Isabella Linton: Character Analysis in Wuthering Heights

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      A typical Linton, Isabella has the same weak and colourless goodness of her family. She resembles her brother physically but is less inhibited than he and enlivened by some sparks of spirit Nelly describes her as a "Charming young lady...infantile in manners, though possessed of a keen wit, keen feelings, and a keen temper, too, if irritated. (Chapter 10)

Her Infatuation and Marriage to Heathcliff

      Of a weak and spoiled pampered nature, Isabella is attracted by Heathcliff's strong, ruthless personality. Cathy loves Heathcliff knowing his bue nature — his cruelty, but Isabella is taken in by his outward gentlemanly and strong personality. She is infatuated with Heathcliff and disregards Cathy's advice accusing Cathy of having a "dog in the manger" attitude. Nor does she pay heed to Nelly’s advice and elopes with Heathcliff who marries her after a time and brings her back to the Heights. She is made to pay dearly for her infatuation as she becomes a mere instrument of revenge in the hands of Heathcliff who treats her like a slave and a slattern denying her all comforts and abusing her frequently.

Her Escape from Wuthering Heights

      Isabella exhibits some spirit and courage and engages in a bitter repartee with Heathcliff before she escapes from him, fleeing to the Grange where she seeks Nelly's help in getting a carriage to take her away to an unknown destination.

Her Tragic End

      Isabella goes to live somewhere in the south where she gives birth to a boy named Linton. Twelve years later she dies and the boy Linton is taken away by Isabella's brother Edgar and subsequently taken by Heathcliff.

Her Pathetic Fate

      There, is great pathos in the fate, largely undeserved, that engulfs this luckless girl. She becomes a mere pawn in Heathcliff scheme of revenge. Her love for Heathcliff is totally killed by his inhuman treatment and she is driven to say, "Monster! Would that he could be blotted out of creation, and out of my memory. He's not a human being, and he has no claim on my charity. I gave him my heart, and he took and pinched it to death, and flung it back to me."

Isabella as a Narrator

      A part of the story is revealed through the long letter that Isabella writes to Nelly Dean and it throws significant light on the diabolic nature of Heathcliff. She refers to him as a devil and his inhuman treatment of Isabella makes the reader lose some sympathy for Heathcliff.

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