Descriptions for "love" are virtually endless. To gain confirmation of this, one simply needs to type the word into the definition generator found on www.dictionary.com; the selection of results is somewhat overwhelming. For all practical purposes, however, "love" can be defined as "to experience affection or intense desire for one another." This depiction of the term seems appropriate when being applied to the range of emotions experienced by Catherine and Heathcliff of Emily Brontë's 1847 novel Wuthering Heights. Their undying passion for one another was awe inspiring. Even more amazing is the extent to which love transcends the boundaries of culture, which Catalina and Alejandro displayed brilliantly in the 1954 Mexican version of the movie entitled Los Abismos de Pasion, directed by Luis Buñuel.
Although there were striking similarities in the intensity of their love, there were also vast differences in the personalities and actions of Catherine and Catalina (Irasema Dilian). In Wuthering Heights, Catherine denied her love for Heathcliff and drove him away with her vain behavior, only to continue to hide her true feelings when he returned years later after having done what she asked of him. It was common knowledge, on the other hand, that Catalina was madly in love with Alejandro (Jorge Mistral), and not once did she attempt to mask her feelings-even from her husband, Eduardo (Ernesto Alonzo). Once Alejandro returned to the farm, Catalina's excitement made Eduardo uncomfortable, yet she continued to exude happiness.
As opposed to the contrasting qualities found in Catherine and Catalina, Heathcliff and Alejandro seemed to parallel one another on a path of destruction. Heathcliff calculated the demise of Hindley and the Lintons just as Alejandro was on a mission to destroy Catalina's brother, Ricardo (Luis Aceves Castaneda); Eduardo, and her sister in law, Isabel (Lilia Prado). In both cases, their passion for revenge seemed to consume their lives.
The importance of money is made abundantly clear in both films, as it was the driving force that wedged Catherine and Heathcliff and Catalina and Alejandro apart. Although it has been said that love conquers all, it placed a close second to a comfortable life filled with parties and beautiful dresses in the hearts of both Catherine and Catalina. Which, in effect, they regretted, for it was amazing how their priorities changed as they were lying on their deathbeds.
Emily Brontë's story of great love and tragedy is timeless because it is real, and despite the fact that the romances transpired in two drastically different cultures, this story of love manages to lose nothing in the translation.