A Cinematic Love Story But No More

     Wuthering Heights, the novel written by Emily Brontė in 1847, and the film directed by William Wyler in 1939, is a epic love story between Catherine (Merle Oberon) and Heathcliff (Laurence Olivier), and the story is mainly focused on these two characters. Catherine, who is Earnshaw's daughter, falls in love with Heathcliff, the man who is brought into the Earnshaw household as a child.

     It seemed as if nothing could stop the love between Catherine and Heathcliff, which held up very strong throughout their early childhood years and throughout the period of time of them growing up. However, when Catherine later grows up, her love for Heathcliff is not as strong as it once was, and it begins to fall apart because she realizes her desire to marry a man with whom she can share material things, a higher social status and prestige. So, Catherine ends up marrying Edgar Linton (David Niven), and Heathcliff is heartbroken and will do practically anything to have Catherine back.

     Eventually, Heathcliff gets to the point of bitter revenge, and he wishes to get back at Catherine by marrying Edgar's sister, Isabella. Heathcliff subjects her to a life of misery and pain because he does not truly love her as he once did Catherine. Eventually Catherine dies, and everyone is sad at the end.

     As far as the comparison between the book and the film, I would have to say that the book takes all the accolades, simply for the fact that it goes into detail what happens after Catherine dies. I mean, I had no problem with the movie, and I thought that it accomplished its mission of showing the main story between Catherine and Heathcliff and would have risked losing audience interest if the second part of the book that was left out had been put included. It would have made for an extremely long movie.

Jason Kemp

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