Luis Buñuel is known for his use of animals to portray surrealist qualities in his films. In his 1954 Los Abismos de Pasion, based on Emily Brontë's 1847 Wuthering Heights, animals are used to in surreal situations to foreshadow events. This foreshadowing helps guide the movie as well as inform the audience of what the characters actions will be.
The most obvious foreshadowing is in the beginning when Eduardo (Ernesto Alonzo) foreshadows his desire to have Catalina (Irasema Dilian) by catching a beautiful butterfly and pinning it down into his collection. He catches the butterfly in the wild off the "grange" much as he finds Catalina. He keeps it in a jar until he kills it by pinning it down, much as he keeps Catalina by marrying her and pinning her down.
When Eduardo moves the big insect from a collection of little insects to a collection of bigger insects, this foreshadows the placement in characters of social status and location. Alejandro is the "big insect" that Eduardo put among the "little insects" in the past. At the point in the film when he moves the Alejandro insect, the audience is to understand that Eduardo is about to see that Alejandro is no longer a "little insect" but an equal so he can be put among the same "insects" because his social structure has changed. Also, the location of Alejandro is right next door, so the placement of the bug also foreshadows how Alejandro is going to be close by.
The final big animal foreshadowing is the moment when Ricardo (Luis Aceves Castaneda) watches a spider catch a moth and devour it. This inspires Ricardo, as well as foreshadows what the character is going to do. Ricardo, like the spider, waits in the shadows and dark, and then when the moth is in the right spot, he lashes out and kills it quickly. This foreshadows the tomb scene where Alejandro goes into Catalina's tomb, and from the shadows he is shot quickly.
Buñuel's use of animals guides the audience throughout the movie and also keeps his surrealist style intact.