Ya gotta hand it to those Bronte sisters. Nobody does Gothic romance quite like them. I recently re-read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Tonight I watched the 1992 movie version of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Yeah, I know all about the argument that it was actually written by the brother Bronte, Branswell. But I'm still rooting for Emily.
What is it about the obsessive passion of Heathcliffe and Catherine that generations have found so captivating?
I can scarcely imagine what it would have been like to have been born into a time and place where women had no right over their own property, their own bodies, their own lives. Besides that, watching the scene of boiling clothes makes me darn grateful for some of the lovely modern conveniences I have at my fingertips.
Still, every now and then it feels good to get lost in fantasy of living in some stone castle on the moores (although it does look rather drafty and no doubt had marginal plumbing).
Anyway, it was nice to see a movie with no explosions or car chases or knife fights or profanity. Just good old lust, jealousy, bitterness and spite. Heathcliffe is such an absolute cad - contorted by his passion, driven to dreadful cruelty - and yet I can't bring myself to despise him. What can be said of Cathy? While my egalitarian sensibilities balk when she marries for money, position, ease - willfully turning her back on the one she had the deep heart passion for...can I truly fault her considering the norms of the day? It's a strange, convoluted tale within a tale that ends badly for most the major players. But it was a pleasant diversion for the evening.