I Call It: Desire

         Desire is the fuel for the motor of many hearts. It is through this "Desire" that we achieve all of our goals. The best examples of desire can be seen in both film and literature alike, through the use of words, thoughts and actions. Though Emily Brontë's 1847 Wuthering Heights, filmed in 1939 by William Wyler, was set in the scene of the moors, its sole survival was fueled by Desire.

         "I am torn by Desire….tortured by hate!" asserts Heathcliff (Laurence Olivier) in regards to his love for Catherine (Merle Oberon). Though Catherine has fallen in love as well as married another man, Heathcliff is determined to have the love that he has longed for, returned to him. Heathcliff and Catherine have had a love that is unlike any other. They understand each other as if they were twins. Catherine at times states that Heathcliff that is as much her, as she that is herself. Catherine sees herself in Heathcliff.

         Heathcliff's desire has propelled him to make a better life for himself. He had left the moors for a few years and later returns to own the place that had once oppressed him. Heathcliff's desire is visible throughout the movie, in the ways that he would hold and look at Catherine. There is a fire in his eyes that always seems to be burning. Though it is believed that Heathcliff that is symbolic of the turbulent weather that surrounded the moors, I also believe that Heathcliff is simply a victim to his own desire, which tosses and turns him like a ship sailing on rough seas.

         The tempo of the Alfred Newman's music throughout Wuthering Heights, more so in the scenes with Heathciff, becomes more upbeat; and the audience can almost feel the excitement as well as desire that Heathcliff is feeling. The heart races, and feelings fluctuate as each move that Heathcliff makes is sudden and aggressive.

         "I am Heathcliff! I love a woman who belongs to another man!... My love was fierce... my hate is burning! I will have vengeance!" All the feelings that Heathcliff are experiencing are fueled by desire. His desire to become what no one expected of him; to return the animosity that Hindley (Hugh Williams) had towards him, and finally to be with Catherine, the love of his life. Though Heathcliff is not able to win the heart of Catherine until her deathbed, his feeling has endured; and he is certain that he and Catherine would be together forever in spirit. I call this Desire.

Chantal Curtis

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