The close relationship between Cathy and Nelly is seen in the way that Nelly addresses Cathy. “Give over with the baby work! ” shows Nelly bossing Catherine playfully and speaking to her much as a mother would treat her daughter. Although at the time most servants would not address their mistress in this manner, Nelly is an exception as she was Cathy’s foster sister and reared her from an early age after her mother died. Cathy is shown as a hysterical woman; she talks “dreamily” and hallucinates throughout the passage.
This stereotype of a “hysterical woman” was a common conception in Victorian times as women were regarded as out of control, and should, therefore, be controlled by their fathers or husbands. As Catherine’s hysteria begins to spiral, we see it reflected in the language. For example when she imagines the black press, which is the double paneled bed, in front of her, she says: “making the black press shine like jet,” Bronte uses dissonance in this line as it creates a discordant sound and shows that Catherine is feeling troubled. We know this as she is delusional. Furthermore, Cathy says “I see a face in it!
” however she is unable to distinguish it as her own; this is because Cathy has formed a double identity, she was Catherine earnshaw, but upon becoming Catherine Linton she does not know herself any more. Cathy betrays her heart, and this causes her to lose her identity. Cathy also tells Nelly that the “room is haunted,” this shows her troubled state of mind but also the fact that she believes in ghosts and spirits. Once again this is reflective of Victorian attitudes and values as it was common for people to believe in ghosts and lost souls. Furthermore, Bronti??
uses both assonance and sibilance in “a Succession of shudders;” the sibilance is a harsh sound and is displaying the violence of her mental state, however the assonance of the ‘u’ is a gentle sound. This is because the contrast of the assonance and sibilance show the contrast in Catherine as her mood flits from panic-stricken to calm. It is clear that Cathy has made the wrong choice in marrying Edgar, the line “her fingers clutched the clothes and gathered them over her fingers,” shows that she too is horrified by what she has done, and knows that it was wrong of her to marry Edgar over Heathcliff, who she truly loved.
She also feels that she rightfully belongs with him as she still call Wuthering Heights her “home,” and this is the house where Heathcliff is. Further down Cathy tells Nelly to open the lattice which is the window. Windows play a significant symbolic role in Wuthering heights. For example here Cathy wants to get out but at the beginning of the novel when she appears to Lockwood she is trying to get in through the window. This is because a window is a barrier, and Wuthering Heights is about breaking barriers and taboos, for example falling in love with someone who is below your status and an outsider.
Also Cathy then asks Nelly to “let her have one breath,” this shows how she is metaphorically suffocating under her marriage to Edgar. Bronte uses Pathos to invoke a deep sympathy from the reader for Cathy as she struggles between following her hear and staying within the limits of what is acceptable in Victorian attitudes and values. The words “a cold blast” are mono-syllabic as they allow you to feel the air as it hits Catherine’s face, and also they forma contrast to the long words previously used, this reflects the suffocation of marriage compared to the carefree wind of the moors.
Finally, the line “our fiery Catherine was no better than a wailing child” reflects the change we see in Cathy. She is always shown as rebellious and fiery, however this subverts Victorian attitudes and values towards women, yet once she is married she is no longer “fiery” this shows that marriage turns girls into women that are acceptable to society. In contrast, Cathy is not a liberated into a woman but reduced to a child, the union causes Cathy loses her strong will and passion