Is this just a fairy tale? Is there a “happily ever after” for most romances? There was not one in my pursuit of my soul mate which I write about in my blogs under the category “my journey of love.” I don’t regret, however, that I did pursue this goal and like most women who hear the fairy tales as children, I believed that I would find my Prince and live happily ever after.
I find it interesting that most great romances, from the Greek tragedies such as “Orpheus and Eurydice,” to novels like “Wuthering Heights,” to modern day movies such as “Gone With the Wind,” do not end happily ever after. Yet these are the stories that we remember. I always want the ending to change each time I read the book or see the movie.
Oh, how I wish that Eurydice had not been bitten by a viper, soon after her wedding, and then to die leaving the heart broken Orpheus wandering the earth and even going to the depths of Hades to find her. Then to ultimately die being torn apart by wild beasts. Their perfect love was only to last for a short time. A wonderful movie called “Black Orpheus” was made in Brazil in the late 1960’s and tells the story of the famous lovers, Orfeu and Euridice, set during Carnival, with an updated version of the Greek tragedy. It’s a great movie full of music and dance, but has a sad ending in keeping with the original story.
In “Wuthering Heights,” why oh why did Catherine marry someone else while longing for Heathcliff to return? And when Heathcliff does return, rich and prosperous, he marries someone else to punish Catherine, who then dies of a broken heart. Heathcliff becomes hardened and mean and finally wanders off to the moors searching for his lost love and dies there.
In “Gone with the Wind,” how could Scarlet let a man like Rhett Butler, every woman’s hearth throb, get away while she pined for wimpy Ashley? When she finally realized how much she loved Rhett, it was too late.
“Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn,” is probably one of the most memorable lines ever, from a movie ending. Even though Scarlet deserved this from Rhett, I hate the ending every time I watch this epic saga.
I wonder if these famous romances would have captured our imaginations if they had ended with…