People who inhabit Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange are in many ways similar, primarily in that they are all torn by love. However, regardless of the people or the events taking place at Thrushcross Grange, it is always more reserved and far more tranquil than Wuthering Heights, which is overwhelmed by emotions and tumultuous events. This is proved by Catherine, who acts like two different people at Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. Catherine lives at both Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange during her life, and when at Wuthering Heights, she is bold, unmanageable and untamed.
Nelly describes the unruly young Catherine saying, “. . . I never saw a child take up before; and she put all of us past our patience fifty times and oftener a day . . . Her spirits were always at high-water mark, her tongue always going . . . plaguing everybody. . . A wild, wicked slip she was. . . ” Nelly says, “Her spirits were always at high-water mark” to show how Catherine was at Wuthering Heights. Not only was she flamboyant, she was not afraid to hurt others or careful towards others, “plaguing everybody. . . A wild, wicked slip she was. . . ” in Nelly’s words.
Nelly’s words, “she put all of us past our patience fifty times and oftener a day” showing that Catherine was undignified, especially in comparison to her composed and sophisticated self at Thrushcross Grange. Describing Catherine as “spirits [being] always at high-water mark” shows how bold Catherine was at Wuthering Heights, and would have been uncharacteristic of her had she been at Thrushcross Grange. Nelly also shows how painful Catherine’s carefree character could be when she said, “I’ve cried to myself to watch [her] growing more reckless daily.
The word “reckless” implies that Catherine is rather carefree at Wuthering Heights, and does not care about the consequence of what she does. Her carelessness along with her adventurous, bold personality leads her to a very different life at Wuthering Heights than she lives at Thrushcross Grange. Catherine is completely changed while she is at Thrushcross Grange, starting with her 5-week stay there.
“Catherine stayed at Thrushcross Grange . . . and her manners [were] much improved. . . nstead of a wild, hatless little savage jumping into the house, and rushing to squeeze us all breathless, there alighted from a handsome black pony a very dignified person with brown ringlets. . . ” In this passage Nelly describes both the riotous Catherine that has only known Wuthering Heights and the dutiful and poised Catherine who has stayed at Thrushcross Grange. The five-week stay at Thrushcross Grange transforms Catherine into a very collected young lady, which is something almost foreign to Wuthering Heights.
Nelly compares the two Catherine’s; one “hatless” and “savage”, the other a “dignified person”. While one is lively and is not afraid to “squeeze [people] breathless”, the other is now much more subdued and composed, and is scared to as much as wrinkle her dress. While at Thrushcross Grange Catherine tells Nelly how she feels saying, “‘Should the meanest thing alive slap me on the cheek, I’d not only turn the other, but I’d ask pardon for provoking it; and, as proof, I’ll go make peace with Edgar instantly. Goodnight-I’m an angel! ” When Catherine says that she’ll “make peace with Edgar instantly”, she’s reflecting the overall harmony of Thrushcross Grange, where no matter what’s going wrong, there is always peace.
This peace also plays out on her tranquil state of mind, where she is willing to go to considerable lengths to keep even “the meanest thing alive” happy. She is no longer provoking other people constantly, but being careful not to upset anyone. She calls herself an angel, which also reflects on the blissfulness in which she now lives in, not only have daily catastrophes disappeared from her life but she is at peace with herself.
Later, Catherine dies at Thrushcross Grange in that same state of peace. Nelly describes her saying “[her corpse] of perfect peace . . . No angle in heaven could have been more beautiful than she appeared; and I partook of the infinite calm in which she lay. . . ” When Catherine dies at Thrushcross Grange, she retains the grace and peace that she has been in while living there. Nelly refers to her as an angel, the same way Catherine had referred to herself as an angel, in a state of “infinite calm” that has become part of her at Thrushcross Grange.
This peace was never part of her when she was at Wuthering Heights, when she was at Wuthering Heights, she was always excited and emotional, but now she is serene, and will remain infinitely calm. Catherine had a very lively personality when at Wuthering Heights, which changed when she stayed at Thrushcross Grange. Thrushcross Grange is a more serene place than Wuthering Heights, not only in the events that occur there but also in the people which Catherine exemplifies. Catherine changed from “wild” and lively to “dignified” and peaceful due to the change in environment from Wuthering Heights to Thrushcross Grange.
Courtney from Study Moose
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