Often viewed as the epitome of the free spirit, Catherine is torn between two worlds. On one hand, she longs to be with Heathcliff, her soul mate: their life together, growing up and playing on the moors, represents the freedom and innocence of childhood. On the other, she recognizes what a marriage to Edgar can do for her socially, and she enjoys those things that Edgar can provide for her. Ultimately, she is self-absorbed and self-centered, and although she claims to love both Heathcliff and Edgar, she loves herself more, and this selfish love ends up hurting everyone who cares for her.
Not until she nears death does Catherine turn exclusively towards Heathcliff, abandoning Edgar. Ironically, Heathcliff does not fully forgive her, and because of this, Edgar is the man who gives every appearance of loving Catherine unconditionally.