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Catherine loves Heathcliff, but feels like he could never provide for her socially and financially the way that she feels she deserves. She proclaims that she would be nothing but a beggar if she were to marry him. Edgar, on the other hand, is able to provide her with money and a higher social class. Catherine has no plans to leave or desert Heathcliff. She views her marriage to Edgar as a way of keeping Heathcliff close to her while still being able to live the life that she desires.

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Catherine tells Nelly in chapter nine of the novel that the reason she will marry Edgar is that he can give her the material possessions that Heathcliff can't. She loves Heathcliff and acknowledges that he is her soul mate when she tells Nelly, "I am Heathcliff," but Hindley's treatment of Heathcliff has degraded him to the point that he is not a suitable match by society's standards. Edgar is not only suitable, but will elevate Catherine's status, as the Lintons have a higher social standing.

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