My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods; time will change it, . . . as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary . . . I am Heathcliff! He's always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.
(from Cathy's confession to Nelly)
Is it better to live as a monster or die as a good man?
Despite the numerous discussions about this film, I'd like to say something exclusively impressive to me. I don't care about the theme of illusion v.s. reality or the man in mental distress. That's so obvious the intention of Martin Scorsese, who is good at depicting the plight of the desperate individuals with crazed violence against the repressive society in which they live. But Shutter Island is not of that scope. I would rather claim it as a tribute to Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. To begin with, the isolated island attacked by a violent storm echoes the howling wind of the desolate moor in Wuthering Heights. The bleak atomospher reflects the hero's dark side of life. Furthermore, Ted the marshal, starring Leonardo Dicaprio in Shutter Island, like the gloomy Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, is tormented by his past. And a man/woman with a past always provides the topic for public discussion! Finally, the two works have similar conclusion in that the hero would rather die in peace than live in agony. As Ted remarks in the last scene in Shutter Island, "Is it better to live as a monster or die as a good man?" the choice for the distressed hero is obviously the latter. A journey to Shutter Island, like that to Wuthering Heights, chills our heart through the exploration of a man's secrets. Watching the film evokes the themes of the novel---love and revenge. Both heroes want to revenge themselves on their imaginary enemy, who takes their true love away from them. Haunted by the ghost of their true love, both are mentally disturbed. How their life is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing!