In Emily Bronte's beloved novel, "Wuthering Heights," conflicts between the major characters are evident, but what is a little less apparent are the contrasts and comparisons between the characters that bring them together. At the beginning of the novel, the reader is introduced to several of the main characters and the different households they are brought up in. Catherine Earnshaw and Isabella Linton are a part of these dissimilar homes and lead different lives through their childhood, marriages, and motherhood. .
Although the two characters are born in the same year, 1765, this is one of the only similarities in their childhoods. Catherine and her brother, Hindley, are raised by their father at Wuthering Heights, a working class home. .
Bronte describes Catherine from a young age as being a "wild, wicked slip"" (Bronte 51) and she never completely loses this attitude. Heathcliff, Catherine's lover and cousin, adventures off with her to visit Thrushcross Grange, a home to a higher class of people, to see how the other half lives their lives. While sneaking a peek at the Lintons, the children are caught and the family dog, Skulker, is let loose and catches Catherine by the ankle. Heathcliff stays by her side as the family emerges to see what the ruckus is all about. Isabella catches sight of Heathcliff and remarks to her father and Edgar that he is a, "frightful thing! Put him in the cellar, papa. He's exactly like the son of the fortune-teller that stole my tame pheasant. Isn't he, Edgar?" (Bronte 87). This comment by Isabella represents the difference in the worlds of the children and how they view each other. Catherine is kept at Thrushcross Grange for the next five weeks as she recovers from her injury. When Catherine returns to Wuthering Heights she carries herself as the Lintons' do, with a high-class attitude, and laughs at Heathcliff and offends him. In an attempt to show forgiveness she explains that, "It was only that you looked odd.