First of all, we know that Isabella is living at Thrushcross Grange and has been all her life. The only male companionship she has experienced is that of her father, Mr Linton and her brother, Edgar. So when she first sets her eyes on Heathcliff when he enters the house she falls instantly in love with him.
“His new source of trouble sprang from the non-anticipated misfortune of Isabella Linton evincing a sudden and irresistible attraction towards the tolerable guest”
Just like the house at Thrushcross Grange has been protected from the storms and seems untouched, Isabella has been protected from the storms of life. She has grown up in a well-respected family and has not had as many burdens as other characters have. Isabella is a very pure and “infantile” in her behaviour. She has no idea what Heathcliff is like, or even about his past, as the first time she sees Heathcliff is in chapter 10.
So far Isabella seems young and fragile. She has grown up in an upper-class home and has always been shielded from the harshness of the world and has no knowledge of what it is like. She seems immature in that way.
Also being eighteen, it would seem that in the period that the novel was written in, that a woman of her age would have chosen a suitable gentleman to be married to. In my opinion Isabella is so ignorant that when she sees Heathcliff she automatically thinks he would be suited to her.
“She fretted and pined over something”
The “something” she pines over is male companionship.
Another reason she may desire a suitor is because Catherine has taken status as lady of the house. If it were not for Catherine having married Edgar then Isabella would have the highest status in the house as a lady. So for her to get married would mean re-enforcing her standing in that household.
Miss Linton is also described to have a “keen temper” when she is irritated.
After Catherine tries to keep her and Heathcliff apart, Isabella does not think much of her. She despises her for keeping them separate on purpose and keeping Heathcliff to herself. Isabella then questions Catherine’s love for Edgar.
“I love him more than ever you loved Edgar; and he might love me, if you would let him”
In my opinion Isabella is saying that she is preventing Heathcliff from even trying to love her because Catherine loves Heathcliff. Furthermore, Isabella questions Catherine’s love for Edgar because of this.
Also, because of this, Isabella is now convinced that Catherine Edgar and Ellen are against her. As they all try to warn her off Heathcliff. Ellen points out that Catherine knows Heathcliff intimately and she would be wise to take her advice. Edgar doesn’t like Heathcliff for his relationship with Catherine. He still refers to him as “gipsy” and “ploughboy” and then Catherine degrades her in front of Heathcliff.
It goes to show how insolent, immature and narrow-minded Isabella is when she will not accept advice from her fellow housemates.
Her temper is shown when Catherine ridicules her in front of Heathcliff.
She informs Heathcliff that if she were to stand aside then Isabella would have no trouble in winning his heart, also that he would forget about Catherine. Heathcliff laughs at the idea of it. Isabella then attacks Catherine and digs her “talons” into her. This exposes Isabella as having a foul and short temper.
My overall impression of Isabella from this extract is that she is a very young and naï¿½ve girl. She is immature in the ways of the world and refuses advice from the more experienced people she lives with. Also when she gets upset and angry her reaction is not verbal but physical abuse.
I also noticed that Isabella is associated with various animalistic images. Catherine calls her an “impertinent little monkey!” Impertinent meaning not to show proper respect. This shows me that Isabella is insolent and erratic like a monkey.
Catherine also refers to the both of them as “cats”, for fighting over Heathcliff. Also, Catherine again refers to Isabella as a “tigress” when she attacks her.
These images are either violent creatures at most times or quite irrational and immature by nature.