In Chapter 9 of "Wuthering Heights", what are the contrasts between Edgar and Catherine's souls.

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Catherine is ruled by passion, and is self-centered and prone to evil. Her soul is like Heathcliff's, and "(Edgar) Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire".

Catherine loves Heathcliff, but is willing to marry Edgar because "he is handome, and pleasant to be with...young and cheerful...and because he loves (her)". She says she loves Edgar for all these reasons, and although she is aware that the first four qualities that draw her to him will not last, she says that it is enough that he possesses them now, and that she "(has) only to do with the present" anyway. Catherine has enough decency within her to at least feel a small sense of guilt at what she is doing, however. She knows that she has "no more business to marry Edgar Linton than (she) (has) to be in heaven", but she cannot marry Heathcliff, who is truly her soulmate, because it "would degrade her", and they would be destitute. When Catherine really thinks about it, she realizes that "if (she) marries Linton, (she) can aid Heathcliff to rise, and place him out of (her) brother's power". The monstrosity of her intentions in marrying the gentle and good Edgar Linton simply because through him she can get what she wants for herself and the man she really loves is acceptable to Catherine, and accentuates the contrast between their souls (Chapter 9).

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Wuthering Heights

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