautiful fertile valley; and his voice and greeting were as opposite as his aspect.
Related Characters: Ellen "Nelly" Dean (speaker), Catherine Earnshaw Linton, Heathcliff, Edgar Linton
Related Symbols: The Weather
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 9 Quotes
I've no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven; and if the wicked man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low, I shouldn't have thought of it. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how 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 lightning, or frost from fire.
Related Characters: Catherine Earnshaw Linton (speaker), Heathcliff, Edgar Linton
Related Symbols: The Weather
Page Number: 91
Explanation and Analysis:

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Nelly, I see now, you think me a selfish wretch; but did it never strike you that if Heathcliff and I married we should be beggars? whereas, if I marry Linton, I can aid Heathcliff to rise, and place him out of my brother's power?
Related Characters: Catherine Earnshaw Linton (speaker), Ellen "Nelly" Dean, Hindley Earnshaw, Heathcliff, Edgar Linton
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:

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My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods; time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath—a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff!
Related Characters: Catherine Earnshaw Linton (speaker), Ellen "Nelly" Dean, Heathcliff, Edgar Linton
Related Symbols: The Weather
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 11 Quotes
Well, if I cannot keep Heathcliff for my friend—if Edgar will be mean and jealous, I'll try to break their hearts by breaking my own. That will be a prompt way of finishing all, when I am pushed to extremity!
Related Characters: Catherine Earnshaw Linton (speaker), Heathcliff, Edgar Linton
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 15 Quotes
You teach me how cruel you've been—cruel and false. Why do you despise me? Why did you betray your own heart, Cathy? I have not one word of comfort. You deserve this. You have killed yourself. Yes, you may kiss me, and cry, and wring out my kisses and tears; they'll blight you—they'll damn you. You loved me—then what right had you to leave me? What right—answer me—for the poor fancy you felt for Linton? Because misery, and degradation and death, and nothing that God or Satan could inflict would have parted us, you, of your own will, did it. I have not broken your heart—you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine.
Related Characters: Heathcliff (speaker), Catherine Earnshaw Linton
Page Number: 184
Explanation and Analysis:

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I forgive what you have done to me. I love my murderer—but yours! How can I?
Related Characters: Heathcliff (speaker), Catherine Earnshaw Linton
Page Number: 185
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 16 Quotes
Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living! You said I killed you—haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers. I believe—I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always—take any form—drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!
Related Characters: Heathcliff (speaker), Catherine Earnshaw Linton
Page Number: 191-192
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 29 Quotes
I got the sexton, who was digging Linton's grave, to remove the earth off her coffin lid, and I opened it. I thought, once, I would have stayed there, when I saw her face again—it is hers yet—he had hard work to stir me; but he said it would change, if the air blew on it, and so I struck one side of the coffin loose, and covered it up—not Linton's side, damn him! I wish he'd been soldered in lead—and I bribed the sexton to pull it away, when I'm laid there, and slide mine out too. I'll have it made so, and then, by the time Linton gets to us, he'll not know which is which!"
Related Characters: Heathcliff (speaker), Catherine Earnshaw Linton, Edgar Linton
Page Number: 329
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 34 Quotes
Last night, I was on the threshold of hell. To-day, I am within sight of my heaven. I have my eyes on it: hardly three feet to sever me!
Related Characters: Heathcliff (speaker), Catherine Earnshaw Linton
Page Number: 375
Explanation and Analysis:

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Catherine Earnshaw Linton Character Timeline in Wuthering Heights

The timeline below shows where the character Catherine Earnshaw Linton appears in Wuthering Heights. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Gothic Literature and the Supernatural Theme Icon
...stay in. Left alone, Lockwood notices three names scratched into the paint of the bed: Catherine Earnshaw, Catherine Heathcliff, and Catherine Linton. Lockwood also finds a 25-year-old diary, written by Catherine... (full context)
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...to get some air, and a child grabs his hand. She says her name is Catherine Linton and begs to enter, claiming she's been trying to get in for twenty years.... (full context)
Chapter 4
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...and Wuthering Heights. Nelly Dean says she grew up at Wuthering Heights with Hindley and Catherine Earnshaw, and tells Lockwood that Heathcliff has a dead son and is rich enough to... (full context)
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...trip to Liverpool with Heathcliff, an orphan boy he'd found on the street. Earnshaw's daughter, Catherine, took to her foster brother almost immediately, but Earnshaw's son Hindley hated him. Hindley was... (full context)
Chapter 5
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...even less accepting of Hindley's behavior toward Heathcliff. He sends Hindley away to college, allowing Catherine and Heathcliff to grow closer. (full context)
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...he becomes interested in Joseph's harsh and rigid religious beliefs. Meanwhile, to her father's dismay, Catherine is constantly going on adventures with Heathcliff and getting into trouble. Though she teases her... (full context)
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On the stormy night of Mr. Earnshaw's death, Catherine and Heathcliff console each other. They talk of heaven, imagining it as a beautiful place. (full context)
Chapter 6
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...to work in the fields. Yet for the most part Hindley ignores both Heathcliff and Catherine, who escape their domineering brother by escaping to go play on the moors. (full context)
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One day, Heathcliff and Catherine don't return from one of their adventures and Hindley orders that they be locked out.... (full context)
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When the Lintons realized that Catherine is from Wuthering Heights, they bring her inside and insist that Catherine stay with them... (full context)
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The next day, Mr. Linton goes to Wuthering Heights and berates Hindley for letting Catherine run wild. Ashamed, Hindley blames Heathcliff and says that Heathcliff may no longer see or... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Catherine stays at Thrushcross Grange for five weeks. Mrs. Linton spends the time teaching her how... (full context)
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Hindley allows Heathcliff to greet her "like the other servants." Catherine kisses Heathcliff hello, but teases that he's dirty compared to Edgar. Heathcliff walks out, growling... (full context)
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Catherine, though, thinks that both Edgar and Hindley mistreated Heathcliff, and after dinner she slips away... (full context)
Chapter 8
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...for. He turns to alcohol for comfort, and takes out his grief on the servants, Catherine, and, especially, Heathcliff. For his part, Heathcliff delights in Hindley's decline. (full context)
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Catherine remains in touch with the Lintons. When she's with them she acts like proper lady.... (full context)
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...out, Heathcliff doesn't go to the fields and instead plans to spend the day with Catherine. But Catherine admits that she's invited Edgar and Isabella to come visit. Heathcliff comments on... (full context)
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Catherine then tells Nelly to leave the room, since she wants to be alone with Edgar.... (full context)
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Nelly leaves Catherine and Edgar alone. When she does later enter to warn them that Hindley has come... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Later, Catherine goes to Nelly in the kitchen. As Heathcliff listens, she tells Nelly that she has... (full context)
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Furious and ashamed, Heathcliff leaves, and therefore doesn't hear Catherine say that, though she must marry Edgar, she loves Heathcliff more than anything and that... (full context)
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That night, in a storm, Heathcliff runs away from Wuthering Heights. Catherine discovers his absence and, distraught, searches for him all night in the rain, catching a... (full context)
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The Lintons nurse Catherine through the fever at Thrushcross Grange, but Mr. and Mrs. Linton themselves come down with... (full context)
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Three years later, Heathcliff has still not returned, and Edgar and Catherine get married. Nelly leaves Hareton with Hindley and Joseph at Wuthering Heights and moves to... (full context)
Chapter 10
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For about six months after Catherine's wedding, everything is peaceful at Thrushcross Grange, largely because the Lintons do whatever the imperious... (full context)
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Then one evening Heathcliff appears at the Grange. Catherine is almost frantic with excitement. Edgar is less pleased. He suggests they receive Heathcliff in... (full context)
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As Edgar, Heathcliff, and Catherine talk, Heathcliff says that he returned hoping only to catch a glimpse of Catherine, exact... (full context)
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That night, Catherine awakens Nelly to tell her that she couldn't sleep from excitement. She says that she... (full context)
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Catherine also tells Nelly how Heathcliff wound up staying at Wuthering Heights: he'd gone to Wuthering... (full context)
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In the following days, Catherine and Isabella often visit the Heights, and Heathcliff regularly comes to the Grange. Isabella soon... (full context)
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The next day, Catherine humiliates Isabella by revealing her crush to Heathcliff when he visits. Isabella rushes from the... (full context)
Chapter 11
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The following day, Nelly and Catherine observe Heathcliff and Isabella embracing in the Grange's garden. Catherine confronts Heathcliff in the kitchen... (full context)
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...refuses. Edgar moves to get the servants to come and help him remove Heathcliff, but Catherine forces Edgar to confront Heathcliff alone by locking the door into the house and throwing... (full context)
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Once Heathcliff is gone, Edgar furiously demands that Catherine choose between him and Heathcliff. Catherine refuses to talk to him, and retreats to her... (full context)
Chapter 12
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After three days, Catherine finally unlocks her door and allows Nelly to give her food. Catherine believes that she... (full context)
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Delirious, Catherine rambles about a time she spent on the moors with Heathcliff as a child, and... (full context)
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Nelly refuses Catherine's request to open the window—she doesn't want Catherine to catch a chill. Catherine staggers to... (full context)
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Edgar arrives and is appalled by Catherine's weak and frenzied condition. Nelly goes to get a doctor. When the doctor arrives and... (full context)
Chapter 13
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For two months, Edgar nurses Catherine, and though she improves somewhat, she never fully recovers her health. During that time Catherine... (full context)
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...Heathcliff has told her that since he can't get to Edgar to punish him for Catherine's illness, he'll take it out on Isabella instead. Hindley, Hareton, and Joseph treat her just... (full context)
Chapter 14
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At Wuthering Heights, Nelly barely gets to see Isabella at all. Instead, Heathcliff asks after Catherine's condition and then asks Nelly to help him see her, adding that were he in... (full context)
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...go to the Grange alone. Nelly gives in, and agrees to carry a letter to Catherine from Heathcliff. (full context)
Chapter 15
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When Edgar goes to church four days later, Nelly delivers Heathcliff's letter to Catherine, who is so weak that she can hardly hold it. Heathcliff walks into the room... (full context)
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Just then Edgar arrives home from church. Heathcliff gets up to leave, but Catherine begs him to stay and he does. As Edgar approaches, Nelly screams. Catherine collapses and... (full context)
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Nelly ushers Heathcliff from the room, promising to send news of Catherine's health in the morning. Heathcliff says he'll stay nearby in the garden. (full context)
Chapter 16
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At midnight, Catherine gives birth to a daughter, Cathy, two months prematurely. Catherine dies two hours later. When... (full context)
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Edgar keeps watch over Catherine's body, day and night, while Heathcliff stays out in the garden through the night. Eventually,... (full context)
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After Heathcliff leaves, Nelly discovers that Heathcliff has replaced a lock of Edgar's hair that Catherine kept in her locket with his own hair. Nelly finds Edgar's lock of hair and... (full context)
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Hindley does not attend Catherine's funeral, though he is invited. Isabella is not invited. (full context)
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The nearby villagers are surprised when Edgar doesn't bury Catherine in the Linton tomb, but instead by a wall in the corner of the churchyard,... (full context)
Chapter 17
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Isabella tells Nelly that Hindley desperately tried to stay sober in order to attend Catherine's funeral, but fell apart the morning of the funeral and started drinking. Then, while Heathcliff... (full context)
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Hindley dies six months after Catherine, and Nelly goes to Wuthering Heights to look after the funeral and to bring Hareton... (full context)
Chapter 18
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A servant of Wuthering Heights then reveals that Hareton is actually Cathy's cousin. Catherine denies it with the argument that her father has gone to get her real cousin,... (full context)
Chapter 21
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One day, three years after Linton goes to Wuthering Heights, the sixteen-year-old Catherine and Nelly go bird-hunting on the moors. Cathy runs ahead of Nelly, and when Nelly... (full context)
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Catherine says that she thinks she's met Hareton before, and wonders if he's Heathcliff's son. Heathcliff... (full context)
Chapter 23
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...and shoves Linton's chair, which sends Linton into a spasm of coughing. Linton says that Catherine has assaulted him and worsened his already frail condition. Doing his best to make Catherine... (full context)
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...comes down with a cold from riding to Wuthering Heights and back in the rain. Catherine dutifully nurses both Nelly and her father by day; by night, she takes the opportunity... (full context)
Chapter 29
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...that while the sexton was digging Edgar's grave, Heathcliff bribed the man to dig up Catherine's grave and remove the wall of her coffin that faced away from Edgar's grave. He... (full context)
Chapter 31
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...and says as soon as he enters that Hareton bears such a striking resemblance to Catherine that it causes him physical and emotional pain even to look at Hareton. (full context)
Chapter 33
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...Cathy and nearly hits her, but then suddenly lets her go—her eyes remind him of Catherine. (full context)
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...same night, he sees Cathy and Hareton sitting together, and they both remind him of Catherine. All of these reminders of Catherine torment him, and he admits to Nelly that he... (full context)
Chapter 34
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...it. That night, Heathcliff again seems to be speaking with a ghost—Nelly hears him say "Catherine." When Nelly speaks with Heathcliff, he reminds her of his burial wishes. (full context)
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Heathcliff is buried as he wanted, next to Catherine, while Cathy and Hareton are soon to be married and will move to Thrushcross Grange. (full context)
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Lockwood leaves Wuthering Heights and walks through the moors to the churchyard where Heathcliff, Catherine, and Edgar are buried. He writes that though the local villagers say that they have... (full context)