What Men Cause Women To Do

†††††Men love women, and women love men. Both sexes cause strain on each other. However, when a lady has money and a man does not, this can cause a big problem especially if the lady loves the man. This case happened in The Heiress. The Heiress is a 1949 movie adaptation, directed by William Wyler, of Washington Square, a 1880 novel written by Henry James.

†††††In the book the story centers on Catherine, who is an heiress to her father, Dr. Sloper. Catherine, however, is a very shy and timid girl. Even though her father is well known in many different circles, Catherine does not have great social skills, because her father has always held Catherine's dead mother on a pedestal for his hapless daughter to try to reach. But how can one compete with a dead memory?

†††††Catherine's social skills are hard to come by when she is trying to meet suitors. However, one man who appears to be interested in Catherine is Morris Townsend. Morris is full of delight for Catherine, for every word that he says she hangs on. Reading the book, one feels every piece of pain that Catherine feels when her father talks of her mother, or when she falls in love with Morris, who is a money hunter and who is forbidden to marry him. If Cathy marries him then she will lose her inheritance.

†††††Watching the movie The Heiress, one feels the same; William Wyler's adaptation of the well-known book is thought-provoking and entertaining. One is left cheering for Cathy because of the way she deals with the two men in her life who have looked down upon her and leave her abandoned with her inheritance. Olivia de Havilland, the actress who becomes Catherine in the movie, is at the beginning the naÔve young girl, who transforms into the strong mature woman. Catherine grows through the movie once she realizes how the men in her life view her.

†††††At the beginning Catherine runs down and has this beautiful red dress on to show her father; however, her father (Ralph Richardson) says, "Your mother was fair and dominated the color." Catherine is saddened by this remark. This attitude from her father does not allow for her to marry the man she loves. Dr. Sloper is correct on Morris (Montgomery Clift) not being good for Catherine but does not let Catherine find out what Morris really is for herself, until the very end. All that is left for Catherine to become is a woman who is strong but not with the sweetness that did exist.

†††††When Olivia de Havilland is the naÔve Cathy, she has tight hair and horrible makeup. In the end she is not naÔve; her hair is lighter; and her face is brighter. Even though she is saddened by discovering her father to be correct about Morris being after her money, she also realizes her life is hers, as she is striding up the stairs, as the abandonded Morris pounds away on the front door.

†††††Cathy's strain from dealing with her father and Morris in her life made her what she was. At first she was naÔve because she had put her father on a pedestal, but in the end her eyes were wide open to what she knew was right in her life. She loved who was most important to her, herself.

Allison Nall

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