Femme Fatale Friday: Cathy Earnshaw

Posted April 25, 2014 by Whitney in Femme Fatale / 2 Comments

A femme fatale, translating to “Deadly Woman” in french, is an alluring, seductive woman whose charms ensnare her lovers in bonds of irresistible desire. Often this leads them into compromising, dangerous and deadly situations.” ~ Wikipeda

Cathy, well there’s no way to put this nicely, but she is a major bitch.  She plays Edgar and Heathcliff  like a cheap trick. I only wish she had been thrown under the bus much sooner than she was.  
Heathcliff and Edgar use their words not their fists, and actually fight over her,  excuse my french but what the hell?  what pheromones is she letting off?

Nelly’s reasoning (and quite right) for Cathy marrying Edgar Linton:

‘I am very far from jesting, Miss Cathrine,’ I replied.  ‘You love Mr. Edgar because he is handsome and young, and cheerful, and rich, and he loves you.  The last, however, goes for nothing: you would love him without that, probably; and with it you wouldn’t, unless he possessed the four former attractions’

‘No, to be sure not: I should only pity him–hate him, perhaps, if he were ugly, and a clown.’

~Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, page 78

Later Cathy says of Heathcliff:

‘ ‘This is nothing,’ cried she: I was only going to say that heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy.  That will do to explain my secret, as well as the other.  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 it.  It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now;’

*Note:  the below is what Heathcliff did not hear while hiding in the bushes

‘so he shall never know how I love him; and that not because he is handsome, Nelly, but because he is more myself than I am.  Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same; and Linton’s is as different of a moonbeam from lightening, or frost from fire.’

~Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, page 80

And lastly, an excerpt of the infamous fight scene I talked of earlier:

‘I’ve been so far been bearing with you sir,’ he said quietly; ‘not that I was ignorant miserable degrading character, but I felt you were only partly responsible for that; and Cathrine wishing to keep up your acquaintance, I acquiesced–foolishly.  Your presence is a mortal poison and would contaminate the most virtuous: for that cause, and to prevent worse consequences, I shall deny you hereafter admission into this house, and give notice now that I require your instant departure.  Three minutes’ delay will render it involuntary and ignominious.

Heathcliff measured the height and breadth of the speaker with an eye full of derision.

‘Cathy, this lamb of yours threatens like a bull! he said.  ‘It is in danger of splitting its skull against my knuckles.  By God!  Mr. Linton, I’m mortally sorry that you are not worth knocking down!’

~ Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, page 114

 Perhaps a little long winded but Cathy is such a complex character that I find it hard not to be.


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2 responses to “Femme Fatale Friday: Cathy Earnshaw

  1. I love this! Wuthering Heights is one of my favorite books, it's such a dark and tortured love story! Cathy and Heathcliff basically ruin one another's lives. One of the best thing about it is that it's not just Heathcliff who does the heartbreaking. They are both so spiteful and petty. Cathy is absolutely a femme fatale!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

    • All the characters in Wuthering Heights are royally messed up, and are the bane of each other's existence.

      I also agree with you that "it's such a dark and tortured love story!" and I think that is sometimes forgot because of how disorienting the novel can appear.

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