Aug 10, 2007

Not everyone likes a happy ending

The Guardian asks readers for their favorite love stories and Wuthering Heights tops the list.

Norm objects.
What can they (among the 2000 people surveyed) have been thinking of who were responsible for putting Wuthering Heights in first place? This is where I will openly court controversy by saying that a love story cannot be the greatest, in which things go badly wrong and one of the two romantic protagonists ends up merely a ghost. Other things can be said for such a tale, but the greatest of love stories turn out well in the end.

Some people just like the notion of unrequited love. I loved, loved, loved Wuthering Heights at age 13. Now, not so much. Also, there's a certain type of girl who likes bad boys and nobody is badder than Heathcliff.

Besides, Wuthering Heights isn't the only tale of doomed love to make the list.

  • In "Romeo and Juliet," the lovers kill themselves.

  • Rhett Butler leaves Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind.

  • The heroine in The English Patient dies a horrible death.

  • Doctor Zhivago doesn't get Lara.

  • Gatsby dies.

  • Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford break up--I only know the movie version of The Way We Were.

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