Gothic Romance - Cathy and Heathcliff
- The Best Dracula Ever
The 1927/1931 Dracula role took over Lugosi's entire career. The submersion was discouragingwhen he felt it drained him, but he accepted his type casting in a way that he could use to please millions of audience members globally.
- MONSTERS - A Tribute to the Black & White Classic Films
This is a tribute to the actors and stories of the Classic Universal Studios Horror Films of 1925 - 1956. Many videos and a highlighting of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff by their families.
Tragedy in the Classroom
In the first year of middle school, one of my English classes was divided into parts, one part assigned to read an interesting adventure novel and another part, a romance novel. Unfortunately, the romance novel was of the mediocre type sold in grocery stores and written at the usual romance-novel pitch of 6th grade reading level, while I and several others were reading a grade 14 and studying Russian language as well. I was highly insulted and would rather have had a superhero comic book - it would have been written on a higher grade level, at any rate. Aquaman, Hawkman and Hawkwoman, Green Lantern, Green Hornet, and a few others were much more interesting and fun. No wonder people quit school.
After surviving that first romance novel, I saw Dracula with Bela Lugosi for the first time and decided that gothic romance was much better than the pulp we had been forced to read in school. WHile I review romance novels occassionally and have found some that are very much superior to the usual genre - even witty - I prefer tragic romance. It is easy to see the attraction of middle- and high-school young women to the Twilight and New Moon series. These stories are dark, but not too dark, and full of fantasy and lovely people. The darker side likely has more powerful energy as well. At any rate, Bela Lugosi made this all possible about 100 years ago with his dramatic performance. He was extremely handsome in his youth, with a magnetism that was hard to ignore.
Dracula led me to be attracted to other gothic sorts of stories and Wuthering Heights was one of them. It was far more engaging and exciting than the grocery store romance novel. And it was tragic.
It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him: and that, not because he's handsome, Nelly, but because he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same; and Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.-- Catherine, Wuthering Heights, Ch 9
Wuthering Heights On Fillm
Emily Bronte offers in Wuthering Heights a fresh perspective on the concept of romantic love in her time, with psychological complications and cruel actions that can destroy the human heart. It was quite successfully dark and intriguing and several period critics did not like the physical and emotional cruelty it described. First published in 1847, Ms. Bronte used a male pen name - Ellis Bell - a tragedy itself, that several women of this era were not accepted as able to write and publish. After Emily's death, her sister Charlotte edited the book and published a new edition of the story.
The story contains many supernatural elements and is violent in parts, woven with lesser desirable human qualities. it is not about self-sacrificing love (which bored me in middle school). Main characters Cathy Earnshaw and Heathcliff (adopted into the Earnshaw family as a child) are not able to function in an adult romantic relationship together and this dysfunction may be highly recognizable in 21stCentury society. As long as we recognize it as dysfunction and not the ideal for relationships, we readers can enjoy the story and the range of emotions and horror the novel is likely to elicit.
The stars of Wuthering Heights are protagonists, rather than heroes; they’re anti-heroes and this makes them flawed and interesting. Catherine (Cathy) and Heathcliff seem to be self-centered and really rather petty overall, having known one another and bonded after a fashion in childhood after an inauspicious start. Social status, duty, and “marrying well” were major considerations of the time, rather than love, and as an adult, Cathy resultantly could not marry Heathcliff. Further, Cathy's brother Linton always hated Healthcliff and abused him in childhood and as a hired hand after the death of their father.
Interestingly, Healthcliff left home and became rich, using his riches to turn abuse onto the next generation in revenge, because he had been abused by Linton. This is classic intergenerational abuse, perhaps not much considered in the early to middle 1800s.
In the story, Cathy does not marry Heathcliff, breaking his heart. He and she both, in fact marry other people without much joy resulting. Heathcliff and Cathy never admit that they are in love with one another, a tragedy with which many readers can identify. As unconfessed lovers they fight tooth and nail to the end, even though married to others. At least they are buried side by side and that's romantic in itself.
...Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you--haunt me, then! The murdered DO haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts HAVE wandered on earth. Be with me always--take any form--drive me mad! only DO not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I CANNOT live without my life! I CANNOT live without my soul! -- Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights, Ch 16
The unknown usually becomes romantic in some way and Healthcliff is an unknown from the beginning of the story. He is described as a gypsy in appearance, probably to portray darkness and romantic mystery with dark eyes, hair, and skin coloring; and his parents were never revealed. Perhaps he was left by the side of the road or perhaps he is magic. Later in the story, detractors claim that he is related to Satan and the appearance of ghosts in the story adds another dimension of the supernatural. An aura of sinister mysticism surrounds Healthcliff, making him romantic to readers. One film version fo the story, released in 1970, suggested that Healthcliff may be Cathy's illegitimate half-brother. This is an other element of mystery and romance. Healthcliff is the dark, mysterious hero that is not a hero - rather an opposite of the Spanish hero, Zorro. Both are equally as romantic.
Adaptations of Wuthering Heights
- Masterpiece - Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights on PBS.
- Wuthering Heights - A Musical Adaptation Based On The Novel By Emily Bronte
- Wuthering Heights (1939)
Directed by William Wyler. With Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, David Niven. Visit IMDb for Photos, Showtimes, Cast, Crew, Reviews, Plot Summary, Comments, Discussions, Taglines, Trailers, Posters, Fan Sites
- Wuthering Heights (1970)
Directed by Robert Fuest. With Anna Calder-Marshall, Timothy Dalton, Harry Andrews. Visit IMDb for Photos, Showtimes, Cast, Crew, Reviews, Plot Summary, Comments, Discussions, Taglines, Trailers, Posters, Fan Sites
- Wuthering Heights (1992)
Directed by Peter Kosminsky. With Juliette Binoche, Ralph Fiennes, Janet McTeer. Visit IMDb for Photos, Showtimes, Cast, Crew, Reviews, Plot Summary, Comments, Discussions, Taglines, Trailers, Posters, Fan Sites
- Wuthering Heights (2009) (TV)
Directed by Coky Giedroyc. With Tom Hardy, Charlotte Riley, Andrew Lincoln. Foundling Heathcliff is raised by the wealthy Earnshaws in Yorkshire but in later life launches a vendetta against the family. Visit IMDb for Photos, Showtimes, Cast, Crew, R
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