Meant for Each Other

         It is a generally known fact that in romantic novels the couples know that they were "meant for each other." Unfortunately, this does not happen in Emily Brontë's 1847 Wuthering Heights, filmed in 1939 by William Wyler. The adult Heathcliff (Laurence Olivier) and Catherine (Merle Oberon) seem to ignore the fact that Heathcliff and Catherine had been in love with each other since early childhood, as played by Rex Downing and Sarita Wooten. I suppose that money matters more, especially to the adult Catherine. Emily Bronte and the script writers, Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, sure knows how to mess things up and make it interesting.

         Heathcliff was born a street urchin and was brought to Wuthering Heights to live out of the kindness of an old man, Mr.Earnshaw's (Cecil Kellaway) heart. As children, Catherine loved him beyond his past and his present role in the household. Her brother, Hindley (Douglas Scott), however, could never see him as anything other than rabble not fit to grace his own place of living. When both Catherine and Heathcliff were in their youth, they seemed to know and understand their feelings for one another.

         But as they grew to adulthood, things began to change. Wealth, riches, and the world outside of Wuthering Heights, especially as epitomized by Thrushcross Grange and Edgar Linton (David Niven) became Catherine's main focus, no longer just being happy with Heathcliff. It was then that the real trouble began. When Catherine began to lose her interest in her childhood companion, Heathcliff had nowhere to run and no one to turn to. It was bad enough that Heathcliff had to bear the abuse and degradation handed to him by the head of the house. Now he had to suffer a broken heart and lost dreams, all because little Miss Catherine wanted money. Well, she should have known that money cannot buy her the kind of love she had had with Heathcliff.

         It was this realization that eventually led to her early demise in the arms of her true love, Heathcliff, left to mourn for her until he joined her years later in an afterlife in which they could finally be "meant for each other."

Mary Moffitt

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