Break Up And Separation

We hear about love all around us, in music and movies, on TV, in stories. If you look in the dictionary, they define love as a tender, warm feeling; warm liking; affection; attachment. Love is simply a choice we make when we find someone who makes us happy, and who we trust with our innermost thoughts and feelings. We hear that love will make us happy. We hear that single people are lonely. We are told that if we are not part of a couple, we are not complete. We all want to be part of this thing called love.

Okay, we get a boyfriend or girlfriend, now everything should be perfect. But, its not perfect, because life never is. It is easy to become disappointed. Feelings can change. One person may decide to say good-bye. When that happens, the one left behind will feel rejected. Rejection means someone choosing between one thing and another. The one who doesnt get chosen is rejected. This person who feels rejected thinks as if they are not good enough. It hurts. When the person you love decides to leave you, it is even more painful. Does rejection mean failure?

No. The end of a relationship means that the boyfriend or girlfriend decided that s/he wanted a change in the path of their lives. The reasons for this are within the ex – not within the rejected person. No one is a less valuable person because their boyfriend or girlfriends feelings have changed. The bad thing about getting dumped or abandoned is it costs us our self-esteem. We feel a full tidal wave of rejection bring us to our knees, sucking the wind out of our sails. We form an inner-hate and get caught in a self-destructive mode.

We create within ourselves intense feelings of rejection, isolation, and a profound loss of love, acceptance, and control. When we are dumped it creates a grief that is far more intense than the loss of love through death. With death the person who has died has not consciously elected to withdraw their love for you. You get a sense of closure and finalization. Death has no possibilities of changing its mind! But when we are dumped the person has made the decision to withdraw from you and desert you. They have rejected you, turned their back to you, and, often times, moved on to someone else.

Getting ‘dumped’ hurts like hell. It sucker-punches the very air out of us and leaves us feeling alone, lost, and hopeless. We lose our very selves when the person we love makes the conscious decision to leave us. The grief of being abandoned can quickly progress to extreme sadness, self doubt, insecurity, and fear. Abandonment drains our self-esteem. It can lead to depression, addictions, compulsions, and uncontrollable anxiety or panic attacks. In extreme cases, some are left with suicidal thoughts. If left unresolved, abandonment can interfere with – or even prevent – any healthy future relationships.

Once in this cycle, we will often find ourselves abandoned over and over again, as we become either blocked from fully connecting to others, or struggle with extreme-attachment for fear of being abandoned again. We may accept abuse and infidelity, just to avoid feelings of abandonment. Sometimes we remain in a panic-like state of obsessiveness and hyper-vigilance towards our abandoner, or inner focused on our own pain and hurt. We often carry with us feelings of being deserted, needy, and demoralized.

Eventually, our lack of self-control makes us feel like a victim within our own creation, causing self hatred, harm, or injury. Curing the grief that surrounds you is to find happiness within you. Sounds impossible, but it isn’t. It is not only very possible, it has been there all along. If it weren’t you would have curled up in a ball at the foot of the one who left you, and died. And, yes, you might have felt that way, but did you do it? No! Because you still know, buried deep inside of you, that your ex was not the be-all to your life.

And how do I know that? Because you are here, reading this, looking for answers to your pain. Searching for help to mend your abandoned self! You have the courage and the desire to ‘continue on’. You believe in you, you have faith in life, and you are aware of your capacity to love again. A new and better life is not only possible, not only probable, but a plain and simple fact. But right now, you just hurt. And you hurt bad. And you want to know why. Well… look at it this way. You loved someone. You loved them very much. And they abandoned you.

You thought the world of them and they crushed your heart and stole your dreams. Wow – so much power they have… to be able to inflict such heavy and massive destruction to your well-being. And with this ‘imposed’ power they become almost ‘God-like’ to you. You subconsciously fear this power, and by fearing it, the object of your power – your ex – actually becomes almost like an obsession to you. You think about them all the time, You dream of them. They’re the first thought in your head when you wake and the last when you go to sleep. And this constant dwelling confuses you.

You actually come to believe that you love them and need them far more than you actually do. And, what about the one who abandoned you? Here are some facts to ponder: Some abandoners often times feel powerful in the fact that they can and have inflicted so much emotional pain on someone. They feel almighty in the knowledge that they have, alone, created such extensive devastation. They might even feel a heightened sense of self-importance. Sadly, their ego may be exaggerated as they witness either the begging and pleas, or the hopeless, lost agony coming from you.

Often abandoners will not openly admit to these feelings of triumph. Hiding these emotions, they will more often than not, tend to relay feeling of guilt or regret, either for causing the other person pain, or simply because they are ‘sorry that the relationship didn’t work out’. However, for many abandoners the guilt is very real. To diminish their own guilt, and justify their decision to end the relationship, they will, often point the finger away from them, blaming the other person (you) for the breakup, or for the problems in the relationship. They will attempt to save their own face at all costs.

Even the cost of you. They often come off as callous, heartless, or cruel to the ones they left behind. Many ‘dumpees’ have come up to me and asked, “How can they just move on so easily, and not hurt like I do? How can someone who claimed they loved me just two weeks ago, this week announce to the world that I am a neurotic bitch? ” Let me point out that many who make the choice to leave and end a relationship do not set out directly to cause hurt and pain. Their main goal is to find happiness and personal fulfillment, not to directly cause hurt to someone they care about.

Medea As A Heroine

In Euripides’ Medea, the main character of the same name is a controversial heroine. Medea takes whatever steps necessary to achieve what she believes is right and fair. She lived in a time when women were expected to sit in the shadows and take the hand that life dealt them without a blink of their eye. Medea took very radical steps to liberate herself and destroys the life of the man who ruined hers. She refused to accept the boundaries that a patriarchal society set upon her. Medea was a very wise and calculated woman who was brave enough to leave her homeland, along with everything she knew and loved, in order to follow her heart down the path of what she expected to be eternal happiness.

Medea, a princess and sorceress, was from a small island in the Black Sea called Colchis. She met her husband Jason when she used her powers to help him secure the Golden Fleece. It was during this time that she fell in love with him and decided to leave her family and home so that she could be with Jason. The fact that Medea was willing to leave all that she knew for Jason is very brave. Women in Medea’s time were normally given away to the men that they married. Medea, on the other hand, married Jason because she wanted to. That was a large risk for her to take and many women probably looked at it as a liberating and heroic act.

When Jason left Medea to marry Glauce, Medea was plagued with sadness and then with anger. The man she loved, the man that she gave up her life for, had betrayed her. In the patriarchal society that Medea lived in, it was not acceptable for a woman to protest any decision made by her husband. Medea went against all social standards and took revenge on Jason for the wrongs that he had committed. She was willing to take any chance and sacrifice even her most valued possessions. Medea knew that the best way to avenge the wrongs of Jason was to kill Glauce and the children. It was a huge sacrifice for Medea to kill the children that she loved, but she allowed herself to look past that love and only see her hate and contempt for Jason. Medea was willing to go against every rule that society set, so that her husband wouldn’t get away with leaving her for political reasons. Medea is once again a heroine.

If Medea were alive today, many people would not consider her a heroine. She found a way to satisfy her own needs, which were supposed to be secondary to her husband’s. Medea was a leader of women, and although the men may not have appreciated it, it was an act that was guaranteed to catch the attention of every oppressed woman alive at the time. Medea was a heroine ahead of her time.

Wuthering Heights: Short Review

According to the editor Currer Bell, the novel Wuthering Heights may seem rather crude and unintelligible to those who know nothing of the author. Strangers who are unacquainted with the setting where the story takes place, or who are unfamiliar with the customs of the time may also look at Wuthering Heights with a critical eye. “To all such Wuthering Heights must appear a rude and strange production” (Bell 5).

Readers may feel that the manners, language, and the very dwellings of the characters are somewhat “repulsive” (Bell 5). People who are perhaps calm and collected will “have no idea what to make of the rough, strong utterance, the harshly manifested passions, the unbridled aversions, and headlong partialities” (Bell 5). Many people have been taught carefully to observe the evenness of language and manner, and it is these people whom the roughness will shock.

The entire novel is regarded for its rusticity. “It is moorish, and wild, and knotty as the root of heath” (Bell 5). However, Currer Bell insists that this is exactly the way the novel should be. The author was a product of these wild and rustic moors, and it is quite natural that she writes about what she lived in. “Her descriptions, then, if natural scenery, are what they should be, and The author herself was not a very social person. She looked upon most people with benevolence, but there were very few instances where she interacted with them on a personal level. However, this did not stop her from accurately identifying the ways, language, and family history of most people. “She could hear of them with interest, and talk of them with detail, minute, graphic,and accurate; but with them she barely exchanged a word” (Bell 6-7). Her imagination was dismal yet powerful.

Still, there are certain examples in Wuthering Heights that bring a sort of brightness to the other dreary aspects of the novel. The character of Nelly Dean is an example of tenderness and compassion. In the character of Edgar Linton one can see a sense of constancy and thoughtfulness. Also, “some glimpses of grace and gaiety animate the younger Catherine” (Bell 8). Even the first Catherine possesses strange sort of beauty in the midst of all Heathcliff possesses only one characteristic that shows he is in fact human. It is not his love for Catherine, which is wild and fierce, but it is his, “rudely confessed regard for Hareton Earnshaw- the young man whom he has ruined; and his half -implied esteem for Nelly Dean” (Bell 8).

If it weren’t for these mere examples, we would look upon Heathcliff as a child purely of Wuthering Heights was a novel formed out of poor materials with simple tools, yet it reflects an amazing sense of power. There was no model for it except the visions of the author’s mind. It took time and effort, but the novel took on a human form and there it stands dark and mighty, radiating a sense of strength and charm.

Media: Character Analysis

Media was a very diverse character who possesses several characteristics which were unlike the average woman during her time. As a result of these characteristics she was treated differently by members of the society. Media was a different woman for several reasons; she possessed super natural powers , she was manipulative, vindictive, and she was driven by revenge. The life that Media lived and the situations she encountered, (one could say) were partly responsible for these characteristics and her actions.

Because Media was such a different woman people in her society were afraid of her, including men. As a result of this, before Jason, she never experienced being in love. When she finally experienced this type of love she went to no end for Jason. To protect Jason and her love for him she killed the beast guarding the Golden Fleece, she killed her brother, and she left her home, family and everything she knew for him. Most women would not have gone that far for love, especially women during her time; but Media was not your average woman. All of the things she did for Jason will come into play, and partly account for her actions at the end of the play.

Although Media killed and did things that people felt were wrong it is evident that through out the play that along with her other characteristics, she was a caring and loving person. The first time we are shown this is when we discover everything she did for Jason. If she did not love him she would not have done those things. We are also shown that Media can be a caring person by the love that she had for her children. Although she killed them in the end during the play she was a mother to her children, she showed affection to them, and she did think twice before she killed them. It is because Media was a caring and loving person that she did what she did. Her feelings were hurt and her heart was broken; and she did what she felt she had to do to hurt Jason for hurting her.

When Media Jason discovers Jasons plans to marry Creons daughter she was hurt deeply. But when Creon tells her that she was being exiled we see her hurt turn into vengeance. Because Media was a manipulative person she was only needed one day to plan and execute her plan to destroy Jason. Her plan was to leave Jason with nothing, the way she felt he left her. She killed his wife to be, her father and her children. Media killed everything Jason loved and everything that would a benefit to him to leave Jason with nothing.

She did all of these things, even killed her own children because she was hurt by love.
You must look at all of these things to explain Medias actions. Without knowing her background it would be very difficult to explain her extreme actions during this play. Its not enough to say her feelings were hurt and she lashed out, you have to look at, analyze, and breakdown, Medias life and experiences.

Madame Bovary: The Tragic Love Triangle of Yonville

Gustave Flubert’s masterpiece, Madame Bovary, was first published in 1857. The novel shocked many of its readers and caused a chain reaction that spread through all of France and ultimately called for the prosecution of the author. Since that time however, Madame Bovary, has been recognized by literature critics as being the model for the present literary period, being the realistic novel period. It is now considered a novel of great worth and one which contains an important and moving plot. In addition, it provides a standard against which to compare the works of writers to follow. It is nearly impossible to truly understand modern European and American fiction without reading, Madame Bovary.

Charles Bovary, the only son of a middle-class family, became a doctor and set up his practice in a rural village. He then married a women who was quite older then himself. He was unhappily married to her saying that “Her dresses barely hung on her bony frame”, This coming right before her death. Upon his wife’s death, Charles married an attractive young women named Emma Roualt, the daughter of one of his patients. Emma married Charles with overwhelming expectations. She thought marriage would be filled with three things, “bliss, passion, and ecstasy”. Emma had a character that was 1) dissatisfied 2) adulterous and 3) free spending. For a while she was excited and pleased by her marriage, but overwhelmed by her new life, she quickly became dissatisfied. As a result of her dissatisfaction she became mentally ill.

For the sake of her health the Bovary’s moved to a new town, Yonville, where their daughter was born. Emma’s unhappiness continued, and she began to have romantic feelings toward Leon, a young law clerk. After Leon left the town in order to attend law school. Emma’s boredom and frustration became more intense after Leon left. She began to forget her role as a wife and mother. Charles tried many times to please but none of his efforts were successful, and she did not value or understand Charles’ love for her. Finally Emma had an adulterous affair with Rodolphe, a local land owner.

Upon realizing Emma’s intentions of an affair with him he states that he is “Gasping for love”, and this wins her heart over. Rodolphe then leaves for a period of six weeks and Emma then becomes seriously ill again. After her recovery, Rodolphe returns and the only explanation for his actions is “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”. She then runs across Leon in Rowen and began to resume were they left off. In order to afford the trips to Rowen to see Leon and satisfy her own needs, Emma spent her husbands money freely and incurred many debts. She kept this secret from Charles and managed to obtain a Power of Attorney, so that she would have full control over their financial affairs.

Eventually her unpaid bills went long overdue and judgment was obtained against the creditors. She owed a vast sum of money, and the sheriff’s officers arrived to confiscate the family property. Emma tried frantically to raise the money and finally turning to Leon, but he was unable to help, nor was he willing. She even tried to get back Rodolphe, by saying “I stayed with you, because I couldn’t tear myself away…”, he would have no part of her anymore and unwilling to help. Out of shame and despair of herself, she poisons herself to die. Shortly afterwards, now a ruined and broken man, also died, leaving their daughter to a life of poverty.

Gustave Flaubert and Madame Bovary: Comparisons

We would like to think that everything in life is capable, or beyond the brink of reaching perfection. It would be an absolute dream to look upon each day with a positive outlook. We try to establish our lives to the point where this perfection may come true at times, although, it most likely never lasts. There’s no real perfect life by definition, but instead, the desire and uncontrollable longing to reach this dream. In the novel Madame Bovary, it’s easy to relate to the characters as well as the author of this book. One can notice that they both share a fairly similar view on life, and that their experiences actually tie in with each other.

Emma Bovary dreamed of a life beyond that of perfection as well. She realizes that she leads an ordinary and average life, but simply does not want to abide by it. In the novel, Emma meets a pitiful doctor named Charles Bovary. The first time they meet, Charles falls instantly in love with her. They begin to see more and more of each other until Charles asks Emma’s father for her hand in marriage. They end up getting married and everything goes fine, just like a normal couple, for awhile. They did things with each other, went out, and were extremely happy.

Although, this love and passion for life shortly ended when Emma’s true feelings began to come about. We soon come to realize that “the story is of a woman whose dreams of romantic love, largely nourished by novels, find no fulfillment when she is married to a boorish country doctor” (Thorlby 272). This is completely true because Emma really does get caught up in her reading. She wonders why she can’t have a flawless love as well as a flawless life, just as the characters do in the novels she reads. Once Emma becomes fed up and realizes that he is “a sad creature” (Flaubert 78), she begins her little quest to find the right man through a binge of affairs and broken hearts. The author of Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert, was born in Rouen France (Kunitz 280).

He grew up in a rather wealthy and prosperous family as a result of his father being a successful doctor (Kunitz 280). This could easily relate to the fact that Charles Bovary was a doctor too. During Flaubert’s younger years, he was alone most of the time. He didn’t have any friends and normally spent his days in solitude. This gave him time to focus on his literature (Flaubert i). Since Flaubert’s academics and knowledge of literature were released at such an early age, it is explainable to see how his profound talent was released (Flaubert i). He began to write plays at around the age of ten. These were in-depth, romantic plays that adults would learn to appreciate (Kunitz 280).

At that time Flaubert focused his attention on the study of History and the writings of numerous romantics as well (Kunitz 280). Flaubert was later sent to an intermediate school in Paris to further strengthen his academic standings (Kunitz 280). Upon completion of that, he enrolled into law school but found no interest in it (Thorlby 250). This allowed him to do some drifting, while taking the time to realize that literature would be his destiny (Kunitz 281). Although all of this schooling and work helped Flaubert become an extremely talented writer, he thought writing to be one of the most difficult things (De Man xi). He wrote very slowly in fact, while reflecting on his painful life experiences. It took over five years to perfect his most famous novel, Madame Bovary (Thorlby 272).

Although some people, as well as I, believe that Flaubert based the character of Emma Bovary on himself, he was very unhappy with the subject of the book upon finishing (Thorlby 272). Maybe Flaubert figured her character to be too provocative and heartless. Otherwise, he might have simply reflected upon the theme, and thought it to be uninteresting. In 1856, the novel Madame Bovary was actually condemned as being pornographic. This was a result of Flaubert’s eminently honest and descriptive themes. He, along his publisher were charged with offending public morality and went to trial, but were soon acquitted (Magill 616).

This publicity obviously helped bring the book out into the public while establishing popularity and praise. Sure, Flaubert was probably disappointed when this negative publicity about Madame Bovary. But, he realized that criticism could be ignored and his objective is “to understand humanity, not to explain or reform it” (Magill 616). By reading Madame Bovary, it’s easy to notice that Flaubert is a perfectionist. In fact, he sometimes rewrites his books 3-4 times to establish perfection. When he finished Madame Bovary, he said, “C’est Moi,” meaning in French, “that’s me” (Kunitz 281).

This could symbolize the incredible comparison between Flaubert and the character Emma Bovary. Although Flaubert detested the thought of being famous, his work titled him France’s most renowned writer (Magill 617). According to Sainte-Beuve, Flaubert’s scenes were “pictures which, if they were painted with a brush as they are written, would be worthy of hanging in a gallery beside the best genre painting” (Kunitz 281). In 1846 Flaubert met the poet Louis Colet, who became his mistress. Although he admired her, he couldn’t “find the ideal love” (Kunitz 280). This could symbolize the comparison between Flaubert and Emma as well.

Along with Louis Colet, Flaubert had a few more adulterous relationships too. But, when his work became too important, Flaubert gave up everything to devote himself to his writing. He even broke off his affair with Mme. Colet because got in the way (Thorlby 272). Flaubert soon became a pessimist and basically had a cheerless view of life (Magill 617). He became the victim of nervous apprehension and depression (Kunitz 282). Flaubert frequently felt with drawled from society and longed to commit suicide (Kunitz 282). It’s plain to observe that Flaubert was an idealist that dreamed, just as the characters in his novel did. “These perpetual conflicts,” writes Troyat, who has been listing some of the paradoxes in Flaubert’s life, “made him a profoundly unhappy man” (Kunitz 282).

Emma would sit on the grass into which she would dig the tip of her parasol with brief thrusts and would ask herself, “My God, why did I get married” (Flaubert 108)? Flaubert was the same way, deliberating whether marriage was one of the biggest mistakes to have been made or not. “Madame Bovary,” writes A de Pontmartin in the correspond and, “is the pathological glorification of the senses and of the imagination in a disappointed democracy.” “It proves once and for all that realism means literary democracy” (De Man ix). Emma and Flaubert are very ordinary middle-class people, with banal expectations of life and an urge to dominate their surroundings.

Their personalities are remarkable only for an unusual defiance of natural feelings (Flaubert 152). People even say that the myth surrounding the figure of Emma Bovary is so powerful, that one has to remind oneself that she is fiction and not an actual person (De Man vii). By reading this book, and accurately analyzing the author’s significant events, one can plainly conclude that Flaubert actually did tie in those events with the theme of Madame Bovary.

Madame Bovary is a creation of one’s conscience which can only be explained through the eyes of another. It’s about love, hate, and destiny, while holding every true emotion in the context as well. “Something in the destiny of the heroine and of the main supporting characters, as well as in the destiny of the book itself, surrounds it with the aura of immortality that belongs only to truly major creations” (De Man vii). And it is fair to say that Madame Bovary is a true creation, at least one in the eyes of Gustave Flaubert.

Works Cited

De Man, Paul, ed. Gustave Flaubert: Madame Bovary: Backgrounds and Sources, Essays in Criticisms. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1965

Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary. New York, New York, 1964

Kunitz, Stanley J., Vineta Colby, eds. European Literature (Authors) 1800-1900: A Biographical Dictionary of European Literature. New York: The H.W. Wilson Co., 1967

Magill, Frank N., ed. Critical Survey of Long Fiction: Foreign Language Series. vol. 2; New Jersey: Salem Press Inc., 1984

Magill, Frank N., ed. Cyclopedia of World Authors. New Jersey: Salem Press Inc., 1958

Thorlby, Anthony, ed. The Penguin Companion to European Literature. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1969

Madame Bovary: Critical Analysis

The story starts as we see Charles Bovary entering a new school in the town of Rouen in France. People laugh at him because he isn’t sure what to do and how to act. He is the son of a doting mother and a very strict father. Charles isn’t sure what to do with his life and therefore does as his mother advices him; to go to medical school. He fails at first because he didn’t work for it in class, but the second time he does and he passes the exam and becomes a doctor in the town of Tostes. He is well liked in town because people see him as a hard working man. Because he is still single and his mother thinks he shouldn’t be, she arranges a marriage only for the money with an ungly widow, Heloise Dubuc.

One day Charles is called to a farm because someone has broken his leg. On the farm he meets Emma Rouault, the daughter of the farm owner. He likes her very much and keeps coming back to her father to check up on his leg, even after his leg has fully healed. They get on very well and they dicide to get married, even with protest of his former wife which dies soon after because of a stroke. They arrange a huge wedding and loads of people are invited to it. They party on for days and days and there’s food enough for a whole army. Because his practice isn’t where the farmer lives, they return to Tostes.

And this is where are the misery starts for Emma. When Charles is out in the country for house visits, Emma just sits at home doing nothing. All she does is read, watch the rain and she used to play the piano, but quit because she feels that nobody listened to her anyway. She hoped to get the love from her husband in the same way that the main characters in the novels she read get love, but that doesn’t happen. She is bored to death. She is starting to get irritated by Charles’ way of living and the way he behaves sometimes.

One day they go to a party of the maquis and there she meets the life that she wants to live. She doesn’t want Charles to dance because she feels that it would embarras her and instead dances the night away with a Viscount and meets all the rich. When they return back home, she becomes even more miserable because she misses all those things now. Charles notices this and talks with another doctor and together they conclude that a change of scenery might be good for her and they decide to move to Yonville. At the time that they move, Emma discovers that she is pregnant.

In Yonville, life isn’t that much different from the life she’d lived before, but now she meets someone who is interested in the same things as she is; Leon Dupuis, a clerk. Emma is now close to giving birth to a baby and she is hoping that it’s going to be a boy so that he can be strong and free, but her hopes are lost when it turns out that it is a boy; Berthe. As time passes, Emma continues her life and finds out that she is in love with Leon, but they don’t start any relationship. Eventually, Leon moves to Paris to study there and Emma is again left in misery.

Rodolphe meets Emma and she really is attracted to her, but in a sexual way; he thinks that Emma is beautiful. He manages to talk Emma into seducing her and it works. Emma starts to get more and more interested in Rodolphe and they start spending more and more time togeter, for example, they go to the agricultural show together. Emma starts meeting him in secret and he even comes to their house where they make love. Rodolphe decides that to keep the love going, he should leave for a few weeks and that’s what he does. And it seems to work, because after six weeks, Emma can’t wait to see him again.

One day when Emma decides to go back to Rodolphe, she passes passed by Bines, who knew that she had nothing to look for over that side of town because Rodolphe’s house was the last one there he knew that she wasn’t supposed to be there, so she just made a story and she hoped that he would fall for it. Now everytime that Charles and she were somewhere and Binet was around, she would started acting rather strange and Charles definately noticed it. But Charles thought that it was just again related to her so called illness.

Because Charles wants to keep up with the latest ‘technologies’ in these days and because Emma encourages him to, he buys himself a book about how to cure club-foots and finds it really interesting. He has this friend called Hippolyte and he has a club-foot, so he decides to give it a try on him. But it fails miserabely and he fears for his good reputation. Another doctor later has to be called in to amputate Hippolyte’s leg.

Madame Bovary is in real money problems now, and because she can’t take it all any more and because she really loves Rodolphe very much, she wants to run away with him. Rodoplhe isn’t too sure about this and tries to first make her think decently about it and when she says that she’s curtain, he decides to stretch the date that they are planning to leave as much as possible. He runs away from her and decides not to show up as planned, so he writes her a letter explaining why she shouldn’t run away and why he also isn’t going.

So, Rodolphe writes her the letter, which he has great difficulty with. He asks Girard to send it to her together with some fruit, and when she reads the letter, she’s so shocked and saddened that she becomes incredibly ill and almost dies of this. The only thing she can do now is rest.

Slowly she starts feeling better, but she’s still too weak to do anything. Again, as before, they still have the same bills to pay. This is because Emma always had to have the latest of the latest and she never paid on the spot, but she always put it on the bill and that bill was never paid. And now the medicaments also have to be paid for…

Charles thinks that a trip to the theatre would do Emma good, because she’s now strong enough to walk on her own feet. Emma really loves the play and she constantly keeps on imagining that she is the main character and that she just could fly away. When Charles goes out to talk to someone and comes back, he says that Leon is also in the theatre. After the play, they all go out for a drink and they talk about how everything’s going and of course, Emma’s health. Leon mentiones that there’s another performance on in two days. Emma would love to go, but Charles says that he has his work waiting at home and that it’s not possible for him to stay there. Leon makes an offer that Emma can stay over here for two days and stay with him in Rouen. Charles thinks about it and finally agrees to it.

Leon is finally back again with Emma and they talk about their sorrow and sadnesses and share it with eachother. They decide to meet up the next day again at the church. The next day, Leon is there first and he decides to check out the church. When he enters the building, the priest comes up to him and asks him if he wants to have a tour of the building. Charles says no. Later on, Emma shows up and again the priest comes up to her with the same question. Leon says no again, but Emma says that she would love to. He gets really annoyed with the damn tour and calls a cab and takes Emma with him.

Many hours later, they stop in Beauvoisine district and Emma steps out and enters the inn. Once in the inn, she get the word that she has to go to Monsieur Homais as soon as possible. So she goes there and they tell her that Charles’ father has suddenly died. What has to be done now, is that all of the will has to sorted out. They need a good lawyer, but not an expensive one and so they decide to call upon Leon. He offers to go, but she says that it would be better that he keeps on eye on the business and that she’d rather go on her own. So she leaves for Rouen for three days.

She of course has the time of her life in Rouen with Leon and they live their lives in Hotel de Boulonge.

Emma still thinks that she doesn’t see Leon often enough and so decidedes to take up the piano and will now (or at least she says) take private lessons in Rouen.

She visits Leon more often, and when they part again for the week, she’s already longing for the next Thursday that they will meet again.

One day a man comes to their house and he gives her a letter from Monsieur Vincart of Rouen with a bill of 700 francs. She said that she would pay it next week. The next day she gets another letter from Maitre Haring saying that she has to come to Monsieur Lheureux to pay all of the bills that she never paid for. He wants the money now, but of course she doesn’t have it. She was given a piece of paper that said that she had to pay the money (8000 francs) within 24 hours otherwise all of her belongings would be sold until the sum reached.

Of course, she wasn’t able to pay all of this an the next day, when Charles went out, gentlemen came in and took notes of all the things in her house. She didn’t want this to happen, so she went out to Maitre Guillaum. He was quite friendly and was willing to pay the money as long as he could have her as a prostitute. She didn’t want this and quickly ran out. Now the only one that was left was Rodolphe. She came into his nice house with loads of expensive stuff and when she asked for the money, he said that he didn’t have it. She was so incredibly angry, that she just took something, threw it away, ran out of the house all the way to the pharmacist’s shop, stuck her hand in a pot of blue stuff and swallowed it. Charles had no clue where the hell she was hanging out and went looking for her. He couldn’t find her and when he came back home, there she was laying on her own. She wanted to be left alone to let the poison work in slowly. And it did. She started feeling really sick, throwing up like a maniac and getting weaker and weaker. Charles called all of the best doctors and even he himself could do nothing. After a few hours, he passed away.

They finally prepare for the funeral. She got burried and Charles’ sadness was unmeaserable. People started ignoring him at all costs, he had no friends left. One day, Berthe wanted to play with him, she gave him a friendly push and he fell to the ground; he was dead.

Plot Overview

Madame Bovary begins when Charles Bovary is a young boy, unable to fit in at his new school and ridiculed by his new classmates. As a child, and later when he grows into a young man, Charles is mediocre and dull. He fails his first medical exam and only barely manages to become a second- rate country doctor. His mother marries him off to a widow who dies soon afterward, leaving Charles much less money than he expected.

Charles soon falls in love with Emma, the daughter of a patient, and the two decide to marry. After an elaborate wedding, they set up house in Tostes, where Charles has his practice. But marriage doesn’t live up to Emma’s romantic expectations. Ever since she lived in a convent as a young girl, she has dreamed of love and marriage as a solution to all her problems. After she attends an extravagant ball at the home of a wealthy nobleman, she begins to dream constantly of a more sophisticated life. She grows bored and depressed when she compares her fantasies to the humdrum reality of village life, and eventually her listlessness makes her ill. When Emma becomes pregnant, Charles decides to move to a different town in hopes of reviving her health.

In the new town of Yonville, the Bovarys meet Homais, the town pharmacist, a pompous windbag who loves to hear himself speak. Emma also meets Leon, a law clerk, who, like her, is bored with rural life and loves to escape through books. When Emma gives birth to her daughter Berthe, motherhood disappoints her, and she continues to be despondent. Romantic feelings blossom between Emma and Leon. However, when Emma realizes that Leon loves her, she feels guilty and throws herself into the role of a dutiful wife. Leon grows tired of waiting and, believing that he can never possess Emma, departs to study law in Paris. His departure makes Emma miserable.

Soon, at an agricultural fair, a wealthy neighbor named Rodolphe, who is attracted by Emma’s beauty, declares his love to her. He seduces her, and they begin having a passionate affair. Emma is often indiscreet, and the townspeople all gossip about her. Charles, however, suspects nothing. His adoration for his wife and his stupidity combine to blind him to her indiscretions. His professional life, meanwhile, takes a severe blow when he and Homais attempt an experimental technique to treat a club-footed man named Hippolyte and end up having to call in another doctor to amputate the leg. Disgusted with her husband’s incompetence, Emma throws herself even more passionately into her affair with Rodolphe. She borrows money to buy him gifts and suggests that they run off together and take little Berthe with them. However, Rodolphe has grown bored of Emma’s demanding affections. Not wanting to elope with her, he leaves her. Heartbroken, Emma grows desperately ill and nearly dies.

By the time Emma recovers, Charles is in financial trouble from having to borrow money to pay off Emma’s debts and to pay for her treatment. Still, he decides to take Emma to the opera in the nearby city of Rouen. There, they run into Leon. This meeting rekindles the old romance between Emma and Leon, and this time the two embark on a love affair. As Emma continues sneaking off to Rouen to meet Leon, she also grows deeper and deeper in debt with the moneylender Lheureux, who lends her more and more money at exaggerated interest rates. She grows increasingly careless in conducting her affair with Leon. As a result, on several occasions, her acquaintances nearly discover her infidelity.

Over time, Emma grows bored with Leon. Not knowing how to abandon him, she instead becomes more and more demanding. Meanwhile, her debts mount daily. Eventually, Lheureux orders the seizure of Emma’s property to compensate for the debt she has accumulated. Terrified of Charles finding out, she frantically tries to raise the money that she needs, appealing to Leon and to all the town’s businessmen. Eventually, she even attempts to prostitute herself by offering to get back together with Rodolphe if he will give her the money he needs. He refuses, and, driven to despair, she commits suicide by eating arsenic. She dies in horrible agony.

For a while, Charles idealizes the memory of his wife. Eventually, though, he finds her letters from Rodolphe and Leon, and he is forced to confront the truth. He dies alone in his garden, and Berthe is sent off to work in a cotton mill.

Analysis of Major Characters

In Emma Bovary, Flaubert uses irony to criticize romanticism and to investigate the relation of beauty to corruption and of fate to free will. Emma embarks directly down a path to moral and financial ruin over the course of the novel. She is very beautiful, as we can tell by the way several men fall in love with her, but she is morally corrupt and unable to accept and appreciate the realities of her life. Since her girlhood in a convent, she has read romantic novels that feed her discontent with her ordinary life.

She dreams of the purest, most impossible forms of love and wealth, ignoring whatever beauty is present in the world around her. Flaubert once said, “Madame Bovary is me,” and many scholars believe that he was referring to a weakness he shared with his character for romance, sentimental flights of fancy, and melancholy. Flaubert, however, approaches romanticism with self-conscious irony, pointing out its flaws even as he is tempted by it. Emma, on the other hand, never recognizes that her desires are unreasonable. She rails emotionally against the society that, from her perspective, makes them impossible for her to achieve.

Emma’s failure is not completely her own. Her character demonstrates the many ways in which circumstance rather than free will determined the position of women in the nineteenth century. If Emma were as rich as her lover, Rodolphe, for instance, she would be free to indulge the lifestyle she imagines. Flaubert suggests at times that her dissatisfaction with the bourgeois society she lives in is justified. For example, the author includes details that seem to ridicule Homais’s pompous speechmaking or Charles’s boorish table manners.

These details indicate that Emma’s plight is emblematic of the difficulties of any sensitive person trapped among the French bourgeoisie. But Emma’s inability to accept her situation and her attempt to escape it through adultery and deception constitute moral errors. These mistakes bring about her ruin and, in the process, cause harm to innocent people around her. For example, though dim-witted and unable to recognize his wife’s true character, Charles loves Emma, and she deceives him. Similarly, little Berthe is but an innocent child in need of her mother’s care and love, but Emma is cold to her, and Berthe ends up working in a cotton mill because of Emma’s selfish spending and suicide, and because of Charles’s resulting death.

We can see that Emma’s role as a woman may have an even greater effect on the course of her life than her social status does. Emma frequently is portrayed as the object of a man’s gaze: her husband’s, Rodolphe’s, Leon’s, Justin’s-even Flaubert’s, since the whole novel is essentially a description of how he sees Emma. Moreover, Emma’s only power over the men in her life is sexual. Near the end of her life, when she searches desperately for money, she has to ask men for it, and the only thing she can use to persuade them to give it to her is sex. Emma’s prostitution is the result of her self-destructive spending, but the fact that, as a woman, she has no other means of finding money is a result of the misogynistic society in which she lives.

In the novel, Madame Bovary, Charles represents both the society and the personal characteristics that Emma passionately despised. He was somewhat incompetent, lacked intellegence and imagination, specifically when it came to romance and intimacy. In one of the novel’s most revealing moments, Charles looked into Emma’s eyes, as she hoped he invisioned her inner soul, he murmers something about seeing his reflection in her retina. Charles’s perception of his own reflection is not conceit but merely an immediate response that excludes any romantic connotation.

That moment established his inability to combine love and romance. Instead, he viewed life literally and never instilled what he saw with romantic inference. Instead, its the physical aspects of Emma that delighted Charles. Narrative focus on his point of view allowed us to visualize most every detail of her dress, skin, and hair. But when its came to her aspirations and depressions, Charles was unable to comprehend. It appeared that he was physically repulsive or actually hideous looking thru Emma’s eyes.

Charles is the most moral and sincere characters. He truly loves Emma as he forgives her even when he finally recognizes her infidelities. He does everything he can to save her when she is ill, and he gives her the benefit of the doubt whenever her lies seem to fail her. Literal-minded, humble, free of temptations, and without aspirations. As the story goes, opposites attract. Emma and Charles cannot be more opposed. While Charles was sincere, moral, humble and loyal man, Emma was a lying, cheating woman that holds very little guilt for what she has done.

Although, there were episodes where, out of guilt, she exhibited love and caring for Berthe, her daughter and Charles, it was short lived and she quickly reverted to her life of deception. Emma’s downfall was that she allowed herself to be a victim of circumstance. In Rodolphe’s letter to Emma breaking off the affair, he claims that “fate is to blame;” Later when Charles meets Rodolphe after Emma’s death, he, too, rationalizes that “fate willed it this way.” In a sense, they are right. Fate or chance, or more precisely matters of social and economic class, certainly do play a role.

After all, it is not a function of Emma’s will that she was born into a middle-class family; nor is it her fault that her lovers abandon her. It is even possible that her romantic, idealistic nature is a result of fate, and that Emma can’t control her actions because she can’t control her own identity or her natural inclinations. But there are two other factors that contribute to Emma’s downfall. The first is Emma herself-an agent making her own decisions. Emma chooses to marry Charles, she chooses to take lovers, and she chooses to borrow money from Lheureux.

She also chooses to commit suicide, proving in a final act that she has power-if only a negative destructive power-over her own life. The second factor that contributes to Emma’s downfall is the men around her. Charles contributes to Emma’s Downfall as his inability to satisfy her creates a real trap for Emma in combination with Rodolphe’s jaded heartlessness and Lheureux’s greedy scheming. Although she makes her own choices, these men severely limit the options she has at her disposal. Charles and Rodolphe’s claim that fate is to blame is too easy an excuse, both for Emma and for themselves.

Charles was sympathetic in his own way. Although, sticking with Emma thru thick and thin, until her death, he didn’t have the comprehension of what Emma truly needed. Although they communicated verbally, they didn’t communicate well intimately. If Charles could have tapped into his inner person, maybe things would have been different between him and Emma.

Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Like Water For Chocolate is a fantasy-type love story by Laura Esquivel. It teaches a lot about family life in Mexico, the country where it took place. The owner of the De la Garza ranch where the family lived was Mama Elena, who raised three daughters on her own because her husband had died. Tita, the youngest daughter and main character, was the youngest of the three and a wonderful cook. Tita was the narrator’s great-aunt, so the story took place in the earlier part of the 20th century. Tita spent most of her life in the kitchen putting together amazing recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A liitle bit of help from Nacha, the cook, made her more dynamic in her cooking.

One day, Tita fell in love with a young man named Pedro. Pedro and his father came to the ranch to ask Mama Elena if Pedro could ask for Tita’s hand, but the rules in their family were that the youngest daughter could never get married. According to tradition, Tita would have to stay at home and take care of her mother until the day her mother died. This broke Tita and Pedro’s hearts. Mama Elena told Pedro he could marry Tita’s sister, Rosaura though, and he did just so he could be closer to Tita. He never felt any love for Rosaura.

Meanwhile, Tita stayed at home everyday, cooking and feeling depressed, and Mama Elena did not make things any better. She always yelled at Tita, and made Tita do everything for her. Tita could hardly even talk to Pedro. Either, because Mama Elena was constantly watching, and would yell at them every time they talked. Later, Pedro moved away with Rosaura and her other sister, Gertrudis, had run away with some man on horseback, and later became a prostitute. Nacha died, leaving only Mama Elena, Tita, and Chencha, the servant, left on the ranch. One day, Tita went insane because of her overly strict mother, so her mother sent her with Dr. Brown, so he could take her to a mental institution.

He was so in love with Tita that he never took her there. He took care of her in his house and they later planned to get married. Then, when he was gone on a little trip, Tita and Pedro met up, and got back together. When Dr. Brown came back, Tita told him the news about her and Pedro, and he told her to decide who she wanted. Obviously, she chose her long lost love, Pedro. So finally, Tita and Pedro got married, and even though Mama Elena would never talk to Tita again, she did not care. She finally got to be with the love of her life forever.

Like Water For Chocolate contained a lot of symbolism. Through her cooking, Tita had a lot of power. When Tita cooked food, she could make people’s feelings change. At Pedro and Rosaura’s wedding, the tears Tita cried into the wedding cake because of her lost love make everyone who ate the cake start vomiting, thinking about their lost loves. Also, because Tita could hardly be near Pedro when they were on the ranch, her cooking aroused Pedro, and at the kitchen table he could hardly control himself.

Each chapter of the book begins with one of Tita’s special recipes and how to prepare the recipe. Esquirel had a very unique way of dividing up the chapters. Every chapter is named with a different month of the year, so there are twelve chapters in all. I feel she did a great job describing and defining each chapter in its own little way.

Like Water For Chocolate is definitely different from any other book I have read. It kept me interested, making me want to not put the book down. I feel you should definitely read this number-one bestseller in Mexico in 1990. Latter this book was translated into English for our reading enjoyment.

Critical Analysis: Like Water for Chocolate

An oppressed soul finds means to escape through the preparation of food in the novel, Like Water for Chocolate, “A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies,” published in 1989, written by Laura Esquivel. The story is set in revolutionary Mexico at the turn of the century. Tita, the young heroine, is living on her familys ranch with her two older sisters, her overbearing mother, and Nacha, the family cook.

At a very tender age, Tita is instilled with a deep love for food for Tita, the joy of living was wrapped up in the delights of food (7, Esquivel). The sudden death of Titas father, left Titas mothers unable to nurse the infant Tita due to shock and grief. Therefore Nacha, who [knows] everything about cooking (6, Esquivel) offers to assume the responsibility of feeding and caring for the young Tita. From that day on, Titas domain was the kitchen (7, Esquivel) Throughout the novel, food is used as a constant metaphor for the intense feelings and emotions Tita is forced to conceal.

Laura Esquivel uses magical realism, symbolism and conflict to postulate the idea that family tradition can hinder love but love surpasses any obstacles.

Upon the birth of Tita, her mother flooded the kitchen table and floor when her water broke. The fluid had turned to salt and had to be swept up off the floor. This type of thing happening in the real world is not going to happen. The fluid turning into the salt was definitely a magical realism element. The mysteries of cooking are treated in Like Water for Chocolate. The magical realism has the definition of being magical and unreal. The love that Tita had for her sister’s husband upon their marriage and throughout the time of their marriage lives.

Tita’s love never changed. It was the magical way Tita felt in her heart about the man she loved and the way she kept quiet to keep her mother happy, and not to hurt her sister’s feelings about the love she had for Pedro. Love is magical any way one looks at it. Tita turned all of her feelings into cooking. The magical way of love that Tita felt went into the cake batter. As she mixed it she cried and the tears dropped into the bowl.

The cake was baked, and people who ate it reflected each one’s feelings toward each other. The cooking had a mystical power that seemed to have some magical realism involved because of all the strange happenings due to the cooking.

The inner feeling of a person that has a boundary or threshold inside of them ready to ignite was what happened to the shower when Tita’s sister was in it. The threshold of the inner feelings of this girl was exploding. During her shower, the inner feelings of passion exploded, and flames from the passion that she was feeling caused the shower to catch on fire. In the excitement of the burning shower house, the girl ran out of the shower without any clothes, not even a towel. The magical realism was all the passion the girl had inside her that just erupted like a volcano. Tita’s sister ran out of the shower while it was burning.

At this time, a man riding a horse bareback came riding up and picked Tita’s sister up kidnapping her. The fact that she had no clothes on was unreal itself. However, a person has to wonder where this man came from, all at once, at the right time to pick her up. It’s as if the passion that the girl felt seemed to call out to this man to come and get her at this point and time. The magical realism was here in the fact that it was magical, yet it seemed so real.

Symbolisms of heat and fire infuse the novel as expressions of intense emotion. Because heat is the medium that causes food to undergo chemical change, substantial waves of it are present at many of the moments when food is being prepared. In the science of cooking, heat is a force to be used precisely; the novel’s title phrase like water for chocolate refers to the fact that water must be brought to the brink of boiling several times before it is ready to be used in the making of hot chocolate.

However, the heat of emotions, cannot be so controlled. Heat is a symbol for desire and physical love throughout the text: in Gertrudis’ flight from the ranch; Pedro’s lustful gazing at Tita in the shower; and the post-coital death of Pedro, among many other instances. The inner fire of the individual constitutes an important theme in the novel, and much of Tita’s struggle centers on cultivating this fire. These uses of fire point toward a duality in its symbolism, as a source of strength and a force of destruction. The coupling of death and desire that occurs when the love between Tita and Pedro is freed epitomizes this duality.
(Smith, Joan).

The conflict between Tita and her mother is the novels central point of emphasis. Throughout the novel Tita strives for love, freedom, and individuality, and her mother stands as the prime opposition to the fulfillment of these goals.

Like Water For Chocolate: Book Review

There are all sorts of novels, English, American, Mexican, ect…, but they all have something that distinguish them from the rest. Mexican novelist tend to write about magic and love. In Laura Esquirel novel Like Water For Chocolate magic is in many peoples opinion a big part of the theme. Tita the main character of the novel, and she unknowing uses her cooking as magic, the magic used effects almost everyone who eats Titas food.

Like Water For Chocolate is a novel that uses magic in ways that will effect almost everyone around the wizard that products the magic in a good or bad way. Tita first love was Pedro, they meet at a party thrown by the De la Garza family which Tita was sadly part of. The De la Garza tradition was that the youngest daughter had to stay in the house of her mother and take care of her till the day the mother died, which means that the daughter could not get married.

Unfortunately for Tita she was the youngest and her mother was health as a flying bird. Pedro was madly in love with Tita, and Tita with Pedro, he wanted to take her had in marriage, but in order to do this he has to ask her mother, Mama Elena, since her farther is dead. Going by tradition Mama Elena said no, but she did then ask him if he wants Rousara Tita sister instead. Thinking that by marriage Titas Tita had to be part of the wedding if she liked it or not, according to Mama Elena.

While Tita and Nacha where preparing the batter for the cake Tita told her mother that it would be best if she didnt attend the wedding. Mama Elena then told her that she was and that she could not cry at the wedding. After her mother left Tita began to cry above the batter, and tears fell into the cake batter. It was after the wedding at the basic wedding party, Nacha brought out the cake.

Everyone got a piece, after the first bites looks of sickness were produced on everyones once happy face. They all got sick and ran to the river side and threw up, making Rosauras wedding like deserter island. Although the author doesnt say it was because of Titas tears, but we can say that it was because at that time Tita was angry at Pedro for marry Rosaura, and she was jealous of Rosaura because she was allowed to marry Pedro. So because of the way Tita felt people got Magic is use not only as a way to hurt someone but also to make them feel good.

A few weeks after the wedding Pedro tried to do what ever he could do to make Tita feel his love. One day Pedro had an idea of bring Tita a bouquet of roses, and his excuse was to celebrate her first year as ranch cook. Rosaura pregnant at the time though she should get the rose and angry ran out of the room. Mama Elena with just a look sent Tita to get rid of the roses. Tita thinking they were to beautiful to throw away but then Tita heard Nachas voice, Nacha is dead at this time, telling her a recipe involving rose petals.

After the meal was cooked Gertrudis, Tita, Rosaura, Pedro, and Mama Elena sat down to eat. Pedro was the first to complement Tita for the delicious meal which made him horny for love, then Gertudis became horny. Rosaura on the other hand was feeling sick and getting nauseous, and then asked to be excused. Then Gertudis ran out to the out house and began to get naked, she began to sweat and smell like roses. Gertudis began to run, naked she was, ran out to a man on a horse named Juan who she later married and had children with also.

Even though Rosaura got sick, the whole town smelled like roses from Gertudis sweat, meaning that the magic does not only cause bad things to happen but also good as well. About twenty years have passed after Rosaura death, she had a bad digestive problems, Esperanza her daughter got to marry her true love Alex Brown Dr. John Browns son. At the wedding Tita was preparing Chiles in Walnut Sauce, no one could keep their hand off them. Everyone including the priest were thirsty for love after dancing and eating some Chiles in Walnut Sauce.

Some were smart and got into there cars a made love but others were unlucky and had to make love behind a bush. Tita and Pedro felt like they could finely make love freely, trying to hold there sexual desire only made them more horny, they ran into the dark room. There was Nacha lighting the last of the 250 candles that lit up the dark room. After make sweet love Pedro dead, but Tita still alive wanted to be with her love and began to eat the candles and thinking of the happiest moments in her life and then she also died.

Seeing that the magic made everyone want love it is appropriate to say that at this time magic is a good thing. In conclusion magic can be used in a good and bad way. For example the meal made with the rose pedals made Rosaura sick but it also made the town smell good and helped Gertrudis meet the love of her life. Also that magic effects every one around the wizard or magician or even the cook. We see this with the cake batter, rose pedals, and walnut sauce.

Like Water for Chocolate: Movie Review

Romeo and Juliet and The West Side Story , both romantic sagas that unfold into a struggle between love and family tradition and ways. In the two stories a young girl and a young man from different paths find each other and fall in love, and in both, they are forbidden by either family to be together. In the agony of being forced to live apart the lovers eventually come to a point where they can no longer be without one another. Their love is so strong that regardless if they defy their families wish, they will do anything to be together, even if this includes death. These European and American stories of the tragic effect of a love so strong that it can kill sets the table for the Mexican film Like Water For Chocolate.

This movie tells about desire, love, and rebellion, and is centered around the love of Tita and Pedro, and the struggle of Titas family tradition that does all it can to keep them apart. In this movie we are given an opportunity to see how the attitudes of the characters change over time and how true love, once revealed, can never be held. In the early years of the twentieth century, on a small ranch in Mexico, the story of three sisters and their repressive mother unfolds, and Like Water For Chocolate begins.

Tita is the youngest daughter of Mama Elena, and, as such, because of a family tradition, she is forbidden to marry or have children until after her mother’s death. Tita is agreeable to this situation until she falls in love with the dashing young Pedro. Tita goes to her mother to tell her of Pedros intention to meet with her and ask for her daughters and his loves hand in marriage. Mama Elena is angered by this announcement and upon meeting with Pedro and his father, she informs them that no such union between him and her daughter Tita is possible because of their family tradition.

When Pedro learns that he cannot marry Tita, he agrees to an engagement with her older sister, Rosaura, in the hope that by marrying her, he will have ample opportunities to spend with his real love. Tita cries bitter tears while making their wedding cake, and the wedding guests are overcome with feelings of sadness and memories of lost love when they eat the cake. Pedro and Rosaura live in the same house as Tita and Mama Elena and even though no one speaks a word about it, it is obvious to all that Pedro does not love Rosaura his wife, he only love Tita.

Constantly forbidden and scolded by Mama Elena, Tita is once again forced to supress her feelings for Pedro that are now to Tita, bigger than life. Although now, from the incident with the wedding cake Tita realizes that she is able to send her love and passion to Pedro through the food she cooks. On one occasion, Tita makes a dish using roses Muzquiz gave her, and her dinner guests all become sexually aroused. Her sister Gertrudis becomes so aroused that she catches afire, then runs off with a revolutionary. Caught up in the suspicion of his marriage intentions, Pedro finally after 3 months concemates his marriage between him and Rosaura and in this they have their first child, Nicholas.

Sicken by a harsh labor, Rosaura is unable to tend to her child and Tita is forced to care for the newborn, including breast feeding. Mama Elena is once again agitated by Tita and Pedro love and passion for one another that she suggests that Pedro and Rosaura move to San Antonio where they will be closer to the doctors. Not long after their relocation, word gets back to the family ranch that Nicholas has died due to starvation and illness because he would not eat. Tita is devastated by this and goes into a spell of insaneness and is sent away to a hospital where she meets and romantically connects with the doctor.

Tita returns to the ranch after the tragic death of her mother and just in enough time to deliver Rosaura and Pedros second child, Esperanza. This time Rosauras labor was worse than before and the doctor informs Pedro and Tita that she will not be able to have anymore children and because of this Esperanza is the next to inherit the family tradition. Once again living in the same house Tita and Pedro can not stop their attraction for one another even after Titas acceptance of the doctors wedding proposal. This time they go beyond the food and Tita loses her virginity to Pedro.

Tita, scared by the idea of carrying her sisters husbands child, she confides in Gertrudis that has returned for the first time and is now a general in the revolution and is married to one of her men. Gertrudis convinces Tita to tell Pedro, who is in love with the idea of having a child by Tita. Tita on the other hand was unable to enjoy this happening because of her dead mothers haunting and curse that she placed on Titas unborn child. Feed up with this, Tita finally stands up to her mother and tells her that she hates her and to go away forever.

This declaration by Tita forces her mother away forever but not before she gets Pedro and goes he to catch fire during a drunken celebration. Tita goes about caring for him and during this time, she finds out that she was not pregnant, she was just late, and goes about shutting out Pedro and professing her love for the doctor who she is soon to be married to. Her denial of her love for Pedro, of course does not work and she can not bring herself to marry the doctor. Rosaura eventually dies due to intestinal problems and the family tradition ends with Tita.

Tita and Pedro finally get together after 20 years when Pedros daughter Rosaura marries. Unfortunately, during their love making, Pedro dies and in the spirit of Romeo and Juliet and The West Side Story, Tita kills herself. An admittedly unusual title for a film, Like Water for Chocolate fits the mood — odd, playful, and sweet. It equates the boiling point of water for hot chocolate with the height of passion.

Told by Titas great grandniece this is a story with occasional surrealistic fantasy sequences interspersed between the commonplace goings-on of regular lives, and the film weaves a subtle spell of enchantment until a disappointing conclusion. I believe that this was one of the most beautiful stories of love and its power that has every been told. Even though this is a foreign movie with sub-titles, it is such a strong story that you easily forget that it is in Spanish. This is truly a Romantic.

Like Water for Chocolate and Master Harold: Oppression

In the two novels, Master Harold…and the boys, and Like Water for Chocolate, there are many symbolic similarities. In both books there are acts where individuals strongly oppressed, or discriminated against. Although the individuals are being oppressed for different reasons their emotions are shattered deeply. In Athol Fugard’s book Master Harold and the boys, an older man is discriminated against by a younger child only because the older man is black and the child is white.

In Laura Esquivel’s book Like water for chocolate, a girl by the name of “Tita” is oppressed by her own mother because of the soul reason of being the youngest child, therefore lying in her destiny to serve her mother till death, and being unable to decide her own destiny. However in both cases there are signs of rebellion, and protestation, even though both novels do not end the same end the same, both Sam and Tita get their point across.

Hally is a young white boy living in Africa, it is safe to say that he was raised by a black man by the name of Sam. Now Hally is starting to grow up and he is noticing things which he did not notice when he was younger. He realized that where he lives white people have certain rights over black people. Hally owns a cafe and he has got two black men working for him, one of which is Sam.

Hally walks in one morning and finds Willie and Sam dancing, preparing for a dance contest. “Hally- Think you stand a chance. Act your bloody age! (Hurls the rag at Willie) Cut out the nonsense now and get on with your work. And you too, Sam. Sop fooling around ” (Athol Fugard, Master Harold and the boys 18). Hally criticizes Sam by asking him sarcastically if he really thinks that he is good enough to win a dancing contest. Hally screams at Willie and Sam for making a mistake, this is ironic because Willie and Sam are in their forties while Hally is not even a teenager yet. Hally has power over Sam and Willie because of their difference in skin color.

Tita falls deeply in love with a man by the name of Pedro. Pedro asks Tita to get married, she would love to marry Pedro but she knows that her destiny is to take care of her mother till death. Tita will confront her mother and ask her permission to marry the man he loves. “If he intends to ask for your hand, tell him not to bother. He’ll be wasting his time and mine too. You know perfectly well that being the youngest daughter means you have to take care of me until the day I die” (Laura Esquivel, Like Water for chocolate 10). Tita loves Pedro dearly and would love to marry him, but her mother refuses to grant her permission because she is the youngest daughter and her task in life being to take care of her mother till death.

Sam is like a father figure to Hally but yet he doesn’t respect him, because of the color of his skin. “Hally- Don’t turn your back on me! I haven’t finished talking (He grabs Sam by the arm and tries to make him turn around. Sam reacts with a flash of anger” (54). Hally does not respect Sam, he not only orders him around but becomes violent when Sam does not listen to him. He treats Sam like a dog.

Mama Elena refuses to let her youngest daughter get married, to make the situation worse she Pedro and his dad show up at the ranch to ask permission from mama Elena to get married to Tita. Mama Elena refuses to approve on the marriage of her youngest daughter. “But if you really want Pedro to get married, allow me to suggest my daughter Rosaura, who’s just two years older than Tits. She is one hundred percent available, and ready for marriage” (13). Not only does mama Elena disapprove the marriage of Pedro and Tita but she offers Rosaura, which is an older daughter.

Hally is not grateful for what Sam has done for him in life. He understands that Sam cannot do anything to him, because he is white and Sam is black. Hally therefor Hally takes advantage of this, by degrading Sam whenever he can. “Hally- (quietly) Sam.. (Sam stops and looks expectantly at the boy. Hally spits in his face. A long and heartfelt groan from Willie. For a few seconds Sam doesn’t move)” (56). The worse act of discrimination one person can possibly do to another, is spitting in one’s face. This is extremely degrading.

Mama Elena sets up a marriage between the man that Tita loves and her sister Roraura. Tita is extremely depressed. “I won’t stand for disobedience, Mama Elena told her, nor am I going to allow you to ruin your sister’s wedding, with your acting like a victim. You’re in charge of all the preparations starting now, and don’t ever let me catch you with a single tear or even a long face, do you hear?” (27). Not only does mama Elena approve the marriage between Rosaura and Pedro, but she also holds Tita responsible for the preparations of the marriage of her sister.

Hally- Think you stand a chance” (Athol Fugard, Master Harold and the boys 9). Sam shows sign of rebellion against Hally. He is tired of being picked on and spoken down to just because of the color of his skin. “Hally-(Pause as Hally looks for something to say) To begin with, why don’t you also start calling me Master Harold, like Willie” (54). Sam proves appoint to Hally and Hally does not know how to reply so he relies on the fact that he is on a higher rank and asks Sam to call him Master Harold, instead if Hally.

This proves the power trip which Hally is going through. Sam is an old friend as well as a father figure, and know Sam has got to put the word “Master” in front of his name, to demonstrate to himself, Hally, and everyone else how Hally is at a higher level than Sam. “Sam- (Quietly and very carefully) If you make me say it once, I’ll never call you anything else again”(54). This is the only sign of rebellion that Sam shows. He lets Hally know that he is against it, and threatens to not call him anything else. At this point Sam realizes that Hally has grown up and changed.

Tita rebels against the ghost of mama Elena. The Ghost shows up to tell Tita that what she is doing is wrong. “See what you’ve done now? You and Pedro are Shameless. If you don’t want blood to flow in this house, go where you can’t do any harm to anybody, before it’s too late. The one who should be going is you. I’m tired of your tormenting me. Leave me in peace once and for all. Once and for all, leave me alone; I won’t put up with you! I’ve always hated you! Tita had said the magic words that would make Mama Elena disappear forever”(199). (199). After all this time Tita finally stands up against her mother, and puts her in her place. She chooses to fight back instead of just remaining quiet and obeying her mom’s orders.

Throughout the novels Like Water for Chocolate, and Mater Harold…and the boys, Tita and Sam experience discrimination. The difference between them were that after Sam protested, he was still treated the same, were as when Tita rebelled, she was set free. The ad thing about all this is that, Sam’s example is what happens in the real world. Maybe people can learn from these novels and stop discriminating people because they were born in class were they are expected to do perform only certain roles in society, or obey certain people. Also, if you’ve ever wondered if ovulation cramps are normal, the answer is yes, ovulation cramps are normal , and they usually occur to one in five women. Learn how women’s ovulation works and calculate your most fertile days with this excellent online tool available for free. We hope this tool will be very useful and provide the information that you were looking for.

Les Miserables: Review

Jean Valjean spent 19 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread. He made several attempts of escape and never made it but finally released.  His imprisonment hinders his chances of refuge for the night as shown at Digne where he is repeatedly refused shelter until he arrives at Monseigneur Myriel’s Jean Valjean spent 19 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread.  He made several attempts of escape and never made it but finally released.

His imprisonment hinders his chances of refuge for the night as shown at Digne where he is repeatedly refused shelter until he arrives at Monseigneur Myriel’s house, the bishop, and he welcomes him.  The bishop and his take very good care of him, but all Valjean does to repay them is steal their silverware.  Valjean also steals money from a little chimney sweep,Gervais.  The last time that Jean Valjean is a thief he repents and under the new name of Monsieur Madeline, starts a factory that brings wealth to the town of Montreuil.

Fantine who now a young mother has an illegitimate child, Cosette, and is on her way back to her  hometown, Montrueil, to find a job.  She entrusts the Thenardiers with her daughter so she does not have to go back home with an illegitimate child. Fantine finds a job in Montrueil at M. Madeleine’s factory and attains a limited amount of wealth.  Unfortunately things get worse for Fantine all of the sudden when she is fired from her job and,at the same time, must meet increasing finances for her daughter from the Thenardiers.

Fantine looks for money and does everything possible such as selling her hair, her central incisors, and then turns to prostitution.  She is arrested one day but is saved by Madeleine. Fantine moves in with Madeleine and gets very sick.  Fantine wants to see her daughter which Madeleine promises her that he will bring her to her before she dies. However, Madeleine has some problems of his own.  A man gets arrested under the name of Jean Valjean and is about to be condemned for his crimes.

After a night of deep meditation, Madeleine decides to confess his past.  Madeleine goes to Arras where the trial is taking place and Madeleine confesses to be Jean Valjean.  A few days later Jean Valjean is arrested by Javert at Fantine’s bedside and this scene kills her.The same evening Valjean escapes, but is quickly recaptured and sent to Toulon.  One day he saves a fallen sailor.  As he plunges into save him, he escapes by making the belief that he drowned.  He then goes to Montfermeil where the Thenardiers’ inn is located.  After burying his money in the woods, he frees Cosette by buying her from the Thenardier’s then they move to Paris.In Paris, he lives in the Gorbeau House.

Javert finally tracks him down once again but, Valjean flees to a convent where he sees an old friend named Fauchelevent who is a gardener there and who Madeleine has saved once before.  Valjean persuades him to take him as an assistant gardener there and to enroll Cosette as a student.  Several happy years are spent in isolation of the convent.  Jean Valjean sneaks out by way of burial.  Marius is a seventeen-year-old who lives with his grandfather, M. Gillenormand.  Marius’s father, Georges Potmercy, a hero of the napolionic wars, lives in retirement in a nearby city.  Marius’s father dies right before he see’s him, but no reaction was shown from Marius.

Marius leaves his grandfather’s house as a result of his father’s love that he wasn’t told about and his political views. Marius lives in the Latin Quarter and becomes friends with a group of radical students, the Friends of the A.B.C.  He switches his allegiance from monarchy to Napoleon.  Marius finally finds a good job, and with this helps build his satisfaction. He then falls passionately in love with a beautiful young lady in the Luxembourg Gardens, who is Jean Valjean’s daughter, Cosette.  One day, Marius gets very curious and peeps through a hole in the wall to the neighbors room and  sees the family living in poverty.

Soon after he witnesses the entrance of a philanthropist, so called M. Leblanc and his daughter.  To Marius’s surprise, the daughter is Cosette.  An attack was planned on Leblanc but Marius contacts police and on the instructions of Javert returns to his room with the two pistols that were given to him.  The plot of Thenardier and his 4 sidekicks fail as Javert comes in just in time to save Leblanc.  When Javert is arresting everyone, Leblanc escapes out the window.  Once again the young girl has vanished but, Eponine, Thenardier’s oldest daughter who is totally in love with Marius finds his sweetheart for him.

One day, Marius sees Cosettte from afar and finds the courage to tell her his love for her, as she does the same.  Marius happiness is again destroyed when Valjean finds out his daughter’s love for someone else and is horrified and they move.Marius is unaware of the political situation because of his love for Cosette.  His friend Enjolas directs the erection of a barricade in front of the Corinth wine shop.  Javert is found as an unmasked spy and the rebel’s tie him up to await his execution.  Marius decides to join in the revolution to seek his death.  He joins the fighting at the barricade since he lost his love again fights valiantly to the end.

Valjean gets out his old National Guard suit but like Maruis joins the ranks for the rebel’s after he discovered Marius’s and Cosette’s love for each other as he read a letter by a mirror.  Valjean volunteers to execute Javert.  Instead he spares him his life and, sends him away.  He then takes Marius, who is very seriously injured, and carries him through the sewers.  He gives Thenardier all the money he has to open up the gate for him to get out.  As soon as they get out, Javert arrests Valjean.  Javert then let’s Valjean go just as Valjean did earlier.  Javert cannot forgive himself of what he just did and then commits suicide by jumping off a bridge.  Marius survives and overcomes his grandfather’s hospitality toward marriage and then marries Cosette.

It is a horrendous blow to Valjean.  Valjean confesses his past to Marius and Marius doesn’t want to see Valjean much and eventually doesn’t see him at all.  Valjean’s life deteriorates and is dying because he hasn’t seen Cosette.  Marius still doesn’t know that Valjean saved his life in the sewer.  Thenardier for money reveals to Marius that Valjean was his savior and some other facts that Marius already knew about.  Because of Thenardier, Marius and Cosette visit Jean Valjean on his deathbed and then that makes Valjean a little better but dies.  Jean Valjean’s tombstone is written in pencil and eventually washes away, and becomes unmarked.

Victor Hugo’s handy work lead to tons of plots given in movies, television shows and even plays.  The Dukes of Hazzard, an older TV show, has Bo and Luke Duke always running from Boss Hogg, Rosco and Enos.  They always change cars or appearances to get away and they always get away, but if they get caught they let them go, but the police do not necessarily commit suicide, just get humiliated by Boss Hogg for letting them go.  Bo and Luke fit in with how Jean Valjean felt, always running and watching his back.  Javert would be like Boss Hogg, Rosco and Enos.

The bad guys who are after the good guys.  Javert would also be like the police that chased Smokey and the Bandit, another example of bad chasing the good.  Romeo and Juliet would be a great example of Marius and his love, Cosette.  Romeo of course would be Marius and Juliet would be Cosette.  Cosette is so beautiful to Marius and he is in love with her.  Any time they are apart it break’s each other’s heart.  They would do anything for each other and if it came down to it, die.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover: Book Report

Lady Chatterley’s Lover, written by DH. Lawrence was first published in 1928. The novel follows around the protagonist of the story, Lady Constance Chatterley. The story is about how this woman, who is trapped in a loveless and almost sterile marriage, finds emotional and physical love with the games keeper of her husbands estate. As a story about the relationships between men and women, I find this book a very nice read, but with Lawrence also using this novel as a way to show his readers the evils of machines and capitalism, at times I find it lacking.

Lawrence has two main themes in this book; first, the relationship between men, women and how they find love; second, industry vs. nature. Both can be discussed to show how they are used to conveniently establish the relationship theme but not the secondary theme of industry vs. nature.

The main theme in Lady Chatterley’s Lover is that of the relationship between men and women. Lawrence shows the readers how you must have emotional and physical love, together, in order to have complete love. Through the example of Connie and Clifford’s marriage, Lawrence shows the reader that though there is an emotional love between the two, neither is fulfilled. Their relationship can best be summed up by a quote directly from this book, Time went on. Whatever happened, nothing happened. (19) Neither Connie nor Clifford have a great love for the other, they seam to be just friends who live together.

The idea of a strictly physical love is shown briefly through Mellor’s and his marriage to his first wife. Though the two had a stable marriage based on physical love, it eventually deteriorated to the point of them living separately. Bertha rejected Mellor’s when he started to show tenderness towards her. Both examples are used by Lawrence to justify that though some marriages/relationships start out well, without the combined physical and emotional fulfillment of both people there can be no true love between them.

The idea of complete love is shown through Lady Connie and Mellor’s relationship. Lawrence shows through these two how love needs to have emotional and physical aspects to be possible. Writing about their evolving relationship and showing how both aspects are started and evolve, he gives us the idea of what he thinks real love is. Lawrence shows how their true love and eventual marriage escapes class lines and the industrial world the author despises. In one of the more descriptive sex scenes, Lawrence wants to show that two people who are in real love have no shame.

This theme is also used to try and validate Lawrences second theme in the book, industry vs. nature. Lady Chatterley’s marriage with Clifford is based in the industrial setting of Wragby mansion. The marriage between these two characters revolves around this setting and is therefore shown by Lawrence to be a fake marriage since it is not set in a true natural setting. It is based in an industrial society and therefore corrupt. On the other side, Lady Connies relationship with the games keeper, Mellors, is started in the natural setting of the woods surrounding Wragby.

As the story ends there is a hope that these two will be married and it will be a true marriage because it has both the emotional and physical aspects of love and that it was started in the woods, in nature. I understand why Lawrence tried to use the relationships to justify the nature aspect of industry vs. nature, but I do not agree with it. The natural setting that Lady Chatterley and Mellors met is very romantic and ideal, but I think that if they had possibly met somewhere else, perhaps the mining town, their relationship could also have developed to the point that it was at the end of the book.

The second theme in this novel, industry vs. nature is a theme that Lawrence should not have tried to show in this novel. He never gives clear reasons for the industrial aspect to this story. It is all shown in a negative light. From having Clifford being the thoughtless owner of the mines who cares nothing for the workers, to Lawrences own description of the mining town and the workers themselves, he gives a complete negative view of industry as a whole. This does not work for me in this novel because he never tells or shows the whole aspect. By this, I mean he never shows how all view industry. He does not show how the workers themselves feel about how they live.

I believe that he tries to show in this novel how he felt about mining towns and those who work there and expects the reader to also despise industry as a whole. The first theme works in this novel because Lawrence shows very different aspects of what some of the characters feel on relationships. He shows the good and the bad and lets the reader draw the conclusion that Lady Connie and Mellors relationship is a true one. He does not do this for the industry vs. nature theme. He only shows the negative and forces the reader to choose the nature side of the theme.

I agree with the words of Pablo Neruda, who said Lawrences work impressed me because of the poetic quality and certain vital magnetism focused on the hidden relationships between human beings. (93) This novel does give great insight to the working of relationships between men and women. Lawrence does a convincing job of showing the reader what it takes to have fulfillment from a relationship and what a person must sacrifice to obtain it. With this in mind, I find it difficult to see why anyone would want to consider censoring or banning this book.

In 1959, Lady Chatterleys Lover was tried in the United States Federal Courts on the charge that it was obscene and therefore should not be published in the United States. The main points the prosecution used in this trial was that the book was: one too frank with the descriptions of lovemaking; that it celebrated adultery and finally, that obscene words, the prosecution though immoral and because of this should be basis alone to have the book banned. The lawyers also objected to Lady Chatterleys involvement in adultery and also her choice of her last lover, Oliver Mellors. Their main argument was that if people were to read this novel it would lead to their social and moral deterioration. The Judge for the case found the book not obscene enough to ban and allowed the publishers right to distribute the novel in the United States.

I agree with this judgment. After reading this book, I found none of it obscene and did not feel as if I was on the road to moral deterioration after reading it. There are also many critics who feel this way as well. As Anais Nin states in an excerpt D.H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study, He gives us in Lady Chatterleys Lover an honest picture of all aspects and moods of physical love. But he writes neither scientifically nor for the sake of pornography. (107) She believed that to understand the story and the ideas that Lawrence was writing about the reader could not be afraid of the words that were written or the philosophy that was used.

Katherine Ann Porter wrote in her essay, A Wreath for the Gamekeeper that, I object to his misuse and perversions of obscenity, his wrongheaded denial of its true nature and meaning. (PG) She objects to how Lawrence uses words that many view as obscene. I think that anyone that reads this novel and views it as obscene is not really reading the book. I think any open-minded individual can take how Lawrence uses the language and descriptions and find it justified. Lawrence did not use these words and descriptions as a way to incite lust or lustful thoughts into readers, but as a way to show that love is not shameful. The way he uses his words, whether they be classified as obscene or not, shows that any act or word given in love is not shameful, no matter what their dictionary meaning is.

Adultery was another reason why people tried to have Lady Chatterleys Lover banned. Edith Sitwell wrote in her book, Taken Care of: An Autobiography, Nobody seems to have thrashed Mr. Mellors, the adulterous gamekeeper, which is what he deserved. (109) What I find amusing is that most critics never talk about Lady Constances first lover, Michaelis, and seem to only be fascinated by Mellors. This is most likely due to the fact that not only did Lady Connie and Mellors have an affair; they also were from different social classes. I think that is what got people the most upset. By not writing about Michaelis, critics condone that affair because both were from the same social class.

I find that more obscene than them even having the affair. Preaching that adultery is wrong but then condoning Lady Chatterleys first adulterous affair because they were from the same social class is ludicrous. Instead of harping about why the affairs should not have happened, people that gave poor reviews for the novel should have tried to reason out why the affairs happened. Neither Lady Constance nor Oliver Mellors were in true marriages. So from Lawrences viewpoint, they were not having an adulterous affair. Taken in that context, I see nothing morally degrading about their relationship.

In fact, I see nothing in this book that would give anyone the idea to have it banned. Im sure that if I had read this book in the 1950s, or earlier, I might have been slightly offended. I do hope that I would have had the open-mindedness and intelligence to see past the views of a few people and find out what the book was really about. I see no reason why this book should have any limits placed on it. I think it should be in every public library and school. Many would feel, I think, that this book was really about. I see no reason why this book should have any limits placed on it.

I think it should be in every public library and school. Many would fell, I think, that this book is not intended for children or young adults. I disagree. In todays society, most children already know more about sex and naughty words then what this book writes about. Children will probably not understand the themes involved in this story and they can certainly find more obscene descriptions of love or lovemaking. If they choose to read the book later on in their teen years, this could provide one way to help explain to them the difference between sex and love. Limiting and censoring books in just a way for some to keep others ignorant.

Works Cited

1.Bloom, Harold (Editor), Twentieth-Century British Literature Volume 3. Chelsea House: New York, 1986.
2.Bryfonski, Dedria and Hall, Sharon K. (Editors), Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism Volume 2. Gale Research Company: Michigan, 1979
3.Lawrence, D.H. Lady Chatterleys Lover. 1928. New York: Grovers Press, 1959.
4.Neruda, Pablo, Luminous Solitude, Memoirs. 1976. Included in Twentieth-Century British Literature, Volume 3.
5.Nin, Anais. Lady Chatterleys Lover D.H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study. (1932) 1940. Included in Twentieth-Century British Literature, Vol. 3.
6. Porter, Katherine Ann. A Wreath for the Gamekeeper. Encounter. 1960. Included in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Vol. 2.
Words

Guilt, Duty, and Unrequited Love: Deconstructing the Love Triangles in James Joyces The Dead and Thomas Hardys Jude the Obscure

Its no problem of mine but its a problem I fight, living a life that I cant leave behind. But there’s no sense in telling me, the wisdom of the cruel words that you speak. But that’s the way that it goes and nobody knows, while everyday my confusion grows.

–New Order, Bizarre Love Triangle, from Substance, 1987

Most people who have watched a soap opera can recognize that the love triangle is a crucial element to the plot. In fact, the original radio broadcasted soap operas seemed to consist almost entirely of love triangles. The love triangle, for plot purposes, seems to be a popular technique employed to change the dynamic, add dimension, and generally spice up an otherwise stagnant monogamous relationship.

It would make for a pretty dull and quite unpopular show if such popular daytime soap characters as Luke and Laura or Bo and Hope had enjoyed a smooth courtship, uncomplicated marriage and then grew old and gray together without a single conflict. The viewers watched them go through many conflicts, some of which involved the classic love triangle.

Such conflicts as the love triangle keep the story moving. Common elements of triangles in todays soaps consist of lust, greed, jealousy, any of which are interchangeable with the conflicts resulting from situations involving lovers coming back from the dead or paternity uncertainties. Yet love triangles, whether in the soap opera or in the novel, are not all uniformly constructed. James Joyce’s The Dead and Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure, both modernist novels, each contain love triangles as an integral element of the story.

The key triangles I will focus on are comprised of Michael, Greta and Gabriel, and, Philotson, Sue, and Jude. Although not absolutely identical, deconstruction reveals guilt, duty, and unrequited love as essential components to the construction of both.

Besides the most obvious similarity that both triangles are composed of one woman and two men, guilt also figures prominently. Although the men of the triangles may have their own guilt-related issues, it seems as though it is the guilt felt by the women that presents the most conflict. In The Dead, Greta has to live with the knowledge that it is because of her, although indirectly, that Michael died. It is likely that because of this guilt that she pauses on the staircase to listen to The Lass of Aughrim, a song that, as she tells Gabriel later, reminds her of Michael. At the time, her husband interprets her expression on the staircase as one of grace and mysteryas if she were a symbol of something.(Joyce 2028).

He was correct, except not in the way that he thought. All the way to the hotel, the lingering memory of that sight of her incites his passion. However, he experiences a terrible upset as Greta tells him about the song and what it means to her. This is the critical moment where Michael, or rather his memory, enters and completes the triangle, although he may have been there all along without Gabriels knowledge. To Gabriel, this turn of events casts a different light on his entire marriage to Greta as he thought of how she who lay beside him had locked in her heart for so many years that image of her lovers eyes when he told her that he did not wish to live(Joyce 2035).

He wonders how poor a part he, her husband, had played in her life(Joyce 2035). Although it is a bit peculiar for one of the members of this bizarre love triangle to reside beyond the grave, we see here that Michael plays a significant role, perhaps altering Gabriel and Gretas relationship forever, with Gretas guilt as the instigating factor.

As for Sue, in Jude, her guilt operates on a completely different level, a religious one. Like Greta, Sue also had a sick man die after braving the elements just to see her. Yet, unlike The Dead, this event has no great impact on the love triangle between Jude, Sue and Philotson. This three-cornered romantic disaster, because of Sues return to Philotson, had already reached its climax. If anything, Judes death made Sues promise never to see him again easier. But because Judes death happens at the end of novel, the reader does not find out if this adds to or detracts from her guilt.

All we are told is that she is tired and miserable, years and years older, quite a staid worn woman, and still absolutely repulsed by Philotson (Hardy 431). Sues guilt originates from societal pressures, and then surfaces after the death of the children. She knows that shacking up with Jude after her divorce from Philotson is frowned upon, yet she does not share the same morals and values as the society in which she lived, thus, does not expect any sort of punishment. She takes the horrifying death of her children as a sign of divine admonishment. I see marriage differently now!My babies have been taken from me to show me this!(Hardy 369). Therefore, so that their deaths would not have been in vain, Sue becomes religious and returns to Philotson, adding more complexity to the triangle.

Sues last words to Jude before he dies are: Don’t follow medont look at me. Leave me, for pitys sake!(Hardy 412). This bizarre love triangle may not be broken even after Judes death, for it is he whom she really loves. For Philotson, Sue only feels a sense of duty.
Richard Philotson is not a bad guy, not at all the villain of the story. He is just as much a victim as Sue and Jude. Actually, the role of the villain seems to co-star Sues sense of guilt and the judgmental society that causes her to perform such maddening acts of senseless duty that construct the love triangle between them.

One chief act of duty is when she becomes engaged to Philotson, despite her feelings for Jude. Another major one occurs when she actually marries Philotson, although it is completely against her principles. Philotson, as a mentor, had ingratiated himself to Sue and she had to appease him somehow when the scandalous rumors about her and Jude emerged. Sue writes to Jude about the impending marriage, It is so good of him, because the awkwardness of my situation has really come about my fault in getting expelled(Hardy 176). Yet, Jude fears that the real reason behind her marriage to Philotson stemmed from his confession regarding his marital status. Regardless of the convoluted reasoning, Sue was able to perform the duty of marriage but not the duty of the bedroom.

Philotson finds that she would rather sleep in the closet than with him. As her repulsion grows, so does her longing for Jude and freedom from marital constraint. Poor Philotson, aware of Sues affections for Jude and her aversion to himself, allows her to leave the marriage. So Sue gets her freedom, yet despite her unconventional values, she just can not seem to go long without this sense of duty that overwhelms her. She is torn between her own values and those that society has not only instilled in her, but reminds her of daily. She takes deeply to heart such instances as when she and Jude were not seen fit to complete their job of painting of the Ten Commandments.

I cant bear that they, and everybody, should think people wicked because they may have chosen to live their own way!(Hardy 318). This together with Father Times arrival intensifies her torment over the marriage dilemma. But this is one act of duty that she can never bring herself to perform which makes it much simpler for her, after the death of her children, to return to Philotson whom she dutifully, though illogically, regards as her true husband.

On the other hand, Greta is able to fulfill all of her wifely duties for Gabriel, including bearing his children. He even thinks, until he realizes her attachment to Michael, that she performs these duties blissfully. Greta plays the part of the doting ornament at his aunts party, appearing as though Gabriel were the center of her universe. As they danced Gabriel felt proud and happyproud of her grace and wifely carriage(Joyce 2031). As they are leaving, Greta turned towards them and Gabriel saw that there was color on her cheeks and that her eyes were shining(Joyce 2029).

But it was Michael, not Gabriel, who was the reason for the expression. Despite Gretas anguish over the song and the memory it brought, she was not too distraught to attempt to stroke her husbands ego. She kissed him and said, You are a very generous person, Gabriel(Joyce 2032). But Gabriels joy at this attention is later crushed as it is made apparent to him that all along she had been comparing him in her mind to another (Joyce 2033). Gretas sense of wifely duty toward Gabriel had protected him from this knowledge all the years of their marriage. With the truth out, Gabriel may never return to the comfortable illusion that Greta had allowed him to live him for so long. Michael may now always be a haunting presence in their marriage, and the reader is not told if Greta will favor her sense of duty to her marriage or to his memory.

While Greta sleeps, recovering from the memories brought by The Lass of Aughrim, Gabriel contemplates the relationship between his wife and Michael. He realizes the enormity of Michaels love for Greta as something he had never felt like that himself towards any woman but he knew such feeling must be love (Joyce 2035). This must leave him to wonder whether Greta had felt the same for Michael or whether the love, on that level at least, was unrequited. Greta had answered ambiguously that she had been great with him at that time(Joyce 2034).

Gabriel wonders if she is being completely truthful. He knows that he does not love Greta the way that Michael did, but throughout their marriage he seems to have been under the delusion that her love was greater for him, than his for her. Perhaps, because of Gretas deep attachment to Michael, it was really his love for her that was unrequited. Gabriel seems confident in his role as supreme husband and lover until after Gretas confession when he looks into the mirror and sees a ludicrous figure, acting as a pennyboy for his aunts, a nervous well-meaning sentimentalist, orating to vulgarians and idealizing his own clownish lusts (Joyce 2033-34). The knowledge of Michael and fear of comparison has reduced him to this state of inferiority and self-doubt.

This may be how Philotson felt when he found that his love for Sue was so undeniably unrequited. How damaging it must be for a mans ego to find that his wife would rather brave sleeping in a closet than with him. Philotson wonders wry, What must a womans aversion be when it is stronger than her fear of spiders!(Hardy 232). The poor man had normal expectations for his marriage, only to find that the mere suggestion of intimacy prompted her leap to what could have been her death. He explains to his friend Gillingham, She jumped out the windowso strong was her dread of me!(Hardy 241).

This is the final straw and Philotson grants her a divorce. Yet, he is not the only one to experience unrequited love. Jude does also, but definitely not to such a severe degree. Although, Sue loves Jude, she does not seem to love him enough to stay with him, at least not in the way he loves her. He wants her as a wife and she is content to go back to just friendship. Well be dear friends just the same Jude, wont we?(Hardy 374). She asks him, as if Jude could so easily dissolve his romantic feelings for her. Sues only real true love appear to be her own values and moral urges, which seem to change with the tide throughout the novel.

Love, with its power to create agony or ecstasy, is a dependable source of drama, whether it be for the novel or the soap opera. As we see in Jude the Obscure and The Dead, the tension of the love relationship is increased with the addition of a third party. Jude and Sues relationship may likely have been quite simpler without the presence of Philotson. He would not have been an option for Sues need to rectify the death of the children. In fact, she may have seen marriage to Jude as the right thing to do.

They may have actually gotten married and been very happy. But for some reason, Hardy did not allow this to happen. Instead, he preferred to leave the reader with the dark view of love, where there is not always a happy ending. As for Gabriel and Gretas relationship, if Greta had not told of Michael, Gabriels evening may have ended much differently. He would most likely have satisfied his lust, yet the novel would lack the epiphany Gretas confession causes him to have. The components of guilt, duty, and unrequited love, though not universal traits, do well to maintain the complexity and efficacy of these particular love triangles.

The Hunchback Of Notre Dame: The Evil in Notre Dame

In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, there are many interesting characters, However, I think Claude Frollo is a good one to talk about. In the book Claude is a priest who sees a beautiful girl and thinks unpure thoughts about her. Since he is a priest he feels he has to do something about these freaky thoughts he is having, so he tries to have her hanged by committing a murder and framing her. Then it turns out the victim really isn’t dead, but because times were so messed up back then they still convicted her of murder. The girl, Esmeralda, is a gypsy girl so a lot of people in the town did not like her. Although Claude Frollo is a priest he is a trifling man whose sexual desire turns him into an evil, scheming, obsessed man,ruining his life.

Claude Frollo was evil because of the things he did to Esmeralda and Quasimodo, the foster son he adopted when he was only sixteen. When Claude Frollo first saw Esmeralda dancing in the streets with her goat Dijali he yells obscene comments to her, because he is trying to hide the fact that he really wants her. He also used Quasimodo to try and kidnap her, knowing that Quasimodo would do anything right or wrong for him. He wanted her so badly that he came into her room one night and tried to rape her. He was touching her in ways that she did not find appealing “She felt a lascivious hand wandering over her body”(215), but Quasimodo would not let him rape her. He wanted Esmeralda hanged because he could not control his own passions.

The schemes of Claude Frollo were as stupid and childish as the schemes of any man who let his desire for sex control his life. In one scheme he and Quasimodo tried to carry Esmeralda off against her will… “A statue of the Virgin Mary on the corner enabled him to see the girl struggling with two men who were trying to stifle her cries”(29). The next time he tried to do something to her it was frame her for murder. He knew she had an appointment with a man and hid in a little room by where they were going. When they got there he came out of the room and stabbed the man she was with in his back. She was arrested and convicted of murder. She was sentenced to hang in the gallows. Claude Frollo’s schemes controlled his life and decided the fate of the little gypsy girl.

His obsession with Esmeralda also determined the hideous fate of his life. He was obsessed with her because of her beauty and because she made him feel things he had never before felt and things he should not have felt because he is a priest. He was considered obsessed because he could not be near her with out feeling psychotic:

His nights were horrible. Since he had learned that she was still alive the cold ideas of specter and tomb which had obsessed him for a whole day vanished and he began to feel the prickings of the flesh once more. Feeling the dark-haried girl so near to him made him writhe on his bed(213).

Claude Frollo’s obsession with Esmeralda is also clearly seen when he watched her being tortured he cut his chest with a dagger and when she screamed he plunged it into his flesh. He said if she had screamed again he would have put it into his heart. He would do anything to be with her. He offered to keep her from getting hung if she would be with him, but she did not want anything to do with him. His obsession is what caused him to be killed by Quasimodo. They both loved Esmeralda so when Quasimodo realized that because of Claude Esmeralda was hanged, he threw him off the towers of Notre Dame.

Claude Frollo’s obsession, his schemes, and his evilness turned him from a man passionate about being a priest to a man whose only passion was for a woman. This great change caused him to lose all the things he has ever loved. It caused him to lose his dignity, his respect, his love from Quasimodo, and all things in his life. The theme of this story is that against all odds true love prevails, and what Claude Frollo thought was true love really wasn’t.

Hunchback of Notre Dame – Theme

“Love is a universal language.” This popular quote from many movies and literary works describes the importance of love, and how there are no limits or barriers when dealing with love. Many people cannot even help whether or not they fall in love. There are many types of love and they need not be between members of opposite sexes. In Victor Hugo’s novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Quasimodo’s love for Esmerelda is not as strong as his different sense of love for the Archdeacon, Claude Frollo. Quasimodo loves each person in a different manner, but is truer to the Archdeacon. The hunchback feels, among other things, a love described as Eros for the Mistress Esmerelda; whereas, for the Archdeacon the love he feels is known as Philia.

While Quasimodo is drawn to Esmerelda by her inner beauty and personal qualities, he admires the Archdeacon for his powerful position in the social structure of the town. Throughout the story, Quasimodo does his best to protect Esmerelda. Contrarily, he is protected by the Archdeacon. There are four types of love, only one of which involves a man’s physical love for a woman and vice versa. This type of love is known as Eros. It is defined as a relationship in which two parties are physically attracted to one another. Esmerelda, the gypsy, is quite beautiful. She dances in the midst of a crowd near a bonfire: “All eyes were fixed on her, all mouths hung open. As she danced to the rhythm of the tambourine which her round, delicate arms held over her head, she seemed to be some sort of supernatural creature.” (22)

Quasimodo is taken by her loveliness just like most other men. However, because he is deformed and hideous, Quasimodo’s physical attraction to the Mistress is unrequited. Nevertheless, this attraction is uncontrollable. Although he never acts upon his urges nor openly displays his affection, the hunchback feels the type of love called Eros for Esmerelda. Accordingly, he feels a different kind of love for the Archdeacon: Philia. Just as Eros as love stems from physical factors, Philia is a result of external factors. The Archdeacon is a man of God. He is considered the religious authority in Paris. Quasimodo resides in the Notre Dame Cathedral.

He takes a great interest in God, and apparently shares this interest with the Archdeacon. Quasimodo was taken in by Claude Frollo when he was quite young. The two men grew quite close together: “When the poor bellringer became deaf the two men developed a mysterious language of signs and gestures which was understood by them alone. Thus the Archdeacon was the only person with whom Quasimodo maintained communication.” (65) The hunchback feels a sense of love based on comradery and years of relations. He deeply admires Claude Frollo’s religious faith and charity: that is, the charity shown to Quasimodo when he was only a young, abandoned boy. The two men have a complex system of hand gestures and sign language which they use to communicate with each other. This illustrates their mutual correspondence and understanding.

Through these experiences and this upbringing, Quasimodo develops a Philial love for the Archdeacon. In the timeframe of this story, the late 1400’s and early 1500’s, the Catholic Church is a major factor and authority in virtually all of a town’s laws, transactions and business. This being the case, holding the position as Archdeacon, or head of the church, is a much coveted occupation. Quasimodo admires the Archdeacon’s powerful position. The hunchback himself enjoys authority as he possesses the power of rule over people. This is visible when he is elected Pope of Fools:

Quasimodo let himself be decked out in them with a kind of proud docility. He was then made to sit down on a brightly colored litter. Twelve officers of the Brotherhood of Fools lifted it to their shoulders. A bitter and haughty joy spread over the gloomy face of the Cyclops [Quasimodo] as he saw under his deformed feet the heads of all those handsome, straight and well- made men. (17) It is evident that he is happy to be exalted among normal men, even if only for one night and he is chosen because he wins an ugliness contest. Since Claude Frollo holds such a praiseworthy position, the hunchback respects him. He is also honored that such a figure as the Archdeacon even associates with he, a measly and horrid bell ringer.

As opposed to the Archdeacon, Esmerelda holds no real power or authority. Rather she has the ability to see beyond the exterior appearance of something, and learn about its true value. She accomplishes this with Quasimodo. At first, she is repelled by his terrible ugliness. The gypsy “often reproached herself for not being grateful enough to blind herself to his appearance but, try as she might, she could not accustom herself to him. He was too ugly (206).” Eventually, however, she overcomes her aversion to his appearance. She realizes that he is a caring and compassionate human being. He has feelings, he loves, and he can be loved. Quasimodo discovers Esmerelda’s ability to view someone from a different perspective. He also becomes aware than she is a decent and caring person on the inside, despite her reactions to his grotesque appearance.

He then feels a sense of kinship and a deeper sort of love towards the Mistress that transcends Eros love. Esmerelda is guilty of committing a grave transgression. She is sentenced to be hanged. Just before the platform is dropped from beneath her feet and her life ended, Quasimodo appears and strikes the two guards. Esmerelda is free. He brings her to the Cathedral as a sanctuary to take refuge in one of the towers. During the length of her stay in the tower, she is completely isolated from the outside world. Quasimodo is the only person always present in the church. He takes it upon himself to be responsible for keeping Esmerelda happy and comfortable.

He brings her food, drink, any news and he does his best to answer any questions she may ask. One night, a violent mob, the vagabonds, wishes to enter the Cathedral and abduct Esmerelda. Quasimodo manages to fend off the entire mob until help arrives in the form of Phoebus, one of the King’s archers, and his squadron of soldiers. “Those who were not shrieking, those who were still alive, saw two streams of molten lead falling from the top of the church into the thickest part of the crowd, making two black, smoking holes in it,… Dying men, half burned to ashes, were writhing and groaning in agony.” (241) The hunchback throws stones, tools, anything he can find down on the attackers. He then sets fire to lead sheets. They become molten and the intensely hot liquid rains down, burning and melting the mob.

Such desperate actions are surely a sign of love and a willingness to protect Esmerelda. In contrast, Quasimodo does not, in any way, protect Claude Frollo. In fact, the opposite is true. The Archdeacon acts as a father figure to the hunchback. In turn, Quasimodo shows the utmost respect for Frollo. He takes punishment and scorn from Frollo, even when it is not deserved, and accepts it quietly. He does this while he is quite capable of defying the Archdeacon physically as he does with any other person that angers him: Quasimodo came up to the priest, looked at him and fell to his knees… Quasimodo remained on his knees, lowered his head and clasped his hands together…They then began a strange dialogue of signs and gestures,…the priest standing, angry, threatening and imperious; Quasimodo kneeling, humble and supplicating. Yet there was no doubt that Quasimodo could have crushed the priest with his thumb. (27)

This obedience signifies that the bell ringer is deeply thankful for the priest’s company and leadership. Quasimodo continues to show gratitude by obeying every command given to him by the Archdeacon. When the Archdeacon decides that Esmerelda should hang, even though Quasimodo loves her he could not defy the priest’s command: he sat quietly by and awaited the hanging. It is clear that this love stems from the protection of the Archdeacon through Quasimodo’s early years of life. This also exposes the fact that Quasimodo’s respect and obedience to the Archdeacon outweighs his feelings for Esmerelda.

Throughout the story by Victor Hugo, Quasimodo shows love to both Esmerelda, a beautiful gypsy, and to Claude Frollo, the Archdeacon that took the hunchback into his custody. Two types of love displayed are Eros, to the Mistress, and Philia, toward Frollo. Quasimodo’s protection of Esmerelda is seen inversely through his relationship with the Archdeacon. The Archdeacon and Esmerelda have diverse qualities that evoke separate types of love from Quasimodo. In the end, the bell ringer’s relationship with Frollo supercedes his emotions towards the Mistress. The Philial and brotherly love triumphs over unrequited erotic love.

Fathers and Sons: Book Report

Arcady: His Voyage Towards Individualism In the novel Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev, Arcady plays a major role both in his own life and the lives of others. Arcady, despite the shield he surrounds himself with, is not a true Nihilist like his friend Bazarov through his thoughts and actions we see his change. To begin, Arcady shows signs of Romanticism Early on in the novel despite the announcement of his Nihilist beliefs. For example, Bazarov and Arcady were walking one afternoon in the garden and overheard Nicholas playing his cello. “At that instant the lingering notes of a cello were wafted towards them from the house . . . and, like honey, the melody flowed through the air” (49).

Like a true Nihilist, Bazarov immediately denounced the act of playing music as a purely romantic institution. “Good Lord! At forty-four, a pater familias, in the province of X, playing the cello! Bazarov continued to laugh: but, on this occasion, Arcady, though he venerated his mentor, did not even smile” (50). By this we see that although Arcady looks up to Bazarov, he truly does not uphold the Nihilist beliefs as strongly or as strictly. His acceptance of his father’s cello playing shows that Arcady, unlike Bazarov. does not find music a purely romantic institution, but an enjoyable way ! to be merry. Also this incident shows us that Arcady does not like when others poke fun at his family. Here, he obviously does not think his father’s cello playing is a laughing matter.

Secondly, Nihilist ideas included the belief that love is outdated. Arcady went against this belief when he fell in love with Anna Sergeyevna and later, her sister Katya. Arcady even went so far as to tell Katya, in his own way, that he truly loved her. “It may be all the same to you, but I should like to state that, far from having any preference for your sister, I wouldn’t exchange you for anyone else in the world” (174). Bazarov also fell in love with Anna Sergeyevna but realized that she would not love him back. ” I must tell you that I love you stupidly, madly . . . . You have forced me. Now you know.’ Madame Odintzov was filled with fear as well as a feeling of compassion for him. But she at once disengaged herself from his embrace an instant later she was already standing distantly in the corner and gazing at him. You misunderstood me,’ she whispered hastily in alarm. She looked as though she might scream if he took another step (108).

“And so, he retur! ned to his Nihilist beliefs. Arcady’s falling in love with Katya and his proposal to her was his second step towards becoming an individual. It showed that he no longer followed Bazarov like an impressionable child would an older sibling. He now began to make large decisions on his own which affected his life in a big way. Arcady, through his understanding of Bazarov’s arrogance, took his third and final step towards becoming his own person. “It is not for the gods to glaze pottery . . . . Only now, at this very instant, was the whole bottomless pit of Bazarov’s arrogance and pride revealed to him. So you and I are gods? Or rather, you are a god and I’m a mere lout, isn’t that so?’ Yes,’ Bazarov repeated firmly. You’re still stupid.'” (112).

Not only does this remark allow Arcady to see that Bazarov had never considered him an equal, but also that Bazarov believed himself a god dwelling above all others. This prompted Arcady to reconsider his relationship with Bazarov. He realized they were never friends, but only mere traveling companions on the road of life. Arcady seemed to realize also that he was never a pure and true Nihilist. He had been drawn into that particular way of thinking by his mentor, Bazarov, not his willingness to uphold Nihilism. Turgenev does a very good job in showing the changes taking place within Arcady. His true nature is slowly revealed throughout the book and we see his way of thinking by reading about his actions.

Arcady is truly a dynamic character, as can be seen by his Nihilist beliefs changing into romantic ideas. Arcady enjoys beautiful language and is also a bit of a philosopher. For example, his description of a falling leaf: “Look! A withered maple leaf has left its branch and is falling to the ground its movements resemble those of a butterfly in flight. Isn’t it strange? The saddest and deadest of all things is yet so like the gayest and most vital of all creatures” (134). By the conclusion of the novel, we see that Arcady was part of the novel because he had the most influence on others as well as on himself, and also because he had the most to learn from life’s experiences. He has established a life of his own. A life where he if free from Bazarov’s hold and Nihilist ! ideas, and a life where he is free to be himself. His voyage: completed.

Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons

Fathers and Sons is a story about differences and conflicts, differences in how people think, new vs. old and the conflict that having different views can cause. The story begins with Nikolai Kirsanov and his servant Piotr who are awaiting the arrival of Arkady, Nikolai’s son, who has just graduated from collage and is returning home for a visit. Arkady arrives with a friend that he introduces as Bazarov, Nikolai is pleased to meet the friend of his son and all four begin to head back to Nikolai’s farm that he calls Marino. Arkady and his father get into a separate coach than Bazarov.

On the ride back the father and son begin to talk about how the farm has changed since he’s been gone, and also warns him of the fact that he is living with a servant, which is usually considered inappropriate. We then begin to see Arkadys new way of thinking first show because he shows himself as being unimpressed and not caring and assures his father that their quest Bazarov doesn’t care either. At the arrival to Marino they are met by Prokofitch who is described as a simpering old servant. Arkady is then met by his uncle Pavel, Pavel shakes hands with Arkady but abruptly puts his hand away when he is greeting Bazarov. We can see from the actions of Pavel that he immediately doesn’t like Bazarov.

After Arkady and Bazarov leave to go to their rooms, Pavel begins to ask about the “hairy creature” that is visiting with Arkady, and Bazarov begins to mock Pavel by comments his European demeanor and finds him “terribly affected for someone living so far out in the country”(ch4). Arkady and his father are also having problems at this time, Nikolai tells Arkady of his relationship with Fenichka, Arkady responds with saying that “You know my philosophy of life, and I would hardly want to interfere with your life or your happiness”(ch5). Nikolai can tell that his son has changed and he does not know how to accept these new ideas and is thrown in to confusion by them.

This is the start of a conflict between the two. In the mean time while Bazarov is out catching frogs and Pavel ask Arkady about his friend and is told that he is a Nihilist, Arkady explains that a nihilist is a person who “examines everything from a critical point of view, a person who does not bow down to authorities, who doesn’t accept any principle on faith, no matter how hollowed and how venerated the principle is.”(ch5). Pavel is the extreme opposite and believes that without principles it is impossible to exist. When Bazarov comes back in, a conflict escalates between the two when he is greeted as “Mr.Nihilist”(6) by Pavel.

The argument between the two is a result of their different views. When the two are alone Bazarov makes several comments about Pavel, Arkady defends Pavel by demanding that Pavels life story deserves some sympathy, he then tells the story of Pavels life. Bazarov listens to the story about Pavel and remarks that “a person who stakes his whole life on the card of a womans love, then withers and sinks to the point of becoming incapable of anything when that card is trumped, isn’t a man, isn’t a male.”(7) Bazarov’s statement is important because we see that at the end of the story his own beliefs are dismissed for the love of Madame Odintsova.

After a few more run in’s with Pavel and with Arkady and his father not being able to see things on the same basis, since Nikolai can’t understand Arkadys views even when reading them, the two boys decide to leave Marino and visit Arkady’s uncle Matvei Kolyazin, who invites them to a ball. This is where they meet Viktor Sitnikov an old acquaintance of Bazarov’s. At the ball is Odintsova, a woman who has very liberal views. Arkady talks to Odintsova through out most of the ball and begins to believe that he is in love with her. but she shows no interest in Arkady and wants to know more about his friend Bazarov. When she finds out that he is a nihilist she wants to meet him since she never met “someone who has the courage not to believe in anything”(15).

Arkady agrees to call upon Madame Odintsova at her hotel. At the hotel we see that Bazarov is embarrassed in the presence of her and is bothered that he is in the presence of someone who has a personality as strong as his and tries to cover it up by saying derogatory remarks about her to Arkady after they have left, being invited to meet her at her home. Two days later they arrive at the home of Madame Odintsova, where she lives with her aunt and sister. The sister is a shy girl of about eighteen and the aunt is a noblewoman. Madame Odintsova suggest to Bazarov that they argue about something and sends Arkady to play the piano with her sister.

Arkady enjoys hearing her play the piano, something a real nihilist would’nt do. The two spend about two weeks at the house before Bazarov surprises Madame Odintsova by announcing that he will soon be leaving. By this time Bazarov believes that he is in love with her and claims to her that only there is only one thing that could keep him from leaving and that it is something he could never have and admits to her that he is “madly and foolishly”(18) in love with her, and rushes from the room. This is a important point in the story for Bazarov since he once ridiculed Pavel for the same such actions, he now finds himself a victim of the same passions.

The two leave Madame Odintsovas together on separate coaches, Bazarov is heading to his parents house and Arkady is heading to Marino, but the two join back and head together to Bazarov’s parents where they are happy to see him after such a long time. But because of his failed relationship with Madame Odintsova Bazarov is miserable at home and is bored, and the relationship between the two friends is deteriorating. At one point on an argument about whether a man should have any principles or not, the argument gets out of hand and later Bazarov instigates the fight again by insulting Arkadys uncle Pavel. Bazarov gets so upset that he threatens to quarrel “to the death, to annihilation.” (21) .

Bazarov is so miserable and bored that he decides in only a few days that he wants to go back to Marino to get some work done. On the way to Marino they wind up at the Madames but this time only stay the day. They both return to Marino, but Arkady decides to return back to Nikolskoe, not to see the Madame but to see Katya. While Arkady is gone a conflict arise between Pavel and Bararov, when he is caught kissing Fenichka. Pavel speaks to Bazarov and suggest that their should be a duel. Bazarov accepts and later laughs at the idea. Before Bazarov would have never have accepted the duel since it is against the beliefs of a nihilist.

To duel for ones honor is the height of romanticism. The two duel and Pavel is injured and instead of finishing Pavel off he runs over to help him. This is kind of ironic since earlier at Bazarovs parents house Bazarov wanted a duel and would kill, but know he is unwilling to. It is also willing to note that Bazarov had to compete in something romantic and against his beliefs and in Pavels world before Pavel could notice any worthy quality in him. When Bazarov arrives at Nikolskoe the relationship between the two friends is pretty much over. Bazarov tells his friend that “A romantic would say that I feel our paths are beginning to divide, but I would simply say that we have grown tired of each other.

In the garden the next day Arkady confesses his love for Katya and finds out that she also loves him. In the story it’s obvious to note that gardens play a romantic role. Nicolai went their to remember his wife, Bazarov kissed Fenishka and walked with Madame Odintsova in a garden, and Arkady know pronounces his love for Katya in the garden. Back at Bazarov’s parents home Bazarov is doing some careless work and contracts a fatal disease. He realizes that he will soon die and sends a note off to Odintsova. A extremely romantic role for a Nihilist. As long as he is conscious he refuses his last rights and thus remains true to his beliefs, but comforts his father by reminding him that the last rights can be given to an unconscious man.

Bazarov gives into romanticism when he begins to tell the Madame how beautiful she is and as he becomes delirious, says things that contradict his earlier views. And admits that there are certain types of men that are needed in Russia and, he is not one of them. The story follows a certain path of conflict in that Bazarov who was a Nihilist who believed in nothing and believed that romanticism was nonsense, was turned around and in the end suffered the same conflict Pavel went through in life, the love of a woman he could’nt have and the feelings of love so great that it helped destroy him.

English Literature Coursework Assignment – Far From The Madding Crowd

In the novel Far from the Madding Crowd the main female role, Bathsheba Everdene, is pursued by three suitors, each of whom is very different from the others. These three men are Farmer William Boldwood, owner of the farm adjacent to Bathshebas, Gabriel Oak, bankrupt farmer who becomes Bathshebas shepherd, and later, bailiff, and Sergeant Francis Troy, a soldier whose regiment was close by to Weatherbury.

Each of the three suitors pursues Bathsheba in a very different style, each of which I will look at in this coursework, but, unfortunately for naïve Bathsheba she fails to choose the best for her, Gabriel Oak, when he becomes her first suitor. Only at the end of the novel does she make the obvious and correct choice.

The first character I will look at is Sergeant Francis Troy who came upon Bathsheba one night as she walked along the fir plantation, checking that all was well in the fields and paddocks, although Gabriel Oak had check before her. When Troy had become entangled with her, one of his first questions was Are you a woman?, to which Bathsheba replied, Yes. His immediate reaction was to compliment her by calling her a lady, illustrating his natural tendency to see most young ladies he comes across as merely objects for personal conquest. Flattery is of course his chief weapon in charming and conquering the female heart.

One of the main reasons that Bathsheba fell for him in the first place is her own vulnerability to flattery, as she is such a vain young lady. From this point on, on the occasions that he meets her, he continues to remark on how beautiful see looks, concentrating on praising her appearance. His first attempt at courtship was filled with nothing more than these praises as he quickly wormed his way into Bathshebas heart. His impressive skills at swordmanship astonished Bathsheba, as shown in the hollow among the ferns when she realised how sharp his sword really was as he manoeuvred it around her, and she suddenly found herself falling deeper and deeper in love with him.

There are a number of things which had attracted her to Troy, the most principal being the constant flattery and praise of her beauty. His sword skills in particular excited her and were a wonder, something totally different from the mundane ways of country life which surrounded her at present. His handsome appearance drew her closer and she found herself captivated by him. She was attracted by his superficial glamour especially the fact that he was a dashing Cavalryman, with his red jacket and shiny buttons.

From the start she was deceived by his appearance, knowing this inside herself by never admitting it. She had to ask other people about their relationship, for example Gabriel even though she rejected his advice to reject Troy and marry Boldwood, because she was so doubtful herself as to what was happening. His forwardness also intrigued her, always asking for another chance to meet her and the kiss he gave to her in the hollow in the ferns after demonstrating his swordmanship.

Their secret and hasty marriage shocked many of the townsfolk who had not known such an affair had been occurring and genuinely believed that she should have married Boldwood instead. She dismissed all talk that the marriage was to be doomed, and even stopped Gabriel from uttering a word about it, now I dont wish for a single remark from you upon the subject – indeed, I forbid it, and this shows how she did not wish her happy mood to be ruined.

This also shows her reluctance to face the reality of her situation and her refusal to face the truth that she had made the wrong choice. Even before her marriage, when she had first met Troy, she asked Liddy if she knew him and almost immediately Liddy warned her of him. She said that he was a wild scamp and Bathsheba immediately jumped to his defence, protecting him because she could not see his faults as she was so blinded by her infatuation with him. Liddy pleaded with her to forget about him, saying he was a liar and a cheat but Bathsheba eventually told her, after a lengthy bout of sobbing, that she was to keep her opinions to herself and try to understand what she was feeling.

Troy also had frequent outbursts with Boldwood on the subject of Bathsheba, before and after the marriage, in which we saw his humour in laughing at these country bumpkins of the village, for example Gabriel, Boldwood and the others who frequented the malthouse, who wouldnt know how to win the heart of a woman even if they spent years trying to. In fact, while he was playing around with Bathsheba, even after the marriage, he failed to realise that both Blodwood and Gabriel were deeply serious about Bathsheba and would never treat her the ways in which Troy would never have thought of. This shows Troys over-confidence in how he treats women, thinking that what he does is the best any man can do.

Later in the novel, we find out the real consequences of Troys earlier affair with Fany Robin, an employee of Farmer Boldwood. Troys relationship with her had ended up with he becoming pregnant, and to avoid embarrasment and a possible expulsion from his regiment, he agreed to marry her. He did not, however, do this immediately and atempted to stay away from her for a while, not asking his superiors if it was even possible. When he finally did agree to wed her, he discovered that she had arrived at the wrong church and had turned up too late and could not get married then, to Troys delight.

Fanny even followed him to Casterbridge, where she eventually died at the gates of the workhouse she was struggling to reach. Her body, weak and thin as it was, was taken to Bathshebas house and laid there for the night, child and all. When Bathsheba eventually did discover that Troy had jilted another woman and left her holding a baby and facing a life in the gutter, she was too shocked to do anything and when she finally did talk to him, some truths about him had become apparent. She began to notice, even though she was been told before by her friends, that he had a number of vices, one of which was his gambling, something which she didnt notice until they got married.

He often borrowed money from her to spend at racehorse tracks and almost always lost. Another was his drinking problem, which led to his irresponsibility. On return to the farm as its new owner, he organised a wedding celebration at which he got himself and all the simple rest i.e. the workers drunk. As a result, it was up to Bathsheba and Gabriel to save the ricks from burning while everybody was sleeping. These showed his true nature as an inadequate husband, thinking that he didnt have to bother flirting with Bathsheba anymore now that they were married.

His final vice, and it turned out to be the most important, was his love of women. As Liddy has told Bathsheba, he was a “womaniser” who had “countless women under his thumb” and didnt care a bit about how they felt, as long as he got what he wanted, especially when it came to leaving them. It became apparent later it the novel that his one true love was indeed Fanny Robin, the girl he had left for dead. When he tried to pay back the debt he felt he owed her by buying a gravestone for her, as well as laying flowers by her graveside, the weather destroyed what he had done, leaving him to believe that because of his abandonment of her he had been damned forever, and even worse he now abandoned a second woman, his wife Bathsheba.

When he disappeared after he had been presumed dead, he did not return for at least seven months and this shows his lack of concern for Bathsheba. At one point before this, he had become bored with her, and even said this to her face, “You are nothing to me – nothing,” showing that he was not serious enough about their marriage.

The second character in the novel which I shall look at is Farmer William Boldwood who is a great contrast to Troy, a first he seemed not to care for Bathsheba at all. From the time when Boldwood had ignored her in the market-place, until he sent the Valentine card he had no interest whatsoever in Bathsheba. He was perceived as a cold, distant figure who had become cynical about women. But when the card was sent, he found himself falling wildly, and eventually madly, in love with her. He talked to Bathsheba for long periods at a time, often interrupted by a jealous Gabriel, but he was mistaken in thinking that she really did want to marry him. She discouraged him as gently as possible, her heart swelling with sympathy for the deep-natured man who spoke so simply. Bathshebas simple Valentine card joke had tragically triggered off deep and dangerous passions which neither she nor Boldwood were aware of.

She eventually told him to wait and he would tell him her answer in a month or two and before this time was up, she had come to like him and enjoy his company so much that she might possibly have married him, until Troy arrived. When he heard that this man had taken his Bathsheba away for him, he swelled with anger. He often confronted and challenged Troy, barely able to control his rage. In all he was too serious about his relationship with Bathsheba, believing that she should be his, and paying no attention to her private feelings. He was basically utterly selfish in his love for her. The intensity of his passions for her was very strange and some people feared for his mental health, especially since his grand-father was said to be a bit queer in the head.

When Bathsheba did finally become involved with Troy, Boldwood confronted Bathsheba, pleading with her to reverse her decision not to marry him, but she obstinately refused.

After Troy disappeared, being presumed dead, Boldwood saw this as his big chance to win back Bathsheba, his obsession for her reaching a peak. Up until six months before Christmas Day, he pestered her, urging her to accept that she was a widow and now free to marry him. When she said that she would think about it until the day she agreed to give her decision, he steered well clear of her, feeling that being in the way more could affect the outcome of her decision. Unknown to her, he was making secret wedding plans as if he was certain of what her decision would be, or perhaps his obsession with her would not allow there to be any other answer.

When Troy finally returned that fateful night, Boldwoods desperation for Bathsheba caused him to reach for his shotgun, his mental instability clearly showing itself. After this, Boldwood was promptly arrested, charged with murder and sentenced to death, though this sentence was later quashed on the grounds of insanity. I think that Boldwood would have made a very good husband for Bathsheba if it were not for Troys interfering causing him to feel rejected and finally cause him to lose his sanity completely.

The final suitor, Gabriel Oak, is the first person that we meet in the novel and was the first to attempt to woo Bathsheba. He started the novel as a simple shepherd, and first saw Bathsheba as she was on a wagon laden with items of furniture, and after a few brief meetings (in one of which she had saved him from suffocating in his shepherds hut), he went to her aunts house and asked her aunt if he could marry Bathsheba. Bathsheba, of course, refused as she had only known him a week or two, and this shows Gabriels bluntness and haste in dealing with affairs of the heart. He believed that he could simply ask her and then she would be his, but after his rejection he simply gave up and further public attempts to win her and for most of the rest of the story simply adoring her privately, from a distance. After she had left, an accident occurred which left him with no sheep, all of them forced off a cliff by his dog. In order to pay the money which he owed the man from whom he had purchased the sheep, Gabriel had to sell his land, leaving him with only the clothes he was wearing.

Once he had left his now ruined past, he journeyed to a hiring fair at Casterbridge, where he heard someone mention that Weatherbury, the place Bathsheba had settled, was only five or six miles away. So he left for Weatherbury, and on the way he happened to help stop a fire which was raging through some hayricks and when he asked the woman farmer if she wanted a shepherd, it turned out to be Bathsheba. At this point I think that he decided that maybe his life was reaching a high point, so he asked Bathsheba if she needed a shepherd to which she accepted. I think that he felt since he would now become more involved with Bathsheba, he may have another chance to prove to her how good her would be for her.

Careful not to put himself in a position where he could miss a job opportunity, he decided to show no romantic or emotional interest in Bathsheba for the moment, and from this point onward. Gabriel is regarded by Bathsheba as her confidant, whom she asks advice for whenever she needs it, especially about Boldwood and Troy. At several places in the novel, Gabriel does indeed become very close to Bathsheba, for example the sheep-shearing where they both worked in silence beside each other but these seem to be always interrupted in some way, mostly by Boldwood, anxious to see Bathsheba again, much to his disapproval. Though he tries to hide it and cope with it much more calmly, Gabriel is just as infatuated with Bathsheba much more so than Boldwood, the difference being that Boldwood is very persistent and demanding, Gabriel simply accepts defeat and appears to give up, though still holds a flicker of hope in his heart. He patiently waits until the time is right and until Bathsheba is ready to accept him as the husband she needs.

It is easy to see why Bathsheba rejected him when he asked to marry her, the main reason being that, in her youthful naïveté and romantic fantasies, she did not want to be tied either to him or the mundane duties of a housewife. The glamour of a wedding appeals to her, but not the life of dull domesticity which follows. A simple shepherd was not her ideal husband and she obviously wanted someone better than that. He was also very unspectacular, a simple man with simple ways who shows very little flair in the things that he does. He is also foolishly and naively presumptuous, expecting Bathsheba to say yes the instant he asks her to marry him. He thinks that the pursuit of love is a simple and straightforward affair; but in this novel he discovers the opposite is true.

At different parts in the book, Gabriel does rise out of the shadows by helping Bathsheba when no-one else will or is capable of helping. For example, the blasted sheep incident which gets him his job back and the burning ricks he and Bathsheba put out when Troy got everyone else drunk.

In conclusion, it is obvious which one of these three male suitors was right for Bathsheba and that man is Gabriel Oak, who loved her genuinely, tenderly and patiently from the moment he first saw her to the very last line of the book. He had never given up on her, had never let her be harmed in anyway and always gave her advice which was sound and right, even if she refused to accept it. In the end, Bathsheba admitted to him that if he had only been more forward then he would have been he first choice if it had even come to that.

Troy was obviously the worst possible husband for her because of his gambling, drinking and womanising vices, but mainly because he still loved Fanny Robin. Bathsheba had just been a passing fancy whom he quickly tired of. Boldwoods relationship with Bathsheba was much more genuine and acceptable at the start but tragically it became a fatal obsession for poor desperate Boldwood. Gabriels relationship with her was a lengthy one, tried and tested, totally unselfish. Bathsheba was indeed very fortunate that Gabriel was patient enough to wait until she matured enough to recognise his good qualities. As in most good stories, the best man wins in the end.

The Tragedy of Emma Bovary

“I’ve never been so happy!” Emma squealed as she stood before the mirror. ” Let’s go out on the town. I want to see Chorus and the Guggenhiem and this Jack Nicholson character you are always talking about.” Emma Bovary in Woody Allen’s The Kugelmass Episode.

As I sit here pondering the life of Emma Bovary I wonder what it must have really been like for her. She was young, younger than I am now when she died. She was curious and bright and probably would have been a great college student; passionate but with her head a little bit in the clouds. Opportunities for women in the 1850’s were, as we all know, extremely limited. I wonder if I would have fared much better than Emma if I had been as trapped as her.

I also married young, but when I realized it had been a mistake I had the option of a divorce, Emma did not. I have had the opportunity to receive a good education and to choose for myself what path my life would take. I feel very sorry for Emma. Having never been given the opportunity to discover her true self or to develop her dreams and hopes for her future, all she had to base her aspirations on were trashy romance novels. I cannot imagine what my life would be like if all of my teenage curiosity had been forced to be satisfied by nothing but Danielle Steel romance novels.

Emma strove to better herself and her situation. She wanted to reach the upper echelon of society; she wanted what we in this country refer to as the “american dream.” She wanted more than her parents had. Emma wanted to feel great love and own nice things and live in a wonderful city. These are not things that are alien to most of us. Although it may be amusing to read Woody Allen’s take on what Emma Bovary might be like if she went to modern day New York, it must also be realized that he is not completely mistaken in his ideas of her character. In a very humorous manner, Woody Allen is able to sum up Emma’s lust for life and her desire to experience and learn new things; to actually go out and live.

Perhaps a trip such as the one described in Mr. Allen’s short story would have been the thing to save Emma Bovary, although I doubt she would have ever wanted to go back to Yonville as she does in Allen’s story. Emma Bovary is an unhappy, unfulfilled woman. Emma’s tragedy is that she cannot escape her own immanence. ‘Everything including herself was unbearable to her,’ But just as her walks always lead back to the detested house, so Emma feels thrown back into herself, left stranded on her own shore (Brombert 22). She constantly strives for experience and passion, but is continually restrained by a society that did not tolerate the growth, education, and mature development of women.

Emma was fortunate to have had any education at all in her day. Brought up in convent of the Ursuline order, she had received, as they say, a good education, “as a result,she knew dancing, geography, drawing, tapestry weaving, and piano playing (Flaubert 40). These are not exactly mind expanding subjects except perhaps for the geography (no offence meant toward piano players and tapestry weavers). Unfortunately, as we discover in Emma’s case, a little education can be a dangerous thing. Once someone begins to learn they want to continue their education, so it was with Emma.

She supplemented the education of the good sisters with one of her own, the dreaded romance novels. Emma’s world has suddenly been opened to new possibilities. She now knows that there is more to life than being a nun or a farmer’s wife. Now she had learned that there could be more, there could be passion and excitement. Emma sought to learn what was really meant in life by the words “happiness,” “passion,” and “intoxication,” “words that had seemed so beautiful to her in books (Flaubert 55). Taking her jump from the romantic novels she read, Emma now strove to emulate the lives of these people who had, seemingly to her, a perfect existence or at the very least an exciting one.

This was the only avenue of excitement that had been presented to Emma, so understandably this is what she chose to pursue in life. Emma does not begin her affairs because she was a nymphomaniac, but because she was looking for excitement, she wanted to really “live” life. Emma marries Charles because she wants to get off the farm. Her father also wants to get her married off. Monsieur Roualt considered Emma to be of little help around the farm. Inwardly he forgave her, feeling that she was too intelligent for farming (Flaubert 45).

Fortunately for women today if their father feels that they are too intelligent for farming, that life in the country does not suit them, they can send their daughters to college or let them move to the city and find work. For Emma there was marriage to Charles, who unfortunately for both Emma and himself, was nothing like the romantic heros she had read and fantasized about. Love seems impossible to Emma unless it appears with all the conventional signs which constitute a romantic code of love in fictions of romance (Bersani 33). Emma never realizes the depth of Charles’ love for her. Because he does not use the flowery speech of her romance novels or constantly pledge his undying love, Emma does not feel the “fireworks” that she has been reading about all these years.

It is no wonder that Emma falls for Rudolphe’s lines so easily. When Rudolphe says, “In my soul you are a Madonna on a pedestal, exalted, secure, and immaculate (Flaubert 161), Emma falls hook, line, and sinker. If Rudolphe were here in 1995 he would probably be using cheesy lines on some silly drunk girl in a bar. It is truly shameful that a grown woman was so sheltered from life that she did not know the difference between a pickup line and real love. The truly frightening thought occurs to me that there were thousands of “Emma’s” in the 1850’s; women who through oppression were forced to live out their lives never knowing who they really were or what was truth and what was false.

Emma does not have the knowledge to truly be held accountable for many of her actions. Freedom and responsibility are intertwined, you cannot have one without the other. As Emma was given virtually no freedom, it is impossible to force her to claim responsibility for the mess she creates. With almost no practical education or life experience or any decent advice it is actually a salute to Emma’s intelligence that she is able to juggle her financial problems as long as she does. Eventually, when everything comes to a head, she is forced to confront the mess she is in, both emotionally and financially. She learns that romantic ecstasy doesn’t last (Bersani 35). She is now “learning the hard way” and with no true friends to comfort or console her she is overwhelmed. Emma’s lust, her longing for money and her sentimental aspirations all become ‘confused’ in one single vague and oppressive sense of suffering.

Emma commits suicide not because of the money or Leon or Rudolphe. She kills herself because she realizes that she will never really understand life. She despairs because she is in a mess when she believes that she has done everything as she should. Emma’s hope for a baby boy sums up the female experience in 1850’s France. She hoped for a son. A man, at least, is free. He can explore passions and countries, surmount obstacles, taste the most exotic pleasures. But a woman is continually held back (Flaubert 101).

Works Cited:

Allen, Woody. Side Effects. New York: Random House, 1975.

Bersani, Leo. “Flaubert and Emma Bovary: The Hazards of Literary Fusion.” **Modern Critical Interpretations: Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1988.

Brombert, Victor. “The Tragedy of Dreams.” **Modern Critical Interpretations: Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1988.

Flaubert, Gustave. **Madame Bovary. New York: Signet Classic, 1964.

Another Cyrano De Bergerac

Every generation has its own heroes that display, what they believe to be, ideal characteristics. While each is different in their own way, many of these role models share similar qualities. Most tend to have courage, strength, compassion, or another respected trait, but this is not necessarily why they win the adoration of their followers. Cyrano De Bergerac is a perfect example of how many protagonists win our allegiance because his sensibilities will not be denied, because he lives life to the hilt, and because he is a victim of his surroundings.

If there was ever a figure who would not be denied his sensibilities, it is Cyrano. When lovers admit, “I’d die for you,” it is usually only a figure of speech. Cyrano actually crossed over enemy lines every day simply to mail love letters. He also confessed to her, “My mother made it clear that she didn’t find me pleasant to look at. I had no sister. Later, I dreaded the thought of seeing mockery in the eyes of a mistress. Thanks to you I’ve at least had a woman’s friendship, a gracious presence to soften the harsh loneliness of my life. ” When Cyrano admits, “My heart always timidly hides its self behind my mind,” the reader can instantly relate to this dilemma but it is the fact that Cyrano is able to overcome it that makes him a hero.

Not only is Cyrano filled with emotion, but he also goes out of his way to live life to the fullest. Cyrano’s introduction to the reader definitely leaves a lasting impression. Not only does he banish an actor from the theater for performing poorly, but he proceeds to recite poetry while dueling with another member of the audience. Every moment of Cyrano’s life is filled with action like this. When he was informed that one hundred men were going to kill his friend, Ligniére, he was thrilled with the idea of fighting all these men at once, and, of course, he succeeded. How could anyone not love this man who takes Carpe Diem to its most extreme form? Also, Cyrano is a victim of his surroundings. This may be the one characteristic that completely wins over the reader.

Cyrano’s most obvious flaw is his grotesque nose, but this would not be so awful if the people around him didn’t care. Knowing that he is the victim of a problem beyond his control, the reader can do nothing but sympathize with him. The epitome of this is his death. His only wish in life was to dye noble . . . by the sword, but he again he is hurt by an outside force that he had no influence over. When he says, “Fate is a great jester! I’ve been struck down, but from behind, in an ambush, by a lackey wielding a log! I’ve been consistent to the end, I’ve failed in everything, even in my death,” the reader is completely won over.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about those we follow is that they’re human. Again, Cyrano De Bergerac is the perfect example of how a hero wins the adoration of his followers. By showing his intense feelings, living life to the fullest, and still remaining human, he is able to win the heart of almost any reader. Heroes have changed a lot over the years. When one looks at napoleon they are hardly reminded of John Lennon. While different generations find different qualities to be noble, there are some heroes, like Cyrano, who will be loved for all time.

Cyrano de Bergerac: Book Report

Cyrano de Bergerac was written by Edmond Rostand and translated by Brian Hooker. It tells the story of a man named Cyrano with a long nose. Cyrano is in love with a woman named Roxane. However, Roxane loves Christian and asks Cyrano to teach Christian how to write about love. Cyrano helps Christian win Roxane. The story takes place in Paris, France. It is during the time of the French war against Spain. It starts at the Hotel de Bougogue. Then, in Act 2, it is at Rageaneau’s Bakery. Act 3 is at Roxane’s balcony and Act 4 takes place at the scene of a battle.

Act 5 is 15 years later at a convent. The story begins at the Hotel de Bougogue. Cyrano goes to and climbs on a stage inside the Hotel. Cyrano insults 48 people including the Marquis. He duels a man named Valvert and kills him. Cyrano also hears news that a friend would be killed that night. Next, Cyrano goes to his friend’s house and saves him by fighting off over a dozen men. Cyrano then hears news that Roxane wants to meet him at Rageaneau’s Bakery.

The next day Cyrano goes to Rageaneau’s Bakery and meets Roxane. She tells Cyrano that she loves Christian. He promises that he will help teach Christian. Cyrano also is known as a hero because he saved his friend and fought off over a dozen men. Cyrano meets Christian and tells him that he will help him win Roxane. The next night, Cyrano and Christian meet at Roxane’s balcony. However, Christian refuses to take a letter Cyrano wrote for him to give to Roxane. Christian tries to explain to Roxane that he loves her but she gets mad at him.

Cyrano then helps Christian win a kiss at her balcony by telling him what to say to Roxane. DeGuiche is a general who hates Christian and Cyrano. He sends them both to war the next day. During the war the French are starving to death. Christian does not feel well. Every day Cyrano writes and sends a letter to Roxane from Christian. Roxane sneaks into the tent and brings food to Christian and Cyrano. At this point the Spanish attack and Christian is shot. When Roxane finds out she faints.

Christian had one letter in his pocket for Roxane. She always keeps the letter in a pouch. Fifteen years later Roxane is at a convent. Cyrano visits her every week. One day Cyrano is hit over the head with a log. LeBret, a friend of Cyrano’s, spots him and carries him up to his room. Then Cyrano goes and meets Roxane. He tells her that he wrote the letters for Christian. Next, Cyrano falls and dies at her feet. Cyrano was a strong man and poet. He was strict, but kind and had a very determined attitude.

He was scared to tell Roxane that he loved her because he had a big nose. He was a friend to Christian and Rageaneau. He found out that Roxane would love him even if he was ugly. However, this information was given to him too late. He stood up to many nobles and was not scared of them. Cyrano had the gift of knowing how to express himself. Christian was a handsome man who had difficulties explaining to people how he felt. Christian was intelligent. He had a powerful determination and was strong. He loved Roxane and was a good friend to Cyrano. He looked up to Cyrano.

Christian tried to help Cyrano win Roxane but he died before he could tell her. Roxane was a kind hearted woman who wanted a handsome man who was intelligent and could explain himself to her. She wanted to have Cyrano as a good friend and did not know that he loved her. She was a pleasant companion for Cyrano, but loved Christian. She enjoyed talking about love. Cyrano de Bergerac is a story that teaches you not to be worried about your appearance above everything else.

It also teaches that you should take a chance sometimes, and tell people the way you really feel, even if you are afraid to. Cyrano was scared to tell Roxane that he loved her because he was ugly. When he was dying he found out that she would love him even though he was ugly Cyrano de Bergerac was an interesting story. It was a heroic comedy broken into 5 acts. The story is suspenseful and romantic. Some of the jokes in the story were funny. Overall, it was an excellent book to read.

Cyrano de Bergerac: Movie Review

The story of Cyrano de Bergerac is about a tragic love triangle it has effectively been told using a number of techniques including the Themes that arise, the Atmosphere of the film, and the Characters in the film.

Love, passion, friendship, hate, jealously loyalty and death are all universal themes that arise in the film. The Themes are twisted around the characters almost like obstacles in the sense that the characters must overcome their own inner fears and accomplish the issues and challenges that they face. In Cyrano de Bergerac a lot of the themes revolve around himself and Roxanne.

Cyrano’s deep love for Roxanne and her love for Christian is the major theme in the film, then there is Cyrano writing poetic letters to Roxanne about Christians love for her, but deep down Cyrano is actually expressing his own feelings. He feels more comfortable writing his emotions than he does expressing them in person because he is ashamed of his oversized nose. The themes help to tell the story by presenting some conflict creating entertainment making the viewer keen to see what happens next.

The Atmosphere adds to the feeling of the film, being set in a village in France with cobblestone streets and beautiful old buildings that reflect the period dress and protocol. This then creates a wonderful backdrop for love, romance, intrigue and tragedy. The setting gives the characters an area to move around in which allows them the freedom to interact with each other and successfully portrey their emotions. The setting is very realistic because it is recognized to fit the era of the film, Beautifully dressed people everyone well manicured and very proper, correct vocabulary and language.

Lighting is a big portion of the atmosphere of the film. It is mostly a more natural light provided by the sunshine coming through a high windows or the time of day in the village. This then creates different effects on the moods and emotions on the people involved. The light is separated into darkness, gloomy, light and cheery this represents change, comparison between the differences between good and evil. Lighting has a big contribution because it is like the back up of the setting helping to bring out all the life and mysteries of the characters surrounding their mood and the dialog.

Music contributes to the story of Cyrano de Bergerac because of the style of music used. It is 16th century classical, which really brings out that contemporary feel and the date of the settings. The music is usually suitable towards the themes and issues presented. All these components create the Atmosphere of Cyrano De Bergerac helping to tell the story by putting emphasis on the surroundings and mood.

The Characters of Cyrano De Bergerac help to tell the story by appearing to the audience as real. Making them feel that the film is right in front of them happening at that exact moment making it seem as if they are there and part of the story as it unravels and reveals itself. The Characters play the part of telling the story through their actions and lines. They in a way are the story because they are acting it out and performing it.

The Characters personality, characteristics and situation help the audience associate with the story and become amazed and entrapped with the occurring events. The Characters develop relationships that are new and exciting these relationships build up the story making it a complex web of conflict. The story becomes exciting to watch and helps to keep a tight grip on the audience.

All these elements are keys in telling he story. This reflects on the life, times and feelings of the era, which the film is situated, in this case the story of Cyrano de Bergerac. The audience not only sees the emotions of the characters on screen, they actually interpret and feel these emotions in their own way. Cyrano de Bergerac is a film with certain goals to achieve and complete. It has specific moments for different emotions including jealousy, when Cyrano finds out Roxanne loves Christian, despair, when Christian dies in battle leaving Roxanne depressed and deeply hurt, true love, when Cyrano rehearses his last letter to he before he dies. These sections contribute to addressing the themes, the atmosphere and the characters. Each of these points are very important because they help the viewer to understand and recognize the techniques used in the film. All of the elements put together to create the film bring the storyline together and complete the film.

Cyrano de Bergerac, the Play vs. Roxanne, the Movie

In an effort to attract the audience of today, the producers of the movie Roxane retold the play Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rustond in a way that is appropriate and at the same time appealing. In order to give the audience of today a story that they can understand and relate to, the producers have adjusted and manipulated the play itself. As a result, several similarities and differences exist between the play Cyrano de Bergerac and its movie reproduction.

The characteristics of a romantic hero in Rustonds time is not equivalent to the characteristics of a romantic hero today. In the play for example, Cyrano, a very ugly, old, yet intellectual man who loved Roxane, his cousin, with all his heart and soul was unable to profess his love for fear that she will have rejected him because of his looks. Enter Christian in the story, a young, average, yet handsome individual who also loved Roxane. The two made a pact with each other to create Roxanes image of a perfect romantic heroone that was breath-takingly handsome and at the same token, smart in a fun and interesting way.

Together they charmed Roxane and she ultimately fell in love with Cyranos enchanting personality and Christians captivating appearance. Cyrano is portrayed as a great romantic hero because he died in silence to honor his friendship with Christian. When all the while he could have accumulated enough courage to pronounce his love for Roxane. During his life of silence, Cyrano looked after Roxane when Christian died in the war. Everyday for fifteen years he would go to the convent, where she stayed because of her vow to Christian, and recite to her the local news.

In this manner, he has proven himself worthy to the title of a romantic hero during Rustonds time. On the other hand, someone in Cyranos position in the present would not have neccessarily kept his secret for that long. Eventually, that someone would probably approach the person that they were in love with and declared their love. Just as Charlie in the movie, the equivalent of Cyrano in the play, was about to tell Roxane that it was him who wrote the letters illustrating his love for her with his alluring and sincere words, before she had found out for herself.

For this reason, the majority of people today would appeal to the movie more than the play. Aside from the obvious fact that the play was set in a sophisticated, more actively virtuous, and far less technologically-advanced period of time than the movies present time, is the distinct contrast of the two versions endings. During Rustonds time, his audience prefered stories with a much more dramatic part for the romantic hero, Cyrano. At the time, Cyrano dying for honor and dignity was much more admired than if he were to reveal the truth about himself and Christian to Roxane, and then living “happily ever after” with her.

On the contrary is the story of Roxane, the movie. Today, people would much prefer a happy ending with the hero/ heroine finishing first and uniting with their “damsel” in distress. Similarities exist in both the play and movie through peoples fascination of each other. Cyrano in the play and Charlie in the movie both value talent and personality in a person, and yet they cant help to also add appearance on to the list. Cyrano was in love with Roxane from the very beginning when they were young and playing pretend with each other. He adored her friendly and mother-like personality.

However, the adult Roxane also attracted him to her because he thought she was the loveliest girl he had ever seen. In the same fashion, Charlie fell in love with Roxane the minute he laid his eyes on her. When he found out later on how incredibly smart and great to be around she was, he fell in love with her even more than before. The minor difference between Charlie and Cyrano is that although they both loved Roxane, they fell in love with her personality and looks at different times. Furthermore, the admiration for both Cyrano and Charlie is credited to their grand gestures.

They sacrificed themselves for a good cause. Cyrano is respected by his by Rustonds audience because, (1) he had given up all of his money to refund the crowd watching a play at the beginning, and (2) lied to Christian about how Roxane chose Christian over him so that Christian could die happy. Charlies job as a firemen makes him also respected in our time because he risked his life to save others, animals or humans. As a result of Christian in both the play and the book, Roxane and Cyrano (a.k.a. Charlie) are unable to be together immmediately or at all.

His looks persuaded Roxane that he was right for herboth his looks and false personality. Christians fears to approach Roxane as himself pushes Cyrano and Charlie to help him in order to transfer the words of love from their hearts to Roxane. In the play, Christian served as a permanent barrier for Cyranos and Roxanes happiness because Cyrano refused to say that he loved Roxane up until his death to honor his friendship with Christian. Although Christian served as an obstacle in the movie, the block for Cyranos and Roxanes happiness was only temporary.

At the end of the movie, Christian decided to go to Reno with one of Roxanes friend. Therefore, Cyrano and Roxane were finally able to come together when Cyrano had finally told Roxane the truth. All in all, Christian was a barrier to the coming together of Roxane and Cyrano immediately or at all. Overall, Cyrano de Bergerac interested the people of Rustonds time because Cyrano reflected their views of a true romantic herosomeone who was willing to sacrifice the profession of his love to honor his friendship with Christian. The ending of the story was very dramatic and much respected as well as expected. On the other hand, Roxane got people of todays attention because its plot was more light-hearted as a whole and ended with the hero living “happily ever after”.

Cyrano de Bergerac: Summary

The story begins at the Hotel de Bourgogne in the year 1640. Christian de Neuvillette attends the theater with a man called Ligniere in hopes that this man can identify the woman he has fallen in love with. Ligniere identifies the beautiful lady as Roxane, cousin to Cyrano de Bergerac. Christian also finds out from Ligniere that Count de Guiche is in love with her as well. Ligniere told Christian that he made a song that told of de Guiches scheme to get Roxane and that de Guiche probably hated him for it.

Ligniere leaves and heads out to a tavern while Cristian stares up at Roxane. In the mean time, a thief had been approaching Christian to make an attempt at stealing from him. When Christian reaches into his pocket he finds a hand. The thief makes a deal with Christian and tells him that Ligniere was going to die that night because he insulted a powerful person with a song. The thief told Christian that a hundred men were posted. Chrisian rushes off to every tavern in town to leave a message for his friend.

Ragueneau, a baker, watches for Cyrano. Cyrano had told Montfleury not to appear onstage for a month, yet Montfleury appeared onstage anyway. Cyrano shows up and interrupts the play. He forces Montfleury to leave the stage and in the process of doing so he insults forty-eight people. Valvert insults Cyrano by making a remark about his nose so they duel. While dueling, Cyrano recites a ballade he created and wins the duel. Everyone was delighted and congratulated him.

Cyrano confides with his friend Le Bret that he is in love with his cousin Roxane. Le Bret advises Cyrano that he should tell Roxane his feelings because there was no better time than now to tell her his feelings after she witnessed his bravery. Cyrano declined because he felt that she could never love him because of his nose.

Roxanes duenna visits Cyrano to tell him that Roxane wished to see him in private. Cyrano sets the meeting up at Ragueneaus shop at seven oclock. Cyrano forgot his sadness and became giddy with excitement. He was interrupted though by Ciugy who brought Ligniere and Brissaille with him. Ligniere read aloud a note that he had been given that warned him he was in danger. Cyrano set out to confront the assassins with a crowd of people to watch.

The next part in the story takes place at Ragueneaus bakery. Ragueneau is a poet and congratulates Cyrano for his duel in verse. Cyrano anxiously awaited the arrival of Roxane. Cyrano decided to write Roxane a letter telling her how he felt about her but was unsure how to give it to her. He finally decided he would give it to her in person. In the meantime a group of poets enter the shop and greet Ragueneau. They discuss that the night before, a man killed eight men by himself. They asked Cyrano if he knew the hero but he told them he didnt. The poets forget about the topic and go on to eating free pastries.

Roxane and her duenna enter the shop. In order to obtain privacy, Cyrano fills three bags full of pastries and tells the duenna to go outside and not to come inside until she finishes the treats. Roxane tells Cyrano she has fallen in love with Christian. Christian was joining the Guards as a Cadet and she wanted Cyrano to protect him from the Gascons. Cyrano agrees to protect him and Roxane thanks him. After she left, Captain Carbon de Castel-Jaloux enters along with thirty Cadets. Soon, huge crowds of people show up as well, all to congratulate Cyrano on the winning against all the men the night before when he set off with a crowd.

Christian shows up as Cyrano starts to tell his story. A Cadet approaches him and tells him he is a sickly northerner. Another Cadet goes on to tell him that he should never mention Cyranos nose or he would end up dead. In order to prove himself to the Cadets he goes on to make fun of Cyranos nose. Cyrano finds out who he is so he did nothing and tried to ignore him but Christian kept on until Cyrano could not take it anymore. He orders everyone to wait outside and then tells Christian about Roxane. Christian makes it aware to Cyrano that he was not good at writing so Cyrano gives him the letter that he had written for Roxane earlier. The crowd enters the shop to find Christian alive and hugging Cyrano. A Musketeer tried to joke on Cyranos nose but receives a slap in the face.

The next part of the story occurs mostly at Roxanes balcony during the night. Ragueneau is having a dicussion with the duenna about how he became ruined. His wife ran away with a Musketeer and the poets that were always at his shop ate everything he had. He tried to kill himself because he felt hopeless but Cyrano saved him and gave him a job as Roxanes steward. The duenna tells Ragueneau that Roxane and herself would be attending the dicourse on Tender Passion. Before they could leave they heard music approaching. It was Cyrano and two pages that he had won in a bet. Roxane talks to Cyrano about Christian and how well he wrote.

De Guiche approaches the house and Cyrano hides inside at Roxanes request. De Guiche tells Roxane that he is leaving to go to war and that The Guards were being sent too. Roxane tricks De Guiche into letting the Cadets stay home because she didnt want Christian to get hurt. After De Guiche left, Roxane and the duenna went to hear the discourse.

Christian and Cyrano meet in order for Christian to learn his lines from Cyrano. Christian tells Cyrano that he wanted to talk to Roxane with his own words. When Roxane comes out, Christian disappoints her by speaking without eloquence so she left him and went inside. Christian became upset and begged Cyrano to help him win Roxane back. Cyrano finally agrees and tells Christian what to say as they went along. Roxane noticed that Christans speech was faltering and asks him why. Cyrano decided to take over completely and speaks in a low voice so Roxane would still think it was Christian. Roxane also noticed the difference in his voice but Cyrano was able to play it off.

Christian interrupted when Cyrano was talking and asked Roxane for a kiss. Roxane was shocked and tried to cover for it but Roxane wanted the kiss. They were soon interrupted by a capuchin looking for Roxanes house. Cyrano points him off in the wrong direction so they would not be disturbed. Roxane asks for the kiss so Christian climbs up the balcony and kisses her. Once again the capuchin approached the house so Cyrano acted like he just showed up and interrupted Christian and Roxane. Roxane decided to go down to Cyrano and sees the capuchin.

He had a letter from Dev Guiche that said the capuchin that carried the letter was stupid and illiterate and that he was hiding in a monestary instead of going to war. It also said that he was going to visit her soon. After she read the letter to herself she decided to read it aloud, but as a different version. Her version said that she had to marry Christian even though she hated him. They were going to get married that night.

Cyrano had the task of stalling De Guich for fifteen minutes when he came to see Roxane. Cyrano decided on a plan and climbed up a tree to wait for De Guiche. De Guiche approaches Roxanes door wearing a mask, which impaired his vision. Cyrano pretends to fall as if from high up and acts stunned. De Guiche is shocked and confused. Cyrano told him that he fell from the moon and asked him what country he was in. De Guiche thinks that the man is a maniac. Cyrano refused to let De Guiche pass and kept telling him he fell from the moon.

Cyrano finally gets his attention by telling him that he invented six ways to get to the moon. De Guiche becomes enthralled in the ideas and Cyrano slowly leads him away from the house. After Cyrano tells him all about the ways to get to the moon he tells De Guiche that Roxane and Christian had gotten married while they had been talking. De Guiche finally realizes that he had been talking to Cyrano and that he had been tricked. De Guiche then told Roxane that her husband would be leaving her because he had to go to war. Roxane was devastated and made Cyrano promise that he would make sure Christian wrote often. Cyrano agreed.

The next location in the story is in the Cadets camp. Everyone was starving and felt helpless. Cyrano didnt pay attention to his hunger and kept himself busy. He wrote to Roxane twice a day and crossed enemy lines in order to mail the letters. When De Guiche approached their tent, the men pulled out card and dice and pretended to be having fun. De Guiche announced that the attack would be in an hour. While they still had time before they had to attack, Cyrano gives Christian a letter he wrote so that if Christian died, Roxane would have a final letter that poured his heart out to her.

Cyrano had cried when he wrote the letter and stained the paper. After Christian takes the letter a carriage pulls up with Roxane in it. Roxane steps out and tells Christian and Cyrano that she intended to stay through the attack. Roxane then reveals that she brought food for the all of the Cadets. The men gorged themselves on the elegant food that was well hidden throughout the carriage and even disguised as parts of the carriage.

The driver of the carriage turned out to be Ragueneau who was the man that made the feast for them. When the men heard De Guiche approach they hid all the food under hats and coats. Sice Roxane refused to leave, De Guiche decided to stay and fight with the Cadets. Since he showed such bravery the men decide to let him eat with them. De Guiche refused to eat their leftovers and decided he would rather go hungry.

While De Guiche showed Roxane around the camp, Cyrano pulled Christian aside and told him not to be surprised if Roxane talked about all the letters he wrote her. He then went on to explain that he wrote her twice a day and didnt always tell Christian that he wrote her. Before they could talk anymore, Roxane came back. Cyrano left them alone so they could have some privacy. Christian then asked her why she came to such a horrible place. She told him that she couldnt stand to be much longer without him because of his letters. She told him that she truly loved him.

At first she was only in love with him because he was handsome but now she loved him for his soul. Christian asked her if she would still love him if he was ugly and she told him she would. Christian became choked up and excused himself. He then went to Cyrano and told him that Roxane was in love with him and that he should tell her how he feels about her. Christian then told Roxane that Cyrano had something important to tell her. Before Cyrano could tell her anything, Le Bret came running up to him and told him that Christian was shot and dying. Before he died, Cyrano whispered in his ear that he told Roxane everything and she sill loved him. After he died Roxane found the letter he was carrying that was stained with blood and tears. De Guiche took Roxane to safety while Cyrano went into the battle.

The ending of the book takes place at a convent where Roxane has stayed while in mourning for fifteen years. Cyrano had visited her every Saturday since she had been there. The Duke of Grammont (formerly Count de Guiche) was visiting her as well as Le Bret. Ragueneau showed up and bade Le Bret to come with him quickly because Cyrano was unconscious with a gash in his head.

Roxane waited for Cyrano outside while she embroidered. Cyrano was late for the first time then. He acted as if nothing was wrong with him, but sister Marthe saw something was wrong with him. He told her not to tell Roxane, though. Cyrano asked Roxane if he could read the letter that Christian had on him when he died. Roxane gave him the letter and he began reading aloud. Roxane realized that Cyrano wrote that letter. She confronted him and he denied it but she knew the truth.

Le Bret and Ragueneau show up looking for Cyrano. They find him there and tell Roxane what happened. Cyrano becomes seized by some mania and goes on about how lies, compromise, prejudice, stupidity, and cowardice have robbed him of glory and love but the one thing they could never touch was his white plume.

Chronicle of a Death Foretold: Short Summary

In the novel, Chronicle of a Death Foretold by, Gabriel Marguez, the characters lack individualization and the communal values determine the events of the town. The characters in this novel only watch what happens but never try to stop it. The character’s thought that nothing evil could happen when the bishop was coming to their town. Therefore they never believed all the threats that were made toward the main character, Nasr Santiago. The communal values evolve around religious events, having family honor and virginity.

“Although the Church’s betrayal is many-sided, the bishop’s arrival symbolizes its failure most clearly.” (pg 195, Arnold Penuel). Everyone was concerned with his/her own forgiveness and being blessed by the bishop. Even the priest did not prevent the murder because of the distractions from the bishop. It seems that they did a lot of preparations, trying to please the bishop, to free themselves from the sin that was about to happen later that day.

The perfunctoriness of the people’s faith matches that of the bishop’s blessing as he passes by without stopping: ” It was a fleeting illusion: the bishop began to make the sign of the cross in the air opposite the crowd on the pier, and he kept doing it mechanically, without malice or inspiration, until the boat was out of sight” There is no explanation of why the bishop hates the town, but if he does- and passing by reveals at least indifference-such an attitude is at odds with the Christian doctrine of love and forgiveness. (pg 27, Gabriel Marquez;pg 195, Arnold Penuel)

Religion is suppose to be a positive center, but instead is something they are hypocritical about. The bishop destroys all their hope of happiness. The bishop does not follow his religion, which requires to love and forgive, instead he shows that he hates the town. Therefore by fate the town becomes evil with one murder.

Santiago’s murder resembles the crucifixion of Christ.”It looks like a stigma of the crucified Christ.” This detail fits with the impression the thers create momentarily during their attack that they are nailing Santiago to the wooden door. (pg 99, Gabreil Marguez; pg. 197, Arnold Penuel).

The circumstances that Santiago was murdered relate closely to Christ’s story. Santiago was murdered for someone else’s evil act, in other words, he was a sacrifice for the town’s sins.Despite the widespread knowledge of their intention, for a variety of reasons, not only does no one prevent the murder but virtually the whole town witnesses the gory, hair-raisingevent in the town square. (pg 189, Arnold Penuel).Both murders were thought to be just at that time, but later on some of the truth came out about whether they actually committed any crimes. Also the way Santiago was stabbed seven times shows the hostility of the body and his life.

For the autopsy, they didn’t even have a doctor look at the body but instead had Father Carmen, who did not know anything about what to do. Father Carmen had mutilated the body even more than before and after he was done, they couldn’t even tell that it was Santiago. This shows the amount of respect the Church has upon a body and its soul. As weak as their traditional values are they do provide standards to live by, but forces for change and renewal are even weaker. Their conduct revolves around negative axes; it is based on taboo morality. They have no positive center; nor is there positive leadership in the town. Unable to act, they can only react to events.(David Riesman:Arnold Penuel).

The town follows it’s old values set by the past and a hypocritical Church. They don’t know how to change nor do they want to. They have no true leader to guide them in a positive direction. This town does not prevent evil, but rather waits for evil to occur and only reacts to it. They also do not learn from their mistakes from the past.

“Showing no remorse or repentance, the twins tell Father Amador that they killed Santiago deliberately, but claim innocence because it was a matter of honor. ” (pg. 199, Gabreil Marguez). The code of honor is a very important principal that the town lives by. This code of honor is the basis of this murder. The twins only committed a crime to restore their family honor. They felt that they had not done anything wrong because they were just trying to keep their family honor.

Bayordo’s code of honor was very strict. He had made sure that he would be respected in the town, therefore he bought a big house and had a spectacular wedding. On his wedding night, when he discovered that his wife had betrayed and had lost her virginity before marriage, he took her home that very night. It was a disgrace for him to have a wife like that and also a dishonor to his family. The town believed that if you violated the code of honor than you must be punished, no matter whom you are. Santiago had to die, Angela had to suffer with her mother and without the one husband she could get, for all this dishonor. The family did not know how to deal with such a problem, so they did whatever they thought was right. ” The decline of the Church’s hold on the townspeople’s imagination underlies their ambivalence, with regard to the cult of virginity and the code of honor.”(pg. 195, Arnold Penuel)

“The juxtaposition of a marriage without love and the love of virginity reveals yet another facet of the decadence of the ideal of virginity.”(pg 191, Arnold Penuel). Bayardo was looking for a wife that he thought would be pure, that is the only reason why he wanted to marry Angela. There was never any love between them and it was easily seen. They had never spoken to each other about any of their interests, they just got married upon a attraction. He tried to substitute the love by his wealth; he bought the biggest home in town and he had the biggest wedding. That was the tragedy for Bayardo, because he was going to each town to find a pure wife and when he finally finds one, she is not pure at all.

After this mistake of judging women to be pure, he never marries again, afraid that his wife will not be pure. Later on Angela becomes a virgin all over again, she begins to deeply love Bayardo, and only lives for him to return to her. Virginity is a big cult in the code of honor and whomever that goes against this cult must suffer, unfortunately the sinner was not Santiago but was Angela. In a way Angela also died, but was reborn later on for the love of Bayardo.

This novel shows the lack of Church and love can destroy a town, and someone has to die for it. One character gives that love and nourishment that was needed, Maria Cervantes, she comforted the town, not just sexually but as a mother. She made sure everyone was okay and listened to their problems and gave them advice. This town can never grow into something positive because they need a strong Church and one that is not hypocritical. The people need to change their old stubborn ways and survive. This town only lives by two main things, Code of honor and Virginity. This town will never survive. They lack the strength to make their own minds and they will suffer from the communal values set hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

Bridge to Terabithia: Short Review

Bridge to Terabithia is set in rural Virginia in the mid-1970’s. The story revolves around characters; the Aarons, the Burkes, the students and faculty in the elementary school. Jess Aaron, is one of the central characters. He has four sisters, two older and two younger leaving him in the middle. Brenda and Ellie are the older teenage sisters that have a strong bond with their mother and dont pay much mind to Jess.

Joyce Ann and May Belle are his little sisters that look up to Jess. Mr. Aarons is always away from home working in a city nearby leaving Mrs. Aarons to hold many of the responsibilities. Since she believes in the men taking care of the men jobs Jess always has work to do in place of his father. The girls never seem to have to do any work and Jess feels he is unappreciated and the black sheep of the family.

The Burkes move from Washington D. C to rural Virginia. They are well off and move to the area to re-evaluate their family values. Leslie is the other main character who is looking for a sense of belonging and friendship. Bill and Judy are here parents that are writers. They are consumed with their work and dont pay much attention until their book is completed. Jess and Leslie attend the same Elementary school where they become friends resulting from a race that Leslie won.

The two become inseparable and have a special place in the woods called Terabithia. To get to their perfect imaginary world you must swing across the creek on a rope. The lake becomes flooded from the constant rainfall and starts to concern Jess. He continues to be quite and swing across the dangerous water since Leslie is so fearless and he doesnt want to look like he is afraid of anything.

Later, Jesss music teacher invites him to spend a day in Washington D.C. while Leslie travels to Terabithia without him and the rope breaks and she drowns. Jess returns home that night to find out that his best friend Leslie is dead. Jess goes through the emotions of grieving, angry, to upset, from this incident. A few days later he returns to Terabithia so he can place a funeral wreath for Leslie. Without Jess knowing May Belle has followed him but cries for help since she was stuck in the creek. Jess brings his sister to safety and eventually takes her to Terabithia where he will make her the new queen.

One of the many strengths of this book is the strong sense of plot. Plot is the sequence of events showing characters in action(Lukens sixth edition.) The book provides in-depth views on friendships, family structures, school life, fantasies, and death. Friendship between the two was represented with such realism. The author shown the tight bond between them in order for us to feel lose at the end of the novel. Jess didnt have much but showed how much thought he but into their friendship when it came time for Christmas. He even stated that he would buy her a television to stop the other childrens snickering. Paterson does a wonderful job of intertwine each sub-plots in supporting a powerful key plot.

The author uses sentimentality which allows the reader to feel a concern or emotion for another person. Throughout the novel we are shown the growing friendship between Jess and Leslie. We follow their adventures and mischievous acts like when the two sneak a love note into Janices desk to get revenge. As the two grow we the reader grow with them. This is why we feel empathy towards Jess when he loses his best friend. We are sensitive to the moving parts within the novel. Not only does Paterson show us friendship she also shows of death and how important and precious life really is.

I feel the novel age appropriate for boys and girls ages nine to twelve because it deals with real life situations and problems that many children find difficult to cope with. Yes we view this age group as merely children and feel they will not understand the situations but I feel we dont give them the credit they deserve. It may be on a different level of felt emotion but they are capable of feeling.

A few months back my opinion might have been different but a tragic situation has changed my mind. A very close friend of the familys son died and his little brother still living is nine years old. We were all very much afraid to speak to him about death because we didnt feel he would understand. In actuality he was well aware of death and went through the emotions we all did. He is feeling many emotions and I feel this book would be comforting to him and will recommend this book to him. Even though it is fictional he will be able to relate.
Words

Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw

Arms and the Man is one of George Bernard Shaws successfully written plays that have become predominant and globally renowned. Shaws play leads itself to two themes that people can relate to, which are the importance of war and the essentials to true love and marriage. These themes are interwoven, for Shaw believed that while war is evil and stupid, and marriage desirable and good, both had become wrapped in romantic illusions which led to disastrous wars and also to unhappy marriages.1 The theme of war applies itself into the plot within the first few pages of the melodrama, when the Bulgarians are at war with the Serbs. Romance is portrayed by the humorous and ironic relationships of Raina, Sergius and Bluntschli. Unfortunately, due to societys lack of comprehension and failing to learn from our past errors, we are destined to repeat the majority of them. Another act of ignorance found in this play is the attitude of the Petkoffs towards their material advantages and their possessions of wealth, bringing them personal superiority.
Arms and the Man is “as fresh and up-to-date today” as when Shaw first produced his play in 1894.2

War is an unfortunate condition that exists when a group feels its vital interests are at stake and seeks to impose its beliefs or control on a rival group through the use of overt force. Shaw was a socialist and an ardent pacifist.3 He did not agree to the idea of war, and he wrote about it to warn us, future generations, not to commit the same crime. The romantic view of war (he held) is based on the idealistic notation that men fight because they are heroes, and that the soldier who takes the biggest risks wins the greatest glory and is the greatest hero.4 Raina had imagined war as an exciting sport; after talking with Captain Bluntschli, one of the defeated, she now sees it as a dreadful reality.5 Sergius, too, has learned something of the realities of war, and is so disgusted by them that he has sent in his resignation, saying Soldieringis the cowards art of attacking mercilessly when you are strong, and keeping out of harms way when you are week.6 This theme of war helps Shaws Arms and the Man to continue as a fresh and current play, as it was in 1894. The battle of Slivnica was remarkable mainly for its surprise ending wherein the Bulgarians defeated the invading Serbians much more by good luck than good management, and went to ally themselves with Austrian Hungary thereby bringing World War I one small step closer.7 Many other wars have taken place since then, and yet man has still to learn that war is not the answer.

The romance in the play is portrayed by the humorous and ironic relationships of Raina, Sergius and Bluntschli. In Arms and the Man Raina Petkoff intends, at the time the play opens, to become the wife of Major Sergius Saranoff, who is then away fighting the Serbs. News has come home to Raina and her mother that Sergius has ridden bravely at the head of a victorious cavalry charge, and Raina rejoices because she can now believe that her affianced is just as splendid and noble as he looks! That the world is really a glorious world for woman who can see its glory and men who can act its romance! In the opening scene of the play, after adoring Sergius portrait, Raina goes to bed murmuring My hero! My hero! This is a romantic view of life, but then reality suddenly breaks in upon her.8 An enemy solider, Captain Bluntschli the “chocolate-cream soldier”, escaping from gunfire in the Bulgarian countryside, scales the balcony of a mountain estate and lands in the bedroom of a young woman wh…..ose father and fiancé are fighting on the front. He is desperate through exhaustion and fear, and Raina sneers at him. Nevertheless, when the pursuers come to search the house, Raina hides the fugitive and denies having seen him. She also feeds him chocolates, they are his passion; he carries them like all professional soldiers, he says into war instead of bullets. Bluntschli is Shaws affectionate parody of a Swiss pragmatist, level-headed and unemotional. It amuses Shaw to discombobulate him by placing him, initially, in a situation where his reasonableness cannot help him much. Raina no longer thinks of war as a romantic game, nor does she any longer think of marriage as the mating of a beautiful heroine and a ornamental and fickle Sergius. She takes as her husband the plain Bluntschli, whose common sense and six hotels in Switzerland will give her stability and comfort. The realities of love and marriage become one of the most frequent themes in Shaws plays throughout the remainder of his long life.9 The complexities of love and marriage has not changed much over the years. For example, love and relationships were just as obscure in 1894 as they are in 1998. This makes Shaws play recent and the issues it deals with are understandable.

Shaw believed that it was foolish to act as though the possession of wealth, or any other material advantages, is a sign of personal superiority. People may not any longer think it impressive to have an electric bell in the house, but there are countries nowadays where families with television sets and motor cars feel just as stupidly proud as the Petkoffs did with their bell and library.10 Many people world-wide today consider themselves above others and look down on those with less materialistic possessions, as if they were inferior. Having more materialistic possessions and wealth does not necessarily mean it will bring you happiness, this is not the reality of life at all. As a mater of fact, those with less materialistic treasures tend to live a happier and peaceful life. This is because their efforts are not concentrated on wealth but rather on family and friends who support each other. Money and wealth can control a person to become greedy and require more. It is much better to live a life of harmony and peace, blessed for what to have, than to live worrying about the things that you do not have. That is a lesson Shaw is trying to teach us. We should learn from the Petkoffs and acquire a better attitude towards life and its materialistic treasures. “If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience?” George Bernard Shaw.

Furthermore, Arms and the Man is “as fresh and up-to-date today” as when Shaw first produced his play in 1894. Shaws play leads itself to two themes that people can relate to, which are the importance of war and the essentials to true love and marriage.

The theme of war applies itself into the plot within the first few pages of the play, when the Bulgarians are at war with the Serbs. Romance is portrayed by the humorous and ironic relationships of Raina, Sergius and Bluntschli. Shaw believed that it was foolish to act as though the possession of wealth, or any other material advantages, is a sign of personal superiority. Moreover, Arms and the Man is a successful play and will continue to prosper due to the nature of its themes, war and romance being contemporary with todays society. Perhaps Shaw’s best ability might have been his ability to attract attention to himself, his ideas, and his works. This ability never failed him.

Anna Karenina – Part 2 Chapter 3

In part two chapter three, Kittys broken heart causes her health to decline. There is a moment in this part of the story that Tolstoy adds to show that money and social status should not be the reasons for marriage. Kitty realizes this when she finds out about Anna and Vronsky. Kitty has something that sets her apart from the other women in her family, pride. Her pride makes her different from her sisters and her mother in that she does not want to marry someone that she does not love and vice versa. What she says tells the reader that she will not put up with adultery. This particular moment occurs between Kitty and her sister Dolly while they are having a conversation about what is making her ill and how she should be cured. The moment begins when Darya Alexandrovna brings up Levins name,

The mention of Levins name seemed to deprive Kitty of the last vestige
of self-control. She leaped up from her chair, and flinging her clasp
on the ground, she gesticulated rapidly with her hands and said: why
bring Levin in too? I cant understand what you want to torment me for.
Ive told you, and I say it again, that I have some pride, and never, NEVER
would I do as youre doing – go back to a man whos deceived you, who
has cared for another woman. I cant understand it! You may, but I cant!
When Kitty says this she hurts her sister, but Dolly probably understands and agrees with what her sister is saying.

In this scene she speaks of having pride and says that she could never go back to someone who has betrayed her. This shows that she is destined to be different than the rest of the women in her family and society also. She sees what her sister is going through with her cheating husband and the humiliation that she must suffer because of him. When she says I have some pride, she is telling her sister that she will not put herself in the position to have to endure the humiliation that she has. This makes Kitty a stronger person than most characters in the book. She knows whom she should marry according to society and her mother, but she will not go through with it if it means living like Dolly.

This is also the moment at which she realizes that she has made a colossal mistake in turning down Levins marriage proposal. The last thing she needed to be reminded of in this instant was that she has turned away from someone who loves her beyond words and who is also someone that she cared deeply about. We know she cannot bear the thought of this when Tolstoy says, The mention of Levins name seemed to deprive Kitty of the last vestige of self-control. She probably feels that Levin may not want her anymore and that her chance of happiness has been lost because of her misjudgment of Vronskys character. Little does she know that because of her pride she will have a happy, adultery-free marriage in the end.

One may see this minor moment as merely a poor young girl trying to overcome a broken heart, but it has much more meaning than that. This is a moment in which the youngest of three sisters refuses to lead her life as the women of her family in the past have. Their way of life is to marry whomever your parents and society sees fit, regardless of the absence of love. Kitty has feelings for both Vronsky and Levin and at first chooses Vronsky because of reasons that were instilled in her by the women in her society.

She knows that Levin genuinely loves her and it breaks her heart to break his heart but she feels it is her duty to marry someone like Vronsky. In Part one chapter 15, after she has refused Levins proposal, she contents herself only by thinking of Vronsky, She vividly pictured to herself that strong manly face, that well-bred calm and the kindness toward everybody he always showed. Kitty doesnt realize at this point that Vronskys public persona is what she loves and not the real person that he is. Hes the man that deceived her into thinking that he was interested in marrying her and who will eventually get a married woman pregnant.

In conclusion, this minor moment in part two chapter three has a significant meaning to the story because Kitty is the only one who challenges society and the way that marriages should be arranged. She falls in love with Vronsky not really knowing who he is and what he is about. She refuses to give him or anyone for that matter, a second chance because she will not be humiliated in the way that so many women in her society have. Pride in her case turns out to be a good thing because she demands more out of a marriage than simply financial security and a man with high social status. She wants a marriage in which love is the most important thing that holds them together, not the fact that they have three children and society expects them to remain married because that is whats proper. Her values make her different from her sisters and mother and are what lead her to a happy marriage and life with Levin.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The world of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is a world ruled by chance. From the very opening chapters, where a watchman is accidentally run over by a train at Moscow’s Petersburg station, to the final, climactic scenes of arbitrary destruction when Levin searches for Kitty in a forest beset by lightning, characters are brought together and forced into action against their will by coincidence and, sometimes, misfortune. That Anna and Vronsky ever meet and begin the fateful affair that becomes the centerpiece of the novel is itself a consequence of a long chain of unrelated events: culminating Anna’s sharing a berth with Vronsky’s mother on her way to reconcile Dolly and Stiva in Moscow.

And yet, as an epigraph to this seemingly chaotic world of chance event, a seemingly amoral world that would seem to neither punish sin nor reward good, Tolstoy chooses a quotation that comes originally from the book of Deuteronomy’s song of Moses: “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” Originally (and somewhat narrowly) thought to refer to Anna’s final ostracism from the upper echelons of society that punish her for her misdeeds, the epigraph is the key to Tolstoy’s subtle and philosophically complex conception of morality that denies the existence of a universal and unavoidable justice and derives responsibility from the individual’s freedom to create and then bind himself to laws.

Three of the novel’s characters, Stephen Oblonsky, Constatine Levin, and Anna Karenina, all in some way connected to the Shcherbatsky family, serve to illustrate the various ways that Tolstoy’s individual can be, or fail to be, “good,” the various ways in which a character can be moral, immoral or amoral through the use of thought, or reason, to create necessity outside of the confused demands of a chaotic reality.

Tolstoy’s world is indeed a servant to chance, and the plot depends so heavily on coincidence that Anna Karenina, taking into account the many elements of Menippian satire and Socratic dialogue that are integrated into its structure, may well be considered in part a carnival novel. The steeplechase scene during which Vronsky breaks Frou-Frou’s back is a perfect example of carnivalism — the tragic yet somehow slapstick and cartoon-like injuries that befall the riders is a parody of the grand battlefield that the steeplechase is supposed to symbolize and the crowds of observers present provide the necessary “public square” that Bakhtin outlines as necessary for the second key property of carnivalism, “free and familiar contact among people,” at the racecourse occasioned by the terrible accidents that generate a swarm of rumors that pass between the spectators regardless, for once, of class and gender — in the excitement of the event, Tolstoy writes, Anna’s shriek of fear at the precise moment of Vronsky’s upset passes the notice of those surrounding her usually so keen to find something inappropriate in Anna’s relation to Vronsky.

Bakhtin’s theory of carnivalism, however, only goes so far in characterizing Tolstoy’s prose, and even though the reliance on chance as generator of events continues, the solipsistic mode of self-analysis and interpersonal distance returns almost immediately after the race is over and as the novel continues, becomes the dominant mode of ideological presentation so key to the essence of Anna’s relationship to Vronsky and to her reasons for suicide.

Stephen Oblonsky, the first character we encounter in the novel, is at home in the turbulent and unstructured world that Tolstoy depicts, and lives at ease with the often meaningless turns of fate that occur to him and others. “You wish all the facts of life to be consistent, but they never are,” he says to Levin in Part I. “You want the activity of each separate man to have an aim, and love and family life always to coincide — and that doesn’t happen either. All the variety, charm and beauty of life are made up of light and shade.”

Oblonsky is a materialist, although not in a formally philosophical way. He might better be said to be a pragmatist, or hedonist, although those labels, too, have their problems, since, as Anna remarks to Dolly, family life for him is sacred. He is not particularly religious but neither is he an intellectual such as Koznyshev or an nihilist such as Nicholas. Perhaps the best way to characterize Oblonsky is as a man who never held a coherent system of behavior, a man to whom the idea of thinking rationally about the way he lives his life would never occur.

“All the variety, charm and beauty of life are made up of light and shade.” Oblonsky’s aesthetic consciousness is devoid of the traditional ethical, religious and literary structures that man has created to understand and appreciate beauty. The poetry Oblonsky quotes when he remarks upon (and, importantly, empathizes with) Levin’s love for Kitty is more often than not misquoted, and in recalling his various adulterous escapades, he takes great pleasure in referring to the women he has loved outside of marriage using Levin’s metaphor of stealing rolls of bread. Oblonsky is far from Karenin’s dry inability to see clearly the beautiful and pleasurable in life, but yet how far also he is from Socrates and the ethical imperative of love in the Symposium, the religious eroticism of the Song of Solomon, the tortured analysis and reanalysis of Goethe’s Werther.

The two words Oblonsky yokes together with beauty are variety and charm, and beauty in life for him is just that — a rather incoherent series of inconsequential yet pleasurable encounters with a world that, through its own apparent random nature, never suggests any greater ethical obligation than to perceive and appreciate. That Oblonsky survives so intact a storyline that leaves the lives of others shattered implies that Tolstoy does not derive moral responsibility and the power to judge from nature, that he shares with Immanuel Kant the belief that the phenomenal world is separate from man and does not enter a man’s life to pass judgement upon his actions.

Oblonsky then, in the final analysis, is unconcerned with the human ability to create structures to filter and interpret experience. He is exempt from the tortures of doubt and guilt that descend upon the other characters whose experiences are intertwined with an inner moral sense. No where is this clearer than in his interactions with Levin, where his continual lack of caution and respect for language causes the love struck Levin such pain. Oblonsky’s tipsy quotations from Pushkin and Heine spoken quite innocently torment Levin, for if Oblonsky is the image of a man unconcerned with self-judgement, Levin is a man for whom structure is everything, a man who, driven by a search for moral order to place over a chaotic world that torments him (and yet pleases Oblonsky), alternately picks up and puts down different systems of morality and aesthetics in the search for truth. Levin is a man for whom words are powerful, dangerous, and sacred tools. Oblonsky’s casual and merry remark about Levin’s rival for Kitty’s affection, Vronsky, leaves Levin “desecrated.”

Perhaps one of the most famous scenes of Anna Karenina is the mowing at Levin’s estate. The first fully developed interaction between Levin and the peasant class that, at different stages of artistic development symbolized for Tolstoy the triumph of nature over the stained upper classes, the essence of Slavism that would save Russia from Europe’s fate of immolation by the intellectual class of nihilists and anarchists, and the core of a future religious utopia here appear in the narrator’s brief snatches of description in a very neutral, factual light.

Characteristic of Tolstoy’s prose is the importance of point of view, and often Tolstoy will recount the same scene from many different vantage points — even to the point of including the inner monologues of Levin’s hunting dog during a shooting outing. In the fields so prosaically presented by the narrator, Levin’s view of the peasants that work his lands is nothing short of an exalted religious experience accompanied by an intense and driven rational analysis. Here, sickle in hand, Levin confronts in archetypal and symbolic simplicity the source of his unhappiness and a vision of how it may be overcome.

The arbitrary twists and turns of the fields they mow and the uneven surface of the Earth that knock and trip the mowers are symbols of the unstructured world that Levin confronts and that is so indifferent to the intense and almost unspeakable love that draws him to Kitty. As he tears at the grass with such energy that he nearly collapses at the end of each length, next to him an old man slices easily through the thick stalks and Levin, forgetting his cares understands in that nonverbal Tolstoyan manner that peace is possible, that it is possible both to think and to live.

Nonverbal communication is for Tolstoy, as mentioned above, a major avenue through which characters interact with each other. Some scenes of interaction, notably Levin’s second proposal of marriage, occur almost entirely without words, and the intuitive understanding of someone else’s thoughts, whether occasioned by chalk marks on a leather table cover or by the subtlest nuance in someone’s eyes, in contrast to the falsehoods of social language that obscure and separate people, create a few brief and sometime ecstatic moments of “penetration” between usually separate conciousnesses, a transcending of interpersonal space. And yet words are still the tools by which, literally, men live or die. Levin’s search for structure, as mentioned above, may be considered a struggle to find a language of truth. Nowhere is this more evident than in Levin’s observation of the sky that occurs first at the end of the mowing scene and then much later in Part VIII, an example both of Levin’s development towards a language that can frame rationally what he knows intuitively to be true, and of Tolstoy’s autobiographical intent in the character of Levin.

In a conversation with the painter Kramskoy that occurred around 1875, Tolstoy remarked in answer to Kramskoy’s question what one is to believe, “Look, the sky’s cleared. It is pale blue. One has to believe that the pale blue up there is a solid vault.” Tolstoy’s phrasing occurs almost verbatim in Part XIV, Chapter XIII, when Levin thinks to himself while lying on his back and looking up at a cloudless sky, “Don’t I know that that is infinite space, and not a rounded vault? But however I may screw my eyes and strain my sight, I cannot help seeing it round and limited, and despite my knowledge of it as limitless space I am indubitably right when I see a firm blue vault.”

The precise wording is key in both quotations — both Levin’s and Tolstoy’s experience of the sky is a synthesis of reason (or, more precisely, a belief necessitated by rationality) and experience. That the sky is a blue vault in this second encounter (presumably a naive vision of a Christian heaven “in the clouds”) is not experienced directly — just as the Kierkegaardian hero must take a leap of faith and through an effort of will believe in something which is not apparent to the senses, Levin must integrate experience and reason in order to see the sky as a vault. For both Tolstoy and Kierkegaard, God never descends to Earth to demand through experience alone that men believe, and thus Oblonsky can live amorally in a world of variety and charm without retribution.

Levin’s first encounter with the vastness of blue sky occurs in Part III, Chapter XII, before he has fully understood the necessity of relating experience to his own internal belief. At the edge of perception comes a mystic change to remind Levin of his duty to reason. Abandoning his dream of marrying a peasant girl (which for Levin would have been disaster because such a marriage would have been occasioned only by the beauty of experience of peasant life and thus would have been an abandonment of the search for rational structure and an admission of defeat) he realizes that he loves Kitty.

The struggle to unify intuitive nonverbal communication with a philosophical theory necessarily framed in traditional verbal forms defines Levin’s character. Each new diversion — rational farming methods, his sociological essays on the “character of the Russian laborer” — are simply examples of Levin’s will to order. Anna Karenina, too, shares such a desire, devouring in the earlier chapters refined British novels that present experience but fail to fully frame it in reason, and in later chapters philosophical texts.

But Anna, in part due to the confining life she has lived as a female in the oppressive Karenin household, where Christianity is used to justify the suppression of feeling and Karenin uses the Bible to try to convince Anna to lie about her affections, lives by a passion so strong that it wars against the carefully constructed social world in which she lives. Anna and Levin are, for all their differences, very similar in mental construction — both seek to create a moral structure for their lives, Levin in rebellion against the amoral epicureanism of Oblonsky and the hedonistic male world of Moscow billiard halls, gambling dens, kept women and causal adultery, and Anna in rebellion against the oppressive world of Karenin who demands above all proper “form” — blind adherence to the female role in society as childbearer, sexless platonic companion, and instrument of social advancement.

The epigraph, as pointed out by Boris Eikhenbaum, was found by Tolstoy first in a passage of Schopenhauer, who by Tolstoy’s wife’s account, occupied much of Tolstoy’s reading during the years he wrote Anna Karenina. While Schopenhauer, in contrast to the more spiritual Tolstoy, was a committed atheist, he had a great influence over Tolstoy’s evolving theory of the relationship between reason and reality, epistemology and ontology. For Schopenhauer, man is free from the imposed order that other philosophers saw as arising from the nature of reality — in such a way, Oblonsky can live naively in the world and never need recourse to morality.

Yet, through use of reason, man can transcend the purely physical concerns of his life and choose to become moral and to identify moral laws. Anna must do this — without an effort of will to reason, she would never have realized how she is trapped by a social marriage into a drastically restricted life. Paralleling (although not, importantly, imitating, as happens in Flaubert’s Madame Bovary) the lives of women in fiction who break free of their situations by strength of mind, by the will to see what previously they had considered their necessary duties as falsehoods, she creates her own moral necessity — to be honest about her adulterous love of Vronsky to Karenin, and to embrace the difficult life of a woman who elevates the ideal of consummated romantic love above that of convenient social marriage.
Yet this very act that frees her also dooms her. In destroying the false idol of social order she must necessarily adopt a new set of rules. “Vengeance is mine: I will repay.”

Schopenhauer, in his text The World as Will and Representation makes a distinction between punishment, which can only occur in the context of a society greater than the individual, and vengeance. Punishment is directed towards the future, and attempts to correct the individual’s actions to make them confirm to a certain system of laws held in common. Vengeance is dependent only upon the actions of the past, which may be seen in the Faulknerian sense of the past remaining in a new form in the present, and requires only the individual. Anna has not, as has been said, been punished by the upper class society in which she once lived — although her “social death” when she attempts to reenter Moscow life after her prolonged absence was painful to her, the people from which she was estranged are far from her thoughts during the last moments of her life.

The original source of the quotation, Deuteronomy, implies that God’s judgement, “eternal justice,” will correct the injustices committed by the imperfect societies of man on Earth. In Schopenhauer’s partly solipsistic conception, it implies that man lives and dies by the structures he places on the world. For Tolstoy, it performs a similar function — Anna makes an Faustian pact to free herself and to be defined by desire (paralleling Schopenhauer’s idea that freedom comes in definiting oneself in terms of freely chosen laws), and when Vronsky’s attentions begin to waver, her world falls apart according to the same logic as it opened up, as the belief that love brings life shows its corollary, that the absence of love brings death. Anna’s complete abandonment to her self-determined morality in denial of the pressures of reality shows in the interior monologue at the track a few moments before her suicide: “…a whole series of girlish and childish memories … broke, and life showed itself to her for an instant with all its bright past joys. But she did not take her eyes of the wheels.” Anna is immovable in the face of the purely pleasurable and uninterpreted aspects of life — “girlish delights” — that are Oblonsky’s daily bread.

Anna is thus a tragic hero in the strict Aristotelian sense of being destroyed by the logical evolution of her personality. Yet it is also true that Tolstoy resists the tragic form in the overall structure of his novel by continuing into Part VIII and into Levin’s life after Anna’s death. While Anna fails to sustain a life centered in “romantic morality,” the Goethian ideal of complete devotion, not to the loved one, but the condition of being in reciprocal love itself, Levin finds, at the end of the novel, a way to live that transcends the demands of reality. In the folk culture of the peasants that he encountered near the very beginning of the novel, he finds the peasant Theodore who understands Levin’s need to leave the mundane, to live not for his belly, but for “Truth,” a goodness that is beyond the chain of cause and effect that so binds the other characters in the novel — Dolly, for example, who, unable to apply reason outside of pragmatic thought to her life, continues to live, pathetically, with her unfaithful husband.

Women In Shakespeare Writings

Often in literature, parallels are used to accentuate certain things. William Shakespeare utilizes this tool in both The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Nights Dream. In both of these comedic plays, there is a set of women who are at odds with each other. These relationships can be compared and contrasted in different aspects. In Shakespeare’s, “The Taming of the Shrew” the relationship between the sisters Katherine and Bianca appears to be strained with rampant jealousy.

Both daughters fight for the attentions of their father. In twisted parallel roles, they take turns being demure and hag-like. Father of the two, Baptista Minola, fusses with potential suitors for young Bianca and will not let them come calling until his elder, ill-tempered daughter Katherine is married. The reader is to assume that meek, mild-mannered, delicate Bianca is wasting away while her much older, aging, brutish sister torments the family with her foul tongue.

Katherine seems to hold resentment toward Bianca. Her father favors Bianca over Katherine and keeps them away from eachothers’ torment. When gentlemen come calling, Bianca cowers behind her father and Katherine speaks up for herself. “I pray you sir, is it your will to make a stale of me amongst these mates?” (1.1.57-58) Bianca and Katherine dislike each other feverishly. Katherine torments Bianca with words and physical harm. She binds her hands, pulls her hair then brings her forth to her father and the gentlemen callers.

Bianca denies liking any of the visitors and portrays herself an innocent that merely wants to learn and obey her elders. She says, “Sister, content you in my discontent to your pleasure humbly I subscribe. My books and instruments shall be my company, on them to look and practise by myself.” (1.1.80-84) Because Katherine speaks freely and asserts herself she is labeled as “shrewish.” When Hortensio describes her to Petruccio, he spouts that she is “renowned in Padua for her scolding tongue.” ( 1.2.96)

He gilds the lily further by explicitly telling of her fair fortune if suitable man comes courting and wins her hand in marriage. Petruccio sees dollar signs and rushes forth in grand dress and eloquent mannerisms to court the gracious “Kate.” When he first begins his ritual of winning the family and Katherine to his love, he is seeking his fortune in her dowry. The mention of her being at all undesirable does not put rocks in his path. He speaks of “One rich enough to be Petruccio’s wife, as wealth is burden of my wooing dance be she as foul as was Florentius’ love, as old as Sibyl, and as curst and shrewd as Socrates’ Xanthippe or a worse, she moves me not or not removes at least affection’s edge in me, were she as rough as are the swelling Adriatic Seas.” (1.2.65-71)

Petruccio comes calling for the older sister, and Bianca in turn sneaks about with Lucentio who is dressed in scholars clothing. They pretend to be working on Latin and fool her father with disguises and books while romancing the entire time. Katherine is honest in her words and deeds. She does not wish to be teased or tormented and flees from Petruccio’s twisted words. Kate and Bianca trade roles at this time and the dainty, controlled sister is Kate. The bolder, out-spoken Bianca woos her Lucentio in the courtyard of the Minola home. At the Sunday wedding gathering of Petruccio and Katherine, the groom grabs the reins of control and demands that he and his bride leave the festivities before they have begun.

He offers Bianca and Lucentio the bedroom and party that they must leave behind. This symbolizes the transfer of attitude in the two sisters. Kate has to follow her new husband out of the home and leaves Bianca free roam over the wedding party. When the sisters are brought together again, it is at the wedding festivities of Bianca and Lucentio as well as the Widow and Hortensio. Katherine is called a “shrew” yet again by the Widow and Bianca flirts openly with Petruccio. The three new brides leave the dining table and make for the sitting room with the other women.

The three men are left to discussion and after dinner music. Petruccio offers a wager against the thought that the wives in turn should come to their husbands when called. The Widow and Bianca are foul and refuse to come seeking their husbands and throw out the servant both times. When Katherine is called to come to her husband she does so with grace and quiet obedience. She is then asked to bring forth the two disobedient wives. During this entire play the label of “shrew” is misplaced with dear Kate and should be rightfully placed in the lap of Bianca.

Kate brings out the two women and scolds them while maintaining her own dignity and elegant grace. She shows them that indeed her husband got the better end of the marriage contract. At this Petruccio kisses his Kate in front of everyone and they leave the gaping mouths of the crowd. In Shakespeares A Midsummer Nights Dream, Hermia and Helenas relationship changes greatly after the intervention of Puck with the love potion. Once best friends, they have become each others enemies, and all for the love of Lysander and Demetrius. Hermia and Helena were best friends when they were at school. All school-days friendship, childhood innocence? (3. 2. 201)

They had complete trust in each other, telling each other their deepest secrets. Is all the counsel that we two have shared, The sisters vows, the hours that we have spent, (3. 2. 198  199) They worked together on everything they did including sewing and singing. Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion, Both warbling of one song, both in one key, (3. 2. 205  206) To some people, Helena and Hermia became the same person, saying the same things, thinking the same thoughts and having the same morals and principles. As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds Had been incorporate.

So we grew together, (3. 2. 207-208) Behaving in the same way, they spent as much time as possible together. This time passed quickly, whilst the time spent apart was slow and seemed pointless. When we have chid the hasty-footed time For parting usO, is all forgot? (3. 2. 200  201, Helena) Although Helena and Hermia were two separate people, they were, a union in partition, compared to a double cherry. Two lovely berries moulded on one stem. (3. 2. 211) Their friendship was so strong that they seemed to be connected, the same person in two different bodies.

So with two seeming bodies, but one heart, (3. 2. 212) This had lasted all their lives until the intervention of Lysander and Demetrius. The strong friendship between Helena and Hermia quickly disintegrated when they became involved with the two men. The love potion was meant to help, but Pucks mistake managed to completely reverse the relationship. When both Demetrius and Lysander were under the influence of the love-in-idleness flower, Helena believed that both were mocking her. You both are rivals and love Hermia And now both rivals, to mock Helena. (3. 2.155 -156) When Hermia seems to take the same attitude, even though she doesnt know whats going on, Helena accuses her of betraying all women by entering into it. Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it, (3. 2. 218)

Helena and Hermia quickly enter into a massive argument, accusing each other of stealing their love. You thief of love. What, have you come by night And stolen my loves heart from him? (3. 2. 283  284) Their childhood friendship is forgotten in an instant, completely torn apart by the two men. It is not the love potion, which has had this effect on the women directly; it is the performance of the two men, arguing over Helena who have caused the break up. This exhibition of feelings upsets and confuses both Helena and Hermia. Hermia feels cheated, and Helena is the first person she can find to blame. O me, you juggler, you canker-blossom, (3.2.282)

Helena, however, thinks everything is some kind of cruel trick against her, and remains slightly calmer than Hermia. Lo, she is one of this confederacy. Now I perceive they have conjoined all three To fashion this false sport in spite of me. (3.2.192 194) As she is taller than Hermia, she calls her a puppet. Fie, fie, you counterfeit, you puppet, you! (3. 2. 288) Hermia takes this insult as though it is the reason that Lysander doesnt love her anymore. Her height, forsooth, she hath prevailed with him. (3.2.293) She goes on to call Helena a painted maypole and is obviously very worked up and angry. And with her personage, her tall personage, (3 2. 292) Helena is afraid of what Hermia might do to her, and Hermia is not short of threats in her vicious mood. How low am I? I am not yet so low, But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes. (3. 2. 297  298)

Helena does not want to fall out and does not understand why their past was so quickly forgotten. Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me. I evermore did love you Hermia, Did ever keep your counsels, never wronged you  (3. 2. 306  308) Hermia, however, feels hard done by. She feels that Helena has caused her true love to turn against her, and if Helena disappeared, everything would be fine. Why, get you gone. Who ist that hinders you? (3. 2. 317) Helena also has the solution of running away, but cant as she foolishly still loves Demetrius. Helena and Hermias relationship has changed completely, entirely because of the effect of the love potion on Lysander and Demetrius. The friendship shown before the argument contrasts greatly to the hostility afterwards. The change has been for the worse, completely destroying the womens trust in each other, and all because of a fight between two men, caused by a mischievous spirit.

True love or infatuation

Many different types of love play an important role in the world today. True love and infatuation coexist to make up love that can occur between a man and a woman. Although true love and infatuation may appear similar on the surface, they actually reside on opposite ends of the spectrum. Many young people today have experienced infatuation, but only a select few have actually experienced true love. The faster one learns to distinguish between the two, the less likely one ends up making a big mistake. Infatuation may last for a while and may pleasure and entertain while it lasts, but only true

Although people sometimes find it hard to distinguish between true love and infatuation, a few major differences separate the two. First of all, infatuation involves just a feeling; real love requires a commitment also. Infatuation only allows for love of emotion. Real love, though, commands love of devotion. Only the emotions are affected in infatuation, but real love involves both emotions and will. Next, a person can fall into infatuation, but a person has to grow into real love. For instance, when a guy sees a girl so beautiful that his heart starts pounding every time he sees her, he xperiences infatuation.

Even though he knows nothing about the girl, she Several things compose true love, a very special kind of love. It occurs between two people and it grows stronger every day. Many older people will say that a person will only experience true love once or maybe even twice in a lifetime. On the other hand, many people will never experience true love. If an individual asks any happily married adult, How will I know that I am in love? , about ninety-five percent of them will say, One will just know. Well, since I know I have never really experienced true love, I can only give a ew characteristics of true love.

First of all, if a man loves a woman, he will love, trust, and respect the woman as much as he loves, trusts, and respects himself. He will also put her needs ahead of his own. The foundation of true love should rest on the relationship of two people as a whole, not just their On the contrary, the inverse proves true for infatuation. Instead of loving and trusting each other, one often wonders about the faithfulness of the relationship. Sometimes he wonders if his partner really even cares about him at all. Also, he always seems excited and eager when he dates this person hat he thinks he loves, but he may forget about her after a few days.

People that let infatuation drive their relationships always find little imperfections in their spouses and make a big deal over them. When a person truly loves someone, he accepts them and looks over their minor imperfections. Infatuation is usually self-centered, short-lived, and when it ends, one usually Infatuation may last for a while and may pleasure and entertain while it lasts, but only true love can last a lifetime. One should always remember this when he begins looking for a spouse. A person would never want to marry nyone that only infatuates him because the marriage would end up in an ongoing fight.

People in marriages based on infatuation continually try to make their spouses into what they want. One should also realize that marriage doesnt change people. More than likely, if a couple fights a good bit now, they will also fight a good bit after they get married. Many marriages that people enter into planning to change their spouse end in divorce. Getting a divorce has become all too popular among todays society. I dont like to see people getting a divorce because it not only affects the couple, it also affects their families and their children.

Love For Life

Raised with strict family values, I cringe to phrases like, “I cant wait to get my children out of the house,” or “As soon as my children reach 18, they are on their own. ” I become shocked to discover that age defines the release date in which children are no longer supported by parents. Children are the offspring to which parents give birth to in life. Regardless of the age, an individual will always be a child to ones mother or father and should receive support until, and beyond, the age of being released into the world. Support is the assistance provided on earth.

In order to live happily in this world, one must e supported or support themselves with food, a house, finance, security, approval, acceptance, and love. These, all of which are determined by Abraham H. Maslow, a well- respected psychologist, are the “hierarchy of needs. ” These are needs that everyone should have the ability to acquire. Unfortunately, the much needed support from many parents are being cut off too early. As a college student entering adulthood, I witness many peers facing very stressful times of their lives.

At this time of their lives, a number of peers have been “released” from parental support, hoped to have been given to them until individual security was ound. Instead, many peers have found themselves desperately “on their own. ” This early release from parental support comes at a crucial time to many, because it disrupts the need to prepare themselves completely for society. To too many of my fellow students, education and support is replaced by financial and emotional burdens. The weight of the many hardships that arrive, restricts a clear thinking mind, necessary for education and personal development.

A child must have full support from the parents to gain knowledge and security in the world. Immature detachment of parental support, will result in the isturbance to acquire personal potential. Parents should think about the needs of the children and continue to support them through the many lengths and levels throughout life. We live in a complex society where love, care, advice, and assistance are of priceless value. Because living is about learning, parents should be available to their children for understanding lifes dynamic possibilities.

Parents helping their children learn from their past experiences will aid them to become more knowledgeable of the world and what to expect from it. The less parents teach children of past encounters, the more their hildren tend to repeat lifes mistakes. Support should vary according to how much the child needs in order to support him or herself. Though food, house, finance, and security needs are met by the child, a parent should continue to be open with love and acceptance. Should in one day all material items disappear, the most important necessity needed to remain secure, is love and acceptance.

Parenting is giving love and support without an expiration date. The parent-child relationship is a significant element of human nature. The relationship is devotion that a child receives from the parent and gives back to his or her own mother or father. If a child receives plenty of affection from the parents, the child will tend to give this love back, later down the road of life. From being nurtured as an infant to support of a parent of old age, if a child was brought up lovingly and supportively, it is likely that when the parents reach an elderly stage, they will also be taken care of, lovingly and supportively.

Like the saying, “What comes around, goes around,” life tends to perform karma in many ways throughout life. Unconditional love and support will take away the worries that many face. Unconditional love and support replaces the need for extreme individual responsibility. Responsibility is what many parents think about when making the mistake of releasing children too early into society. What parents believe as laying responsibility upon their child, actually turns into uncertainty, insecurity, lack of confidence, and sense of rejection.

These experiences impair concentration required to focus on education and personal growth. In some case these experiences of uncertainty, insecurity, etc. , develop into depression, which places major stress upon the body. Young adults should not be dropped into society by their parents, but supported as child becomes more secure, emotionally and inancially. An emotionally and financially developed adult will learn to gain responsibility through knowledge and growth. Education prepares an individual by allowing time and instruction from school to naturally make one become a stable individual.

Responsibility cannot be forced upon a person at such an immature age, because young adults are faced with hardships that turn education away. This is knowledge that would assist in coping with lifes many situations, including struggle. The difficulties that students’ face makes them rethink the thought of formal education, and therefore places their personal growth at risk. Without time and education, students lose confidence in themselves and in society that also makes one incompetent.

Without parental emotional support, many young adults turn to alcohol, drugs, and unhealthy relationships due to the lack of self-confidence and proper guidance. Many young adults look to outlets to relieve the stress that they face. The use of alcohol and drugs can produce short-term and long-term effects that are hazardous to an individual. Formations of unhealthy relationships are also common due to the shortage of self-esteem and social skills. These situations are some of those that can become avoided through ove, care, and support of children.

Everyone should be given the opportunity to live to his or her full potential. The ability to arrive at goals that, at one time, a person only dreamed about having. To achieve a high level of human promise that one never knew could be attained. To reach these levels of human potential; concentration, education, and support are of priceless value. From birth to adulthood, every child deserves knowledge to become competent in this world. Concentration is also essential and is achieved with the help of parents providing basic necessities to keep a child or young adult focused.

The responsibility, as a parent, is to prepare his or her child with skills that will become useful in this world. An uneducated and unemotionally stable individual may experience much hardship and struggle. Timeless support from parents is all that one needs to find the development of our potentials and full understanding of the world. Through parents we learn to love, to care, to find acceptance, and to protect ourselves from the physical and social environment. We learn from what is right and wrong as a child, to understanding confusing situations to life as adults.

While seeking love and support as infants, dolescents, and adults, we return to our love back to our parents as they reach old age and are of need to our care and acceptance. Through timeless love and support we are brought up as responsible, caring, and competent people to society because of our well developed and mature knowledge. Only when, as a young adult, I see well-established love and support from parents to my peers, do I really see the love and appreciation felt from my peers towards the mother and/or father. This unconditional, untimed love and support are all that is necessary to breed happiness in both parent and child.

Lovely People Do Stupid Things

How is love to influence our lives? Love-struck people do crazy things to express how they care for that particular person yet it is a long and windy road to these actions. It is down this path that experience spawns and trouble and happiness are felt. Janie Crawford of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, shows the road through the steps of her three relationships. These relationships, though not fulfilling ones, conclude in bettering Janie’s search and understanding of life.

Johnny Taylor, Janie’s first kiss and gatekeeper to her future, When Janie was sixteen, she embarked on a sexual awakening. Johnny Taylor was a poor young man who lived in the Florida area. Janie allowed him to kiss her over the fence. Unfortunately, Nanny saw everything. With Nanny’s horrendous background of sinful deeds done to her, she wanted the best for Janie. As she saw the kiss, the doors of life opened for Janie and Nanny wasn’t going to have her make the same mistakes that she had.

Yet, Nanny had been impregnated under the circumstances of being a slave and this was not the case for Janie. Nanny stated that “black women were the mules of the world”, but she didn’t want Janie to be a mule. She wanted to see Janie in a secure situation before she died, and Logan Killicks could provide that. Janie did not want to marry Logan, but she did so because Nanny told her “that she would eventually come to love him. ” Ironically, Logan wanted to force Janie into the servitude that Nanny feared. Also, he was disappointed that Janie never returned his affection and attraction.

If he could not possess her through love, he would possess her by demanding her submission. At heart, his actions arose from the fear that Janie would leave him. Two months after her marriage to Logan, Janie visited Nanny to ask when she would start loving him. Nanny berated Janie for not appreciating Logan’s wealth. Although Logan pampered Janie for a year, he began complaining that she was spoiled. That night, Logan criticized Janie for being spoiled and lazy. Janie voiced his deepest fears when she suggested that she might leave him.

Logan reminded her of her family’s reputation, hoping to hurt her feelings. Turning to these drastic of measures blew Janie into a frenzy and she left with a smooth-talking gentleman that very next day. Janie chose to leave Logan for Jody because he revived her dreams of love in marriage. Her first marriage had taught her that marriage and love do not go hand in hand. However, she still believed that love was the best motivation for marriage. Jody promised that he would never turn Janie into a common pack mule. He promised her that she would reap all the benefits of his work.

His words eerily echo Nanny’s dream of respectability and financial security for Janie. However, Janie didn’t marry Jody because of these promises. She married him because he inspired the feelings she had experienced while sitting under the blossoming peach tree when she was sixteen and the moment her womanhood became crystal clear. Ironically, Janie’s marriage to Jody was the very embodiment of Nanny’s dreams for her. Unlike Logan, he did not make her a pack mule. He gave her financial security and respectability. However, the marriage was largely an unhappy union.

Janie could not be herself around Jody. Moreover, Jody still used Janie as a garbage even though he gave her wealth and respectability. So it seems that Nanny’s worst fears and her highest hopes were realized in Janie’s second marriage. It was until one afternoon in the store that she met a lofty yet handsome young man who went, strangely enough, by the name of Tea Cake. Tea Cake’s courtship was different from that of Logan and Jody. Janie’s first marriage was more of a contract of sale between Nanny and Logan than anything else.

Janie’s second marriage was an escape from the first one. Moreover, it was based on disappointed dreams. Jody courted her by talking about himself and his dreams. Tea Cake, on the other hand, pursued Janie with a more romantic flair. Also, he allowed her equal footing in negotiating the terms of their relationship. Gaining personal freedom was a two-fold process. First, she had to be free in her private life, but she also had to free herself from restricting social attitudes. Only then could she begin to heal the rift between her outside self and her inside self.

She feels that what she has learned from her relationship with Tea Cake cannot be conveyed through words. Self-realization is a personal journey that can only be made through gaining life experience. Therefore, Janie acknowledges the flaws inherent in retelling her life, but she does not necessarily undercut the importance of having found her voice. Neither does she undercut the benefit of sharing her story with others. She doesn’t believe that her story should be the single, authoritative guidebook to self-realization. It can, however, inspire others to re-examine their lives.

Love In Today’s Society

A key to understanding Sociology and the Social Sciences in general is to evaluate subjects through time and compare and contrast characteristics that have changed and those that have remained the same. For this assignment I have elected to access three sources dealing with love; in three distinct time periods in the modern era. First we will survey one of the first popular mediums for the expression of love; that of poetry. I have chosen a poem by W. H. Auden to represent the early portion of this century- specifically the 1930s and 1940s.

I knew I had to include a song from my idol Jim Morrison. Not only is e the perfect voice of the volatile sex revolution of the 1960s and 1970s; his work captures the profile of a rock star who undoubtedly acquired his domineering attitude from the endless worship of submissive women. Lastly we enter the modern era with a article from my favorite magazine Men’s Health on the mistakes a man must avoid in order to please his lover. As we shall see, the increased freedom is very interesting in our first representation to the last. My goal is to show how love has changed.

I hope to show what is accepted in our society today, compared with only several decades ago. Application My sources run the gamut of ideas in the subject of love. I think Auden’s poem is the best representation of what has been termed courtly love. This seems logical, since this Romantic Era type of love was a pre-cursor to what we know as modern love. The author takes the troubadour role in his crooning style of praising his love’s qualities. He idealizes his mate and is satisfied just being in the same room as she. There are not any ulterior motives evident.

Auden would be categorized as a heavenly lover, in that his love is more lofty and sacred. There is definite contrast to this idealism though. In his last lines the author, without reservation tells of his sorrow at his loss of her to another. Morrison’s Love Her Madly could almost be interpreted as a form of limerance. He has this extreme fondness for his subject: Don’t ya love her madly? Anyone who knows the story of Jim Morrison knows that the topic of love and all that comes with it was an integral facet of his being. He is a good example of love in the context of a super-star entertainer.

Morrison’s songs, and most others found in the entertainment world cannot compare with reality. These people do not lead normal lives. Their depiction of such things as love may even be accurate portrayals of their lives, but should not be taken to represent society as a whole. Love was quite important to Morrison- provided that he had it often and with different partners. One woman could never contain his sexual urges. In this reality many sociological concepts are found. Morrison cohabited with numerous women, mainly his life-long steady girlfriend Pamela.

Morrison’s male domineering attitude is evident in his line “Wanna be her daddy. ” While women were beginning to experience more equality during this eriod, males were still seen as dominant. He does show signs of compassion with his line: Don’t ya love her as she’s walking out the door. Like she did one thousand times before. This shows that he was not as worried about being a man as some may have thought. He lost his love once again and he is not afraid to admit it. Even so, Morrison’s primary style of love was definitely ludus.

He had no reservations about playing the field. Pre- marital sex was easily brushed aside by Morrison in this era when society was more accepting of free love. Our Men’s Health article is best understood by using the two gender’s exual scripts- or blueprints of our sexuality, to sort out society’s expected roles. 50 Ways To Peeve Your Lover does a decent job of informing men of the mistakes that women recognize in their sexual demeanor. Due to sexual scripts themselves, there are many learned behaviors and attitudes that men possess that they have always known as the best way.

Men, due to the fact that they are less open to criticism and less willing to express their feelings, they are more subject to doing things the wrong way and never even realizing it. No-noes like squeezing a woman’s breast because they think it turns her on, failing to sk her questions during sex, not complementing her, and other forms of improper etiquette may be what is holding back many couples from happier and more successful relationships. Critique These three representations of love were all the norms in their time but would be out of context if switched to another.

People may appreciate Auden’s simplicity and purity of loves’ demeanor, but it is safe to say that it would not do very well in today’s’ society that urns for lust and sex over honest love. Society wants to be entertained and taken to a fantasy world- one that is ifferent and more exciting than their own. In the early 20ieth century and before I’m sure that people were satisfied reading a poem like this for the simple fact that it was a depiction of their feelings at the time- but written by a person that could write more eloquently than themselves.

They were entertained by such works because they captured their mood in words. As music evolved with society along with it, the poet took on a new form of expression. Music was perfect- it has often been thought of as sexual in nature. Words along with music symbolized an era of increased freedom and experimentation as he walls that portrayed sex as “a bad thing” began to crumble. Morrison’s portrayal of loose standards of sex, while exaggerated for society in general, are still accurate in that this was a more liberal time than previous decades.

Songs such as this made it more accepted for teens and other impressionable youngsters both to have sex and see it in a kinder light. Articles such as our Men’s Health example have become the norm in today’s increasingly open and less moral society. While the church’s forbidding of such an open discussion of sex was more adhered to in the past, people today re more comfortable talking about this and other topics that they want to hear about. We have already realized the myth that just because sex was not as discussed back then did not mean that people refrained from talking about it and doing it in secret.

In fact, we know that ancient cultures such as those in Italy had an even greater sex culture than we do today. Many will say that this attitude is a better approach because it gets feelings out in the open, instead of keeping them locked up inside. Thus people are more honest with each other and can work their difficulties out before they explode. Conclusion It is definitely true that attitudes on love have changed in the last decade. Social structures and norms have fluctuated and have influenced people’s decisions in their own lives as well as their perceptions of others.

Many people would rather return to the innocent times of Auden where love seemingly was true and carried no strings. There does seem to be a problem with the increased fragmentation of society in regards to finding love today. Gone are the days when you married your high school sweet-heart and lived happily ever after. Increased mobility and the ease of travel has left love more vailable and open. People need more help today from outside services like dating hotlines and the help of marriage counselors and physchologists to sort out their troubles. It follows though that society is more complex and therefore better.

Women have more rights and more say in society. There is no doubt that females were exploited more in the past than today. While society’s attitudes have changed over the years and will continue to change, one thing remains the same: love is a driving force in our lives. Social Issues Love In Today’s Society Love In Today’s Society Steve Carey Introduction A key to understanding Sociology and the Social Sciences in general is to evaluate subjects through time and compare and contrast characteristics that have changed and those that have remained the same.

For this assignment I have elected to access three sources dealing with love; in three distinct time periods in the modern era. First we will survey one of the first popular mediums for the expression of love; that of poetry. I have chosen a poem by W. H. Auden to represent the early portion of this century- specifically the 1930s and 1940s. I knew I had to include a song from my idol Jim Morrison. Not only is e the perfect voice of the volatile sex revolution of the 1960s and 1970s; his work captures the profile of a rock star who undoubtedly acquired his domineering attitude from the endless worship of submissive women.

Lastly we enter the modern era with a article from my favorite magazine Men’s Health on the mistakes a man must avoid in order to please his lover. As we shall see, the increased freedom is very interesting in our first representation to the last. My goal is to show how love has changed. I hope to show what is accepted in our society today, compared with only several decades ago. Application My sources run the gamut of ideas in the subject of love. I think Auden’s poem is the best representation of what has been termed courtly love.

This seems logical, since this Romantic Era type of love was a pre-cursor to what we know as modern love. The author takes the troubadour role in his crooning style of praising his love’s qualities. He idealizes his mate and is satisfied just being in the same room as she. There are not any ulterior motives evident. Auden would be categorized as a heavenly lover, in that his love is more lofty and sacred. There is definite contrast to this idealism though. In his last lines the author, without reservation tells of his sorrow at his loss of her to another.

Morrison’s Love Her Madly could almost be interpreted as a form of limerance. He has this extreme fondness for his subject: Don’t ya love her madly? Anyone who knows the story of Jim Morrison knows that the topic of love and all that comes with it was an integral facet of his being. He is a good example of love in the context of a super-star entertainer. Morrison’s songs, and most others found in the entertainment world cannot compare with reality. These people do not lead normal lives.

Their depiction of such things as love may even be accurate portrayals of their lives, but should not be taken to represent society as a whole. Love was quite important to Morrison- provided that he had it often and with different partners. One woman could never contain his sexual urges. In this reality many sociological concepts are found. Morrison cohabited with numerous women, mainly his life-long steady girlfriend Pamela. Morrison’s male domineering attitude is evident in his line “Wanna be her daddy. While women were beginning to experience more equality during this eriod, males were still seen as dominant. He does show signs of compassion with his line: Don’t ya love her as she’s walking out the door. Like she did one thousand times before. This shows that he was not as worried about being a man as some may have thought. He lost his love once again and he is not afraid to admit it. Even so, Morrison’s primary style of love was definitely ludus. He had no reservations about playing the field. Pre- marital sex was easily brushed aside by Morrison in this era when society was more accepting of free love.

Our Men’s Health article is best understood by using the two gender’s sexual scripts- or blueprints of our sexuality, to sort out society’s expected roles. 50 Ways To Peeve Your Lover does a decent job of informing men of the mistakes that women recognize in their sexual demeanor. Due to sexual scripts themselves, there are many learned behaviors and attitudes that men possess that they have always known as the best way. Men, due to the fact that they are less open to criticism and less willing to express their feelings, they are more subject to doing things the wrong way and never even realizing it.

No-noes like squeezing a woman’s breast because they think it turns her on, failing to ask her questions during sex, not complementing her, and other forms of improper etiquette may be what is holding back many couples from happier and more successful relationships. Critique These three representations of love were all the norms in their time but would be out of context if switched to another. People may appreciate Auden’s simplicity and purity of loves’ demeanor, but it is safe to say that it would not do very well in today’s’ society that urns for lust and sex over honest love.

Society wants to be entertained and taken to a fantasy world- one that is different and more exciting than their own. In the early 20ieth century and before I’m sure that people were satisfied reading a poem like this for the simple fact that it was a depiction of their feelings at the time- but written by a person that could write more eloquently than themselves. They were entertained by such works because they captured their mood in words. As music evolved with society along with it, the poet took on a new form of expression. Music was perfect- it has often been thought of as sexual in nature.

Words along with music symbolized an era of increased freedom and experimentation as the walls that portrayed sex as “a bad thing” began to crumble. Morrison’s portrayal of loose standards of sex, while exaggerated for society in general, are still accurate in that this was a more liberal time than previous decades. Songs such as this made it more accepted for teens and other impressionable youngsters both to have sex and see it in a kinder light. Articles such as our Men’s Health example have become the norm in today’s increasingly open and less moral society.

While the church’s forbidding f such an open discussion of sex was more adhered to in the past, people today are more comfortable talking about this and other topics that they want to hear about. We have already realized the myth that just because sex was not as discussed back then did not mean that people refrained from talking about it and doing it in secret. In fact, we know that ancient cultures such as those in Italy had an even greater sex culture than we do today. Many will say that this attitude is a better approach because it gets feelings out in the open, instead of keeping them locked up inside.

Thus people are more honest with each other nd can work their difficulties out before they explode. Conclusion It is definitely true that attitudes on love have changed in the last decade. Social structures and norms have fluctuated and have influenced people’s decisions in their own lives as well as their perceptions of others. Many people would rather return to the innocent times of Auden where love seemingly was true and carried no strings. There does seem to be a problem with the increased fragmentation of society in regards to finding love today. Gone are the days when you married your high school sweet-heart and lived happily ver after.

Increased mobility and the ease of travel has left love more available and open. People need more help today from outside services like dating hotlines and the help of marriage counselors and physchologists to sort out their troubles. It follows though that society is more complex and therefore better. Women have more rights and more say in society. There is no doubt that females were exploited more in the past than today. While society’s attitudes have changed over the years and will continue to change, one thing remains the same: love is a driving force in our lives.

Tess Of The Dubervilles

Loving is a much more positive experience than being loved. In order to love, one must come to accept one to the extent that one is able to express his own emotions toward another person. A particular divinity can be experienced through loving others. While being loved does not necessarily provide one with the ability to love others, it certainly adds to the appreciation of one which, in turn, allows love to be expressed and divinity to be experienced. However, the issue of being divine, emotionally or spiritually, continues to revolve back to loving others, not being loved.

The theme that it is more divine to love than to be loved is illustrated accurately through the novella, Death in Venice, by Thomas Mann. The novella depicts a grown man, Aschenbach, who experiences strange emotions toward a young boy, Tadzio. Mann first develops Aschenbach as an emotionally displeased character who later experiences a transformation within himself and his beliefs as a result of his love for Tadzio. The novella begins with Aschenbach considering the results of his latest writing.

The reader is introduced to a man who cannot find fulfillment in his work, despite the world’s approval of him. Aschenbach is loved by the world through the “national honor”(Mann, 199) his supporters give him. His desire concerning his career being “intent from the start upon fame” (Mann, 200), Aschenbach recognizes himself as the subject of his own reputation. Despite his own knowledge of the love for him, Aschenbach is depicted as an unhappy character who deliberates his being alone during the summer.

It is evident from the beginning that Aschenbach has no family contact- his wife being deceased and his daughter married. Aschenbach is indeed “loved” by the world for his work, and yet, he is at first unable to express love or emotional desire. He is therefore unable to experience divinity within himself or the surrounding world because although he is loved, he does not love. Although Aschenbach’s daughter is living, Mann’s mention of her is short and blunt. This in turn represents Aschenbach’s lack of emotion toward her as one would believe that his only living kin deserves some recognition.

Mann leaves no doubt in the reader’s mind that Aschenbach has difficulty accepting others or his work. When Aschenbach travels to Venice to escape being alone, as well as “to make his summer bearable” (Mann, 199), he encounters the young boy Tadzio. His infatuation with Tadzio begins a transformation within himself which enables him to accept and develop his thoughts and feelings. This acceptance results in a more divine nature as Aschenbach comes to the realization that he loves Tadzio.

The reader also becomes aware of Aschenbach’s increasing pride in his work. On one occasion, while observing Tadzio, Aschenbach reflects on “the sober passion” (Mann, 234) that encompasses him as he develops from “the marble mass of language” (Mann, 234) a short essay which he had imagined and created within himself. Tadzio proves to be an inspiration for Aschenbach, who idolizes the boy enough to use his “beauty as a model for the brief essay” (Mann, 234). Such an inspiration is further enhanced by Aschenbach’s love and desire for the boy (Mann, 236).

Without coming to terms with the intensity of his love, Aschenbach would have been unable to experience such an overwhelming desire to write. This “desire to illuminate [his personal feelings] in his own words” (Mann, 234) does indeed bring Aschenbach closer to divinity and self-assurance. Mann’s writing also reflects Aschenbach’s transformation as it becomes more fluent and descriptive concerning the Greek Gods. The theme that it is more divine to love than to be loved is further developed through Mann’s introduction of the Greek Gods, who were considered to be the divinity of human nature.

The presence of the divine imagery becomes most evident through a dream Aschenbach experiences shortly before his declaration of his “love” (Mann, 241) for Tadzio. As the novella progresses, the Greek Gods reoccur more often. The presence of the Gods is a prelude to the divinity Aschenbach will soon come to know. Through Aschenbach’s transformation from a man struggling to accept his own work and emotions to a man completely at ease with himself, Mann illustrates that it is more divine to love than to be loved.

Though Aschenbach was loved by those around him for his work, he was unable to express his own love or experience satisfaction. When Tadzio enters his life, Aschenbach is able to find pleasure in his work as a result of his expressions of love. Love allowed Aschenbach to experience peace and release a variety of hidden emotions. Before his death, Aschenbach was able to create a work of which he was content with and “soon [won] the admiration of many” (Mann, 234). Aschenbach’s love for Tadzio allowed him to experience a more divine appreciation for his work than the world’s love for ever had.

Affirmative Action

Close your eyes, now imagine a world of love; not hate, a world of equality; not preference. Now, imagine a colorblind society. That is what most of American society wants. That is the reason Affirmative Action was birthed by Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. That is also the reason that Proposition 209 was voted for in 1996. These two historical events are driven by the desire of equality. What is Affirmative Action? According to Geraldine Leshin, it is “Taking positive or active steps to accomplish the public policy goal of equal employment opportunity.

What is Proposition 209? Its a new law that has been passed that “prohibits the state of California and local governments from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in public employment, public education or public contracting (San Jose Mercury News). ” Affirmative action was implemented for important reasons. “Broadly defined, affirmative action refers to efforts to increase educational and employment opportunities for minorities and women.

More specifically, it applies to various programs and policies designed to increase the number of minorities and women hired by government and industry and admitted into colleges and universities. “(Faundez, 213) Affirmative action is important especially in the work force. Before affirmative action, minorities and women felt, and seemed to be, discriminated against being chosen for the job. Affirmative action was to help with the “increasing of opportunities for those that were previously discriminated against”(Lemann, 145).

Affirmative action was created to not only help Black-Americans, but to help “many groups beyond women and minorities including the disabled, veterans, economically disadvantaged and others. “(Nicolaus, , 87) Affirmative action also aids in the areas of contracting and education. With contracting,, “affirmative action helps firms owned by women and minorities, or firms that can show a disadvantage”(Lemann, 110) Affirmative action in education also reaches out to disabled students, women, minorities, economically disadvantaged students, veterans, etc.

It helps them in many ways like: ” early outreach programs, recruitment and retention programs, efforts in admissions to diversify the student population, and specific financial aid opportunities. “(Edwards, 213) So as you can see, Affirmative action was proposed and accepted for a great many reasons that constantly create controversy. Not only minorities have supported affirmative action. Most people would imagine all minorities love affirmative action and strongly voted for it and thats why it passed.

Thats part of the reason, but we must not forget two major supporters of Affirmative action. One of these supporters is an unsuspected group of men; namely, the Angry White Guys for Affirmative Action. Yes, a group of white men! These men are angry because they feel that being a white man gives them more privileges than are fair. Paul Rockwell, the president of Angry White Guys for Affirmative Action says: We hear a lot about angry white males today. Well, we too are angry white males.

But contrary to the caricature, we support affirmative action. As white men whose own families got free medical care, or unquestioned access to higher education through the GI Bill, who shared in the social uplift of the New Deal, we support affirmative action for those who are still left out. And we are not tear-jerk liberals, or millionaires who can afford to appear magnanimous. It is out of our own self-interest, as direct beneficiaries of social engineering, that we support programs of inclusion.

Ryan Mendoza from the Yale Daily News applauds the Angry White Guys because he says, “Although Affirmative Action treats innocent white males unequally, it does not deprive them of any genuine equal opportunity rights. Affirmative Action only eliminates undeserved increases in their prospects of success. ” The other group that supports the survival of Affirmative Action is the organization “California Votes NO on 209.

They firmly believe in Affirmative Action for the same reasons the others do, “Affirmative Action refers to programs that seek to remedy past discrimination against women, minorities, and others by increasing the recruitment, promotion, retention, and on-the-job training opportunities in employment and by removing barriers to admission to educational institutions. ” Affirmative Action supporters are fighting to keep it alive because they fear that things like Proposition 209 will destroy all that has been fought to obtain. They fear that non-discriminatory affirmative action programs by state and local governments will be abolished.

They fear that it will impede the enforcement of anti-discriminatory laws, or efforts to include previously excluded citizens. The fear that it will apply to even private sector programs. They also fear it will abolish programs where sex is a necessary distinction (Public Affairs Web). The reasons that Affirmative Action was created in the beginning were important and real reasons. However, times have been changing and many feel that the need for Affirmative Action has as well. This is the reason why Proposition 209 became an explosive issue in the 1996 voting.

The creators of this proposition, as well as its supporters, believe that Prop. 209 is essential for the future of racial harmony as well as a chance for equal progression. There are many reasons Proposition 209 was created. Ted Rall, author of The Affirmative Action Debate Exposed, supports Proposition 209 because he says: In any situation where there are only a limited number of slots and an excess number of qualified applicants, one persons advantage is another persons disadvantage. But it any way you want, but thats simple math, and its an equation that white male applicants understand intuitively.

Instead of simply admitting that whites and men get hurt by affirmative action and that this is the price they pay for the sins of their racist and sexist fathers, the proponents of affirmative action have become experts in deceit. Rather than having the moral courage to say that these policies are imperfectbut necessaryremedies for centuries of systematic discrimination, these lying wimps try to sell the dubious proposition that life is not a zero-sum game, that granting an advantage to one person doesnt have to penalize someone else. Is it any wonder whites are screaming for an end to affirmative action?

White males are feeling deprived of their honest and deserved accomplishments and the fruits of their efforts just because they are white. They feel that their chances at a job are immediately less because businesses have quotas of race to fill. They realize that they may even be more qualified for a job but will lose out because they arent a minority. That is reverse discrimination. They believe that the passage of this proposition will encourage a healthy competition for jobs, and that it will cause people to strive harder to do their best.

They are hoping for a color-blind opportunity at a job and that their individual qualifications and personalities can land them the job they desire and earned. Not only white, middle class, suburbanite men are in favor of the implementation of Proposition 209 and the doing away with of Affirmative Action. Many minority men feel the same way. They often are left feeling as if they were given a job, not because of their qualifications, but to simply fit the quota. They feel this causes their co-workers to despise them. It also eats away at their self-esteem.

Some feel the effects of being “handed” a job are worse than having to fight for a job that they earned (Lemann, 54). Our government leaders and many of Californian citizens of all race and creeds are fighting for the equality they see in Prop. 209, and the truth about what it will not take away from society. The ending of Affirmative Action, they believe, “is needed to end this wasteful and divisive system and restore color-blindness to California law and government. It will help make the California Constitution an instrument of unity, not division (San Jose Mercury Sun).

US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said: “Government cannot make us equal; it can only recognize, respect and protect us as equal before the law. ” Governor Pete Wilson supports the ending of Proposition 209. He says that “mandating and practicing inequality cannot bring equality. In a single sentence, this initiative captures the spirit of fairness and equal opportunity that is at the heart of the American dream. ” The fears of the pro-affirmative action groups can be set to rest.

They assure that the ending of Affirmative Action through Proposition 209 will NOT abolish non-discriminatory affirmative action programs by state and local governments. It will NOT impede the enforcement of anti-discriminatory laws, or efforts to include previously excluded citizens. It will NOT apply to private sector programs. And it will NOT abolish programs where sex is a necessary distinction (Public Affairs Web). It is obvious that on both sides of the issue of Affirmative Action, that there are valid arguments. Is racial harmony something that can be legislated or is it simply a matter of the heart that we ourselves need to change?

Will there ever be equality in the work place, and if so, is it the survival of Affirmative Action or the passing of Proposition 209, or a program like it, that will bring that long-awaited equality? Does Affirmative Action hurt the white man? Is it only the white man that suffers, or is it also biting the hands of those who are feeding it, taking away the dignity and pride of those of ethnic minorities hunting for jobs? These are the questions to the issue of Affirmative Action that we each have to decide upon and now that you have the necessary information, it is up to you to decide.

What is Love?

Love (l v) n. deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness. A feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair; the emotion of sex and romance. (Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc). There are many different definitions of love. To each person it is different, but most agree it is one of the most important emotions to the each creature on this earth. There are also many different forms of love.

For instance, love for your family versus love for a mate. It is still a mystery to most people why people do crazy things for love, or why people feel love “conquers all”. Definitions of love go as far as Greek mythology. For example, the story of Cupid and His mortal Bride Psyche. There are many explanations on how love exactly came to mean what it does. According to John Lee there are 6 different types of love. 1. Erotic love: romantic, sexual irrational, and largely based on physical attraction. 2. Manic love: intense, all consuming, possessive, and fluctuating between joy and despair.

Ludic love: egoistic, self-serving, competitive, and based on an unequal relationship between one partner who is highly committed and another who is emotionally uninvolved. 4. Pragmatic love: a rational, practical, fair exchange between two carefully matched partners. 5. Storgic love: the companionate, stable love that emerges from a relationship between friends. 6. Agapic love: the altruistic devotion of one partner for the other. Many people have theories, but overall love is whatever the actual individual perceives it to be. Through the ages, thinkers and writers have attempted to solve the ystery of love.

Myths, poetry and novels have the longest history of recording the idea of love. For example, the Sumerian and Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh goes back to 2000 BC, Egyptian love poetry was written on papyri and vases between 1300 and 1100 BC, and Chinese folk love songs were first documented between 1000 BC and 700 BC. Countless philosophers, from Plato to Martin Luther, from Kierkegaard and Nietzsche to Santayana and Sartre have also devoted their writings to conceptualizing love. Freud looks at love from the perspective of the sexual drive.

According to him, love as well as exuality is rooted in infancy (Freud, 1905). A person’s first love object is the mother. The mother’s breast provides the infant not only with nourishment but also a source of sexual pleasure which he will later on seek from his adult lover. (For girls, the object of love somehow later becomes the father. Freud views adult love and sexuality as an extension (or rediscovery) of their infantile forms. Believing that self-expansion is a basic motivation for human behavior, Aron and Aron (1986) state that people are attracted to others in whom they see the opportunity for self-expansion.

They also believe that their theory can clarify some controversial issues related to attraction. For example, similarity has been identified by researchers as a major predictor of attraction. But how do you explain the controversy between the idea that “birds of a feather flock together” and the notion that “opposites attract”? There is also the difference between Love of a Family member and love of a mate. Although both seem strong to the heart they are no where near similar. That is why it is sometimes difficult for two in a relationship to choose between a over and their families.

The feeling of love for a mate seemingly appears strong although family had been there all your lives. Although it is debated which love is more important in the bible it says that when a man gets married he is to leave his family and make his new family his first and most important family. There are many different forms of love, but all seem to play an important role in the lives of everyone. Love is only 4 letters, but it is the most complicated emotion yet. I can make you sad, happy, and mad all at the same time.

It seems love is important but many often o not see the true meaning. In my opinion love is about looking into the eyes of the person you share it with and knowing that whatever you did wrong in your life couldn’t have been so bad because it brought you to this person. Its meaning that no matter what you are willing to go through think and thin to be with this person.

It’s a feeling that cannot be explained with words but if I had to pick one word to describe this wonderful yet, difficult emotion it would be, breathtaking. love Love (l v) n. eep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a erson, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness. A feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair; the emotion of sex and romance. (Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc). There are many different definitions of love. To each person it is different, but most agree it is one of the most important emotions to the each creature on this earth. There are also many different forms of love.

For instance, love for your family versus love for a mate. It is still a mystery to most people why people do crazy things for love, or why people feel love “conquers all”. Definitions of love go as far as Greek mythology. For example, the story of Cupid and His mortal Bride Psyche. There are many explanations on how love exactly came to mean what it does. According to John Lee there are 6 different types of love. 1. Erotic love: romantic, sexual irrational, and largely based on physical attraction. 2. Manic love: intense, all consuming, possessive, and fluctuating between joy and despair.

Ludic love: egoistic, self-serving, competitive, and based on an unequal relationship between one partner who is highly committed and another who is emotionally uninvolved. 4. Pragmatic love: a rational, practical, fair exchange between two carefully matched partners. 5. Storgic love: the companionate, stable love that emerges from a relationship between friends. 6. Agapic love: the altruistic devotion of one partner for the other. Many people have theories, but overall love is whatever the actual individual perceives it to be. Through the ages, thinkers and writers have attempted to solve the ystery of love.

Myths, poetry and novels have the longest history of recording the idea of love. For example, the Sumerian and Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh goes back to 2000 BC, Egyptian love poetry was written on papyri and vases between 1300 and 1100 BC, and Chinese folk love songs were first documented between 1000 BC and 700 BC. Countless philosophers, from Plato to Martin Luther, from Kierkegaard and Nietzsche to Santayana and Sartre have also devoted their writings to conceptualizing love. Freud looks at love from the perspective of the sexual drive.

According to him, love as well as sexuality is rooted in infancy (Freud, 1905). A person’s first love object is the mother. The mother’s breast provides the infant not only with nourishment but also a source of sexual pleasure which he will later on seek from his adult lover. (For girls, the object of love somehow later becomes the father. Freud views adult love and sexuality as an extension (or rediscovery) of their infantile forms. Believing that self-expansion is a basic motivation for human behavior, Aron and Aron (1986) state that people are attracted to thers in whom they see the opportunity for self-expansion.

They also believe that their theory can clarify some controversial issues related to attraction. For example, similarity has been identified by researchers as a major predictor of attraction. But how do you explain the controversy between the idea that “birds of a feather flock together” and the notion that “opposites attract”? There is also the difference between Love of a Family member and love of a mate. Although both seem strong to the heart they are no where near similar. That is why it is sometimes difficult for two in a relationship to choose between a lover and their families.

The feeling of love for a mate seemingly appears strong although family had been there all your lives. Although it is debated which love is more important in the bible it says that when a man gets married he is to leave his family and make his new family his first and most important family. There are many different forms of love, but all seem to play an important role in the lives of everyone. Love is only 4 letters, but it is the most complicated emotion yet. I can make you sad, happy, and mad all at the same time.

It seems love is important but many often do not see the true meaning. In my opinion love is about looking into the eyes of the person you share it with and knowing that whatever you did wrong in your life couldn’t have been so bad because it brought you to this person. Its meaning that no matter what you are willing to go through think and thin to be with this person. It’s a feeling that cannot be explained with words but if I had to pick one word to describe this wonderful yet, difficult emotion it would be, breathtaking.

Looking for Love in an Equal: A Review of Love between Equals

For Centuries in our society marriage between man and woman has been a practiced cultural right and custom. Over 90% of Americans will marry in their lifetime and roughly 50% of those marriages will result in Divorce. Many Sociological factors contribute to the high divorce rate expressed in our culture. Reasons that contribute to the divorce rate are longer life expectancy, women in the work force, birth control, social acceptance of cohabitation, single parenting and welfare reform.

It is also now socially acceptable and legal to get a divorce due to dissatisfaction and unhappiness. This social acceptance of divorce implies that today there is a changing criteria when entering marriage. Couples today now insist on the element of personal fulfillment and happiness for entering wedlock, where as, in times past this was not one of the main considerations for man and woman to get married. Historically with in marriage man and women have adopted gender roles.

These gender roles that are predicated by society are traditionally seen as the man in the provider/ authoritarian role and the woman is seen as the caretaker of the home and children or in the nurturer role. These gender roles exist in our society today, even though our society now considers man and woman equal and gives each sex equal rights. Consequently, many couples still adopt traditional roles while in other marriages couples opt for non-traditional roles and treat each other as equals these are called egalitarian relationships and are far less frequent in our society.

By examining these egalitarian couples that do not operate with in the traditional limits of gender and comparing them to traditional relationships, we, as a society can learn how the elements of traditional gender roles in marriage have provided a disservice to man and woman and how the less common egalitarian marriage may better suit individuals in the pursuit of a fulfilling and lasting marriage. Pepper Shwartz, Ph. D, a professor at the University of Washington and author of the book, Love Between Equals: How Peer Marriage Really Works, explores the aspects of traditional and egalitarian or peer marriage.

She examines how gender roles interfere with partner equality, deep friendship and fulfillment. She also argues that we should eliminate the provider and nurturer role when pursuing a peer marriage because these traditional roles interfere with man and woman’s chance to overcome the social and biological differences that separate them and ultimately interfere with the pursuit of fulfillment and happiness of the marriage. In her book, Schwartz identifies five types of marital failures that come from traditional gender guidelines and undermine marital intimacy.

Schwartz also identifies four principles adopted by peer couples that, in turn, promote intimacy. Throughout Schwartz’s history of research she has found the failure of empathy among traditional couple’s leads to isolation, feeling alone and not understood. She demonstrates that this failure comes from traditional couples not sharing common perceptions which gives them separate experiences instead of a shared world. This initiates a feeling of being unknown and affects communication while tearing away at intimacy.

Schwartz also recognizes the failure of interest in traditional marriages that occurs when partners become too separate in their daily lives. When the man is involved at work and the woman is involved at home with the children they end up with lack of conversation. They begin to ask ritually how each other’s day was with out genuine interest and more out of obligation. Or the couples stop sharing altogether about day to day experiences because they do not want to burden the other partner and lastly the husband may use his wife as a ‘sounding board’ and talk at her leaving no room for her in the conversation.

Again this results in the failure of shared worlds, which results in the couple having little emotional exchange and having to get it from friends and family. Another failure in traditional marriages that Schwartz points out is the lack of mutual respect. Due to gender roles the relationship between man and wife in traditional marriage is a senior and junior partnership based on hierarchy. The husband has ultimate power to make decisions because he makes the money. Schwartz notes that power is typically the right of the breadwinner and with it breeds superiority.

Traditional wives feel patronized and this failure of respect brings resentment. In conjunction, Schwartz has observed traditional couples having a failure of realism. By this, Schwartz means that the husband and wife idealize one another usually as the husband being all knowing and the wife being a saint. This idealizing or lack of realism interferes with partner’s ability to give and receive support and understanding. Finally, the traditional marriage dehumanizes women.

Traditional wives are encouraged to invest themselves in their husband’s interests and to even read books on how to please a man. After time, usually after the kids have left the house, wives report feeling like they do not know who they are, they end up with out a sense of self. This realization that many women come to creates anger over not being able to be their own person while they view their husbands as “having it all. ” Schwartz identifies this failure among traditional marriages to be a large factor contributing to divorce.

Having identified failures found in traditional marriages Pepper Schwartz proposes that peer marriages may be the answer to the failures seen in traditional marriages because peer marriages operate on a different premise. The couples in peer marriages that Schwartz interviewed find being equal and interdependent rewarding and they work towards a common goal of a union based on equality. They see peer marriage as a way to have stability and a lasting relationship. Schwartz found four common threads in the peer marriage that seemed to save them from the failures of a traditional marriage.

She recognized that couples in peer marriages have developed deep friendship by having mutual respect for one another and understanding with tolerance. Peer couples have such a deep friendship because they have a shared world. They are invested in similar interests and make their relationship a priority over work and other external factors. These couples insist on having shared experiences. Schwartz emphasizes that couples in peer marriages are also able to negotiate differences because they have a deep friendship. Friends do not pull rank over one another or veto opinions offered, or monopolize conversations. ”(Shwartz,30) They are fair to one another because they value each other as equals. They also take turns in deciding on what to do, giving advice, and being the strong one or the one who needs support. Due to peer marriages being based on equality Schwartz did not find the problems of hierarchy in peer marriages. However, she did recognize that there are costs associated with having a peer marriage. Costs associated with peer marriages are career, identity and exclusion of others.

Couples in peer marriages typically do not have demanding careers because they choose to put their relationship first. They also need to maintain separate identities and avoid becoming enmeshed and need to remember to include family and friends in their relationship to avoid being isolated. Considering the Benefits of Peer marriage as opposed to traditional marriage Schwartz discusses why more couples opt for a traditional one. She concludes that there is an attraction to hierarchy because it is familiar. Peer marriage is unfamiliar and doesn’t have any guidelines to follow.

Peer marriages are often seen as difficult to obtain because they do not have a provider role and a nurturer role. Couples in peer marriages both provide economic and emotional support to the relationship and share power. Schwartz contends that by appreciating the similarities between man and woman instead of focussing on the differences that separate them we can overcome the detriments that gender roles promote and enjoy a more fulfilling and lasting marriage. After reading Love Between Equals I found Pepper Schwartz’s study to provide a deeper understanding of marriage in our society.

The concept of peer marriage challenges many sociological theories held on marriage. It defies Gary Becker’s economist theory and recognizes that marriage is not necessarily based on efficiency of tasks but rather on the personal fulfillment of having an equal partner. The book also reaches to understand the dimensions of a fulfilling marriage that satisfies both man and woman equally. While many couples find traditional marriage satisfying this book is dedicated to those who want more than tradition.

Perhaps our future generations will be investing in peer marriages because as our gender roles in society become more similar the need to have an equal may appeal to be a greater asset to couples. Schwartz did an excellent of job of examining how gender roles can shape a marriage. This is extremely critical because as the pursuit of happiness becomes a requirement in relationships it will force man and woman to evaluate what they want in a partner. Do they always want to be the leader or the follower?

Hopefully it will evoke these kinds of questions and force man and woman alike to evaluate their own gender stereotype and make changes that better suit who they are. In regarding the curriculum of Sociology 352, The Family, I would suggest incorporating chapters 1, 3 and 4 into the course, it would be best contrasted if coupled by Gary Becker’s reading or the Second Shift because it would truly add to the concepts of child rearing and gender roles. Secondly, these chapters in the book demonstrate how our past experiences and social reforms of the past have helped shape our relationships and values of the present day.

The want and expression of peer marriage is not some rebellious act designed by couples who hate tradition. It is a result and a reflection of how some of our traditions have not served our best interests. I believe that peer marriage is based on the foundation that couples want something more out their relationships that they couldn’t find with in the limits of tradition. I find Pepper Schwartz’s work and research to be revolutionary to our changing society’s needs. A principle of nature is survival of the fittest.

I find this example comparable to societal traditions of marriage. If some traditions, such as gender roles in marriage, do not serve a beneficial purpose then they will die out and the elements that do provide a beneficial purpose will thrive. I hope this is the case of peer marriage. Schwartz kept her reading interesting by comparing the differences of traditional and peer marriage. By introducing points and supporting them through personal accounts of couples from either type of marriage she managed to successfully support her contentions.

Through examining the myriad of ways that gender roles interfere with intimacy, Pepper Schwartz has identified the costs of traditional marriage and the rewards of peer marriage. She has demonstrated that the provider and nurturer roles assumed by man and woman ultimately negate intimacy and antagonize deep friendship. She shows that deep friendship found through equality is essential for intimacy and that peer marriage promotes commitment, shared worlds, co-parenting and the celebration of similarity. It is these qualities that peer marriage promote that make a marriage lasting and fulfilling for man and woman.

How is love to influence our lives?

How is love to influence our lives? Love-struck people do crazy things to express how they care for that particular person yet it is a long and windy road to these actions. It is down this path that experience spawns and trouble and happiness are felt. Janie Crawford of Zora Neale Hurstons Their Eyes Were Watching God, shows the road through the steps of her three relationships. These relationships, though not fulfilling ones, conclude in bettering Janies search and understanding of life.

Johnny Taylor, Janies first kiss and gatekeeper to her future, When Janie was sixteen, she embarked on a sexual awakening. Johnny Taylor was a poor young man who lived in the Florida area. Janie allowed him to kiss her over the fence. Unfortunately, Nanny saw everything. With Nannys horrendous background of sinful deeds done to her, she wanted the best for Janie. As she saw the kiss, the doors of life opened for Janie and Nanny wasnt going to have her make the same mistakes that she had. Yet, Nanny had been impregnated under the circumstances of being a slave and this was not the case for Janie.

Nanny stated that black women were the mules of the world, but she didn’t want Janie to be a mule. She wanted to see Janie in a secure situation before she died, and Logan Killicks could provide that. Janie did not want to marry Logan, but she did so because Nanny told her that she would eventually come to love him. Ironically, Logan wanted to force Janie into the servitude that Nanny feared. Also, he was disappointed that Janie never returned his affection and attraction. If he could not possess her through love, he would possess her by demanding her submission.

At heart, his actions arose from the fear that Janie would leave him. Two months after her marriage to Logan, Janie visited Nanny to ask when she would start loving him. Nanny berated Janie for not appreciating Logan’s wealth. Although Logan pampered Janie for a year, he began complaining that she was spoiled. That night, Logan criticized Janie for being spoiled and lazy. Janie voiced his deepest fears when she suggested that she might leave him. Logan reminded her of her family’s reputation, hoping to hurt her feelings.

Turning to these drastic of measures blew Janie into a frenzy and she left with a smooth-talking gentleman that very next day. Janie chose to leave Logan for Jody because he revived her dreams of love in marriage. Her first marriage had taught her that marriage and love do not go hand in hand. However, she still believed that love was the best motivation for marriage. Jody promised that he would never turn Janie into a common pack mule. He promised her that she would reap all the benefits of his work.

His words eerily echo Nanny’s dream of respectability and financial security for Janie. However, Janie didn’t marry Jody because of these promises. She married him because he inspired the feelings she had experienced while sitting under the blossoming peach tree when she was sixteen and the moment her womanhood became crystal clear. Ironically, Janie’s marriage to Jody was the very embodiment of Nanny’s dreams for her. Unlike Logan, he did not make her a pack mule. He gave her financial security and respectability. However, the marriage was largely an unhappy union.

Janie could not be herself around Jody. Moreover, Jody still used Janie as a garbage even though he gave her wealth and respectability. So it seems that Nanny’s worst fears and her highest hopes were realized in Janie’s second marriage. It was until one afternoon in the store that she met a lofty yet handsome young man who went, strangely enough, by the name of Tea Cake. Tea Cake’s courtship was different from that of Logan and Jody. Janie’s first marriage was more of a contract of sale between Nanny and Logan than anything else.

Janie’s second marriage was an escape from the first one. Moreover, it was based on disappointed dreams. Jody courted her by talking about himself and his dreams. Tea Cake, on the other hand, pursued Janie with a more romantic flair. Also, he allowed her equal footing in negotiating the terms of their relationship. Gaining personal freedom was a two-fold process. First, she had to be free in her private life, but she also had to free herself from restricting social attitudes. Only then could she begin to heal the rift between her outside self and her inside self.

She feels that what she has learned from her relationship with Tea Cake cannot be conveyed through words. Self-realization is a personal journey that can only be made through gaining life experience. Therefore, Janie acknowledges the flaws inherent in retelling her life, but she does not necessarily undercut the importance of having found her voice. Neither does she undercut the benefit of sharing her story with others. She doesn’t believe that her story should be the single, authoritative guidebook to self-realization. It can, however, inspire others to re-examine their lives.

Erich Fromm “The Art of Love”

Erich Fromm was born in 1900 in Frankfurt, Germany. He was the only child of Jewish parents. Fromm grew up knowing two different worlds – Orthodox Jewish and Christian, where he occasionally encountered anti-Semitism. The Fromm family was far from ideal. He described his parents as “very neurotic,” and himself as “an unbearably neurotic child.”

When the First World War broke out in Europe, Fromm was 14 years old. Although he was too young to fight, he was struck by human irrationality and destructive inclinations. He later wrote: “I was deeply preoccupied with a young man who was tormented by the question of how this war turned out to be possible, as well as the desire to understand the irrationality of the behavior of human masses and the passionate desire for peace and understanding between nations.” The answers to these questions show the enormous influence of Freud and Karl Marx. Freud’s work helped him understand that people are not aware of the reasons for their behavior. While reading Marx, he learned that sociopolitical forces significantly influence people’s lives.

Unlike Freud, Jung and Adler, Fromm did not have a medical education. He studied psychology, sociology and philosophy, he was awarded the degree of Ph.D. at the University of Heidelberg in 1922. He received a basic psychoanalytic education at the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute.

In 1934, Fromm emigrated to the United States of America, seeking to avoid the Nazi threat. He started a private practice in New York. Fromm published his first book, Escape from Freedom, in 1941. In it, he showed the special significance of the ways in which social forces and ideologies form the structure of the character of an individual. This trend, developed in a large number of subsequent books, brought Fromm membership in the International Psychoanalytic Association.

In 1945, Fromm became a member of the William Alençon White Institute of Psychiatry. Later he lectured at many US universities and served as a professor of psychiatry at the National University of Mexico from 1949 until his departure in 1965. Together with his wife Fromm in 1976 he moved to Switzerland, where he died of a heart attack in 1980.

I decided to write an essay on the book by Erich Fromm “The Art of Love” in order to better understand what love is, which plays such a big role in the life of every person. I did not expect to receive “accessible instructions in the art of love,” but, on the contrary, to understand the deep roots of this feeling, to get answers to my own questions from the point of view of psychology and philosophy.

In principle, the content of the book Fromm conveyed in the preface, which immediately adjusts the reader to the subject and complexity of the book. Just want to note that, firstly, “The Art of Love” contains many interesting ideas and, secondly, with the majority, if not all, I agree that it is very nice. Therefore, I read this book with great pleasure, although, frankly, I thought about it, almost in every word.

The title of the first chapter is submitted in the form of the question “Is love an art?” Most consider love, say, an accident, which is fundamentally, I think, wrong. Because for many, “the problem of love is only to be loved, and not to love, to know how to love.” Because a significant part of people think that, in fact, it is easy to love, the only problem is to find a suitable object that would meet all the requirements (almost like some kind of product!) And which would then fall in love. It would be more reasonable to say that love is a natural result of efforts and knowledge.

Although some do not even think that in order to love you, you also need to take some effort, and most importantly, that love for someone is more happiness than the consciousness that you love. Also, people can not always distinguish the initial feeling of love with a permanent state of being in love.

Love must learn, Fromm writes, and I share his point of view. Since, if people do not know how to love, then even the so-called “true love” will not last long.

Love is an art, with this I fully agree. And, of course, like every art, it is necessary to learn. But first it is necessary to realize (which for many, it seems to me impossible): we were taught from childhood to treat love simply, without even thinking, that is, questions like “Do you love your son, Manya from a neighboring yard?” In most cases they wanted to hear affirmative answer) that love is an art that, like all craftsmanship, is not given without difficulty, and only then it can be learned.

But, despite all the failures in this area, many put in the first place “more” real things: money, success, power, and so on. And since the same majority are pragmatists, this is largely the case because already at the beginning of the path (anyone) I want to see or at least represent the ultimate goal in some way. When you learn love, it is difficult to talk about it if it is not possible. Fromm correctly writes that our present culture implies worthy efforts to train only those things with which you can acquire money or prestige, and love that benefits “only the soul” but is useless in the modern sense is “luxury.” To change this state of affairs, this book was written. Of course, this is only one reason.

The second chapter of the book, in fact, is devoted to the theory of love. Here I would like to add that the content of the book goes beyond the definition of this feeling, which is understandable. Our life is a combination of various factors and circumstances; therefore, love cannot be separated from reality, from the environment.

Here (in this chapter), as I have already said, there are many interesting ideas. For example, one of them is as follows: a person inherently strives to be identical, that is, subconsciously he wants him to be not one. Although outwardly it seems the opposite: “people live with the illusion that they follow their own ideas and inclinations, that they are original, that they come to their convictions as a result of their own thinking”.

In fact, if you dig deeper, you can see that “their ideas are similar to the ideas of the majority,” that is, “the agreement of all is evidence of the correctness of“ their ”ideas.” But since there is still a small need for individualism, it is satisfied with the help of such insignificant distinctive signs as initials on clothes, belonging to a particular party, and so on. But, in fact, complete unity, that is, the feeling that he is not alone, comes only in love. But at the same time, only this feeling allows two beings to become one and at the same time remain two.

Immediately, Fromm gives some definition: “Love is an active force in a person, a force that destroys the walls separating a person from his neighbors; which unites him with others; love helps him overcome feelings of isolation and loneliness; while allowing him to remain himself, to maintain its integrity. ” Sufficiently capacious, in my opinion, the definition.

Thus, the active nature of the feeling consists precisely in the fact that love is, above all, giving, not taking. But in order to give, a person must reach a certain level of development. In fact, “giving is more joyful than taking, not because it is deprivation, but because the expression of my vitality is manifested in this act of giving”.

In his work, Fromm identifies five elements inherent in each kind of love. This is giving, caring, responsibility, respect and knowledge. The ability to give love implies the attainment of a “high level of productive orientation,” in which a person overcomes the narcissistic desire to exploit others and accumulate, and gains faith in his own strength, the courage to rely on himself in achieving goals. “The more a person lacks these traits, the more he is afraid of giving himself away – and, therefore, loving,” believes Fromm.

That love means caring is most evident in the attachment of a mother to her child. Her assurance of adoration will not convince us if we see her lack of custody of the child, if she neglects the feeding, does not try to completely surround him with attention, but when we see her care for the child, we fully believe in her feeling. “Love is an active interest in the life and development of what we love.”

Another aspect of love – responsibility – is the answer to the expressed or unexpressed needs of a human being. Being responsible means being able and willing to “respond”. A loving person feels responsible for his loved ones as well as for himself. In love between adults, responsibility mainly concerns the mental needs of the other.

Responsibility could easily degenerate in the desire for superiority and domination, if there were no respect in love. “Respect is not fear and reverence, it is the ability to see a person as he is, to be aware of his unique individuality.” Thus, reverence implies the absence of exploitation. “I want my loved one to grow and develop for his own sake, his own way, and not to serve me. If I love another person, I feel oneness with him, but with what he is, and not with the way I wanted him to be, as a means of my goals. ”

“It is impossible to respect a person without knowing him: care and responsibility would be blind if knowledge did not direct them.” Fromm considered love as one of the ways of knowing the mystery of man, and knowledge as an aspect of love, which is the tool of this knowledge, allowing to penetrate into the very essence.

There are several types of love that Fromm calls “objects”: brotherly love, motherly love, erotic love, love of self, and love of God.

Under fraternal love Fromm understands love between equals, which is based on the feeling that we are all one. “Love begins to manifest itself only when we love those whom we cannot use for our own purposes,” the author writes. Maternal love, which I would call parental love, without dividing it into the feelings of a father and mother, according to Fromm, is an attachment to a helpless being. The philosopher speaks of self-love as a feeling, without experiencing which, it is not possible to love someone else.

For both sexual and erotic feelings, Fromm uses one term – “erotic love”. As its main principle, the author identifies the merger, both in the physical and in the spiritual sense. However, when a philosopher begins to describe specific manifestations of erotic love, he discovers that the physical aspect of closeness without spiritual unity is not capable of satisfying it.

“If the perception of another person went deep into it, if the infinity of his personality was comprehended, then the other person could never be fully known – and the miracle of overcoming barriers could be repeated every day anew. But for most people acquaintance with their own person, and even more so with others too hastily, is exhausted too quickly. For them, affinity is affirmed primarily through sexual contact. Since they perceive the alienation of another person first of all as physical alienation, they take physical unity as a feeling of intimacy. ”

In this passage, it is important for us to distinguish two aspects in the understanding of erotic love Fromm. First, it is the achievement of unity with another through physical intimacy, and, secondly, it is the achievement of unity with another in the infinite cognition of another through physical intimacy.

In the first case, all experiences focus on the fact of physical proximity itself. In the second – on the other, which is comprehended through this proximity. It is quite possible to agree with Fromm when he emphasizes the non-self-sufficiency of the purely sexual aspect in love: “For a brief moment, sexual desire creates the illusion of unity, but without love it leaves people as alien to each other as they were before. Sometimes it makes them ashamed afterwards and even hate each other, because when the illusion disappears, they feel alienated even more than before. ”

Later in this chapter comes a description of the love of God that I would prefer to get around with my attention.

The third section of the book is called “Love and its disintegration in modern society”. Many thoughts and ideas are closely intertwined or have even been mentioned in previous chapters. But here I would like to quote one paragraph, which seems to me the most correct. That is, delusion, the illusion that “love necessarily means the absence of conflict, is very common. Also, people are accustomed to thinking that pain and sadness should be avoided under any circumstances … And they find the right arguments in favor of this idea that the collisions they see around turn out to be just a destructive reciprocal exchange, which does not bring any good to any of parties.

In fact, for most people quarrels are attempts to avoid actual conflicts. It is rather a disagreement on insignificant and superficial issues that by their very nature are not amenable to clarification or resolution. The actual conflicts between two people are not to hide something or to blame on another person, but are experienced on a deep level of inner reality from which they emanate. Such conflicts are not destructive. They lead to clarification, they give rise to catharsis, from which both people come out enriched with knowledge and power. ”

And the last chapter, the smallest, “The Practice of Love”, where Fromm immediately warns those who are waiting for any prescriptions like “do-it-yourself” that this will not happen. The author only highlights the general requirements and character traits necessary in any art, be it music, medicine and, of course, love.

First of all, the philosopher singles out discipline as a criterion, but precisely the discipline of his whole life. The second aspect – concentration, that is, the mastery of any art should be the subject of the highest concentration, there should not be anything more important than this occupation. The third factor is patience. The last condition is the highest interest in gaining mastery in this matter. “If art is not a subject of supreme importance to him, the student will never learn it. He will remain, at best, a good amateur, but he will never become a master. This condition is as necessary in the art of love as it is in any other. ”

Next, Fromm considers the qualities necessary for the ability to love: overcoming his own narcissism, reason, humility. The author reduces all these three traits to one definition: “love, being dependent on the relative absence of narcissism, requires the development of humility, objectivity and reason. All life should be dedicated to this goal. ”

In general, I would like to say that this is a wonderful book that allowed me to understand a lot, but at the same time I made me think about other things, not only about love. And I would like to finish with Erich Fromm’s quotation that “love is a character trait, it must be present not only in relations with your family and friends, but also with those with whom a person comes into contact at work, in affairs, in their professional activities. There is no “division of labor” between the love of one’s own and the love of others. On the contrary, the condition for the existence of the first is the existence of the second. ”

The essence of love – the theme of philosophical reflection

In ethics, intimate and deep feelings, a special kind of consciousness, mental state and actions that are directed at another person, society, etc. are associated with the concept of love. The complexity and importance of love are dictated by the fact that it is focused in an organic compound physiological and spiritual, individual and social, personal and universal, understandable and inexplicable, intimate and generally accepted. There is no such developed society and there is no such person who was not familiar with it at least in small measure. Moreover, without love the moral image of a person cannot be formed, normal development does not occur.

The passion for love, the American sociologist E. Fromm notes in the book “The Art of Love”, is the most significant manifestation of human positive, life-affirming drives. “Love is the only affirmative answer to the question about the problem of human existence.” However, he continues, most people are not able to develop it to an adequate level of maturity, self-knowledge and determination. Love in general is an art that requires experience and the ability to concentrate, intuition and understanding, in a word, it must be comprehended.

The reason that many do not recognize this need is, according to Fromm, the following circumstances:

1) most people look at love from the position of “how to be loved”, but not “how to love”, not from the position of the possibility of love;

2) the idea that the problem is in love itself, and not in the ability to love;

3) the concepts of “love” and “state of love” are mixed, with the result that the notion that there is nothing easier than love dominates, whereas in practice it is quite different.

To overcome this state, it is necessary to realize that love is an art (as well as human life in general), that it must be comprehended. First of all, we must understand that love cannot be reduced only to the relationship between opposite sexes, a man and a woman. Love marked all human activity in all its manifestations (love of work, homeland, pleasure, etc.), moreover, love can be the motivator of this activity, its stimulus, source of energy. “Love becomes more fruitful from our inner experiences,” writes H. Ortega-and-Gasset, “it is born in many movements of the soul: desires, thoughts, aspirations, actions; but all that grows out of love, like the harvest of a seed, is not love itself; Love is a condition for the named movements of the soul to manifest. ” Therefore, in each epoch different types and aspects of love were distinguished, attempts were made to systematize the forms of its manifestation, arranging them according to their importance and meaning.

The concept of love in Plato was the first attempt to uncover the essence of “pure” love, to understand and comprehend what distinguishes this side of human life from the physiological instinct, sensual satisfaction. The sexual instinct differs from love in that it corresponds to our psycho-physiological organization, it depends on our sensuality, and its intensity depends on the degree of our saturation. The sexual instinct is easy to satisfy, and its monotonous repetition causes only fatigue.

Love is the other side of human life, it does not come down to the satisfaction of our sensuality, since it causes not a feeling of fatigue and satiety, but joy, delight from endless renewal. She, like man, is open to infinity and inherently anti-pragmatic. Love overcomes not only the limitations of a person on the path to perfection, truth, but also makes him clearer to another person.

Fromm emphasizes the meaning of love as a passion that overcomes alienation between people, generated by a sense of shame, guilt or excitement. “Without love, man could not survive a day.” “Matured love is a condition under which the integrity, unity, and individuality of each person is preserved. Love is the active force of a person; it is a force that breaks through the walls that separate one person from another and unites him with others: love helps a person to overcome feelings of isolation and loneliness, at the same time he can remain himself, preserve his individuality. A paradox is realized in love – two beings become one, and at the same time two of them ”.

Love, continues Fromm, is not passive, but active action, “a state in which you love,” but not at all love. Love is associated with bestowal, not perception. The most important sphere of bestowal is the kingdom of humanism, in which a person gives himself, a part of his life (this does not always mean sacrificing life): joy, understanding, tasks, humor, interests, etc. Giving this part of his life, Fromm stresses, a person enriches the other, deepens the meaning of his life, deepening the meaning of the life of another.

The possibilities of love depend on the degree of personal development and provide for the achievement of a state of creativity in which a person overcomes envy, narcissism, lust for power, gains the consciousness of his own power, self-confidence in achieving the goal. To the extent that a person lacks these qualities, he is afraid to give himself, that is, he is afraid to love.

From the active nature of love, continues Fromm, say the following of its elements:

  • care as an active attitude towards the life and well-being of the one we love, work for the benefit of others;
  • responsiveness as a willingness to “respond” to the call of another, request, etc .;
  • respect as the ability to see a person as he is, recognizing his individuality (and not what he needs for our purposes);
  • it is only when love is free;
  • knowledge, which overcomes blindness, inability to see each other;
  • only in love is the thirst to know oneself and one’s loved ones.

The only complete path of knowledge is realized in the act of love. I need to know myself and the other person objectively in order to be able to discern his true nature or, more precisely, overcome illusions, incorrect, ugly ideas about him. Only when I perceive a living being objectively, can I recognize him to the very intimate essence, and this I do in the process of love.

The aspect of love associated with the need to give, overcoming your personal egoism, life instincts, plays a special role in Christian morality, which was expressed in the famous thesis about love for your neighbor and the enemy as yourself. This kind of love is important not only for Christianity, but also for morality in general.

Love – and this is its unique role in life – is one of the few areas in which a person is able to feel and experience his absolute indispensability. In many social roles and functions of a particular person, you can replace, replace, change, just not in love. In this sphere of life, the individual has, therefore, the highest value, the highest value in comparison with everything else. Here man is not a function, but himself, in his concrete and immediate absolute. That is why only in love a person can feel the meaning of his existence for another and the meaning of the existence of another for himself. This is the highest synthesis of the meaning of human existence. Love helps him to manifest, revealing, increasing, developing in him good, positive, valuable.

And finally, love is one of the manifestations of human freedom. No one can make love – neither the other, nor himself. Love is a matter of own initiative, it is the basis of itself.

Ortega-i-Gasset characterized the specifics of love as follows: “Love — and it is love, and not the general state of the soul of a lover — is a pure act of feelings directed at an object, thing, or personality. As one of the sensual manifestations of memory, love itself is different from all the components of memory: to love is not to correlate, to observe, to think, to remember, to represent; love, on the other hand, is different from the attraction with which it often mixes. Undoubtedly, attraction is one of the manifestations of love, but love itself is not attraction … Our love is at the heart of all our attractions, which, like a seed, sprout from it. ”

 

About the meaning of love

Love is the leading need of man, one of the main ways of rooting him in society. Man lost his natural roots, ceased to live animal life. He needs human roots, as deep and strong as animal instincts. And one of these roots is love. “That love is generally a precious good, the happiness and comfort of human life – moreover, its only true foundation is the truth common, as if born to the human soul.”

All love is love for concrete, given things in feeling. Love for the abstract, perceived only by the mind, does not exist. “Thought,” categorically asserts Hegel, “cannot be loved.” Love for one’s neighbor is love for people with whom you enter into relationships, love for good is love for specific manifestations, actions for which it finds expression, love for beauty is an attraction to things that carry beauty in themselves, but not a love for “beauty in general”. It is impossible to love “humanity”, as it is impossible to love “a person in general,” you can only love a given, separate, individual person in all its concreteness.

It is necessary to emphasize such a feature of love as its universality: every person finds, in the end, his love and everyone is or will eventually become the object of someone’s love. Handsome man or ugly, young or not, rich or poor, he always dreams of love and looking for her. The reason for this is simple: love is the main and accessible to everyone method of self-affirmation and rooting in life, which without love is incomplete and incomplete. In early youth, they are persistently seeking, above all, erotic love, later comes love for children or for God, beauty or their profession, etc. Love can flare up and go out, one love can be replaced or supplanted by another, but a person always or loves , or hoping to love, or living memories of past love.

Love always means a new vision: with the advent of love, its subject and its whole environment begin to be perceived completely differently than before. It looks as if a person at one moment was transferred to another planet, where many objects are unfamiliar to him, and known objects are seen in a different light. A new vision communicated by love is, above all, a vision in the aura, in the mode of charm. It gives the object of love a special way of existence, in which there is a sense of the uniqueness of this object, its authenticity and irreplaceability. Love, creating a halo around a favorite object, informs him of holiness and inspires awe. About how strong awe can be, says, for example, that even the most ugly images of the Virgin have found admirers, and even more numerous than good images.

A. Schopenhauer and 3. Freud believed that love blinds, moreover, that in a love blindness a person is capable of committing a crime without repenting at all. But love is not blindness, but it is a different vision, in which everything evil and evil in a loved one appears only as a belittling and distortion of its true nature. The flaws of the beloved, notes S.L. Frank, are like a disease in a patient: its discovery does not cause hatred of him, but a desire to correct him.

The situation created by love is paradoxical: two people become one and at the same time remain two personalities. This leads to the fact that love acquires not only the appearance of coincidence and agreement, but also the appearance of conflict and struggle. This inner contradiction of love was well expressed by J.-P. Sartre, who considered the conflict the original meaning of “being-for-another.” Unity with the other is not feasible, either in fact or legally, since connecting together “being-for-itself” and “other” would entail the disappearance of the distinctive features of the “other”. The condition for identifying the “other” with me is a constant denial by me that I am this “other”. Unification is a source of conflict because, if I feel myself an object for the “other” and intend to assimilate it, remaining such an object, the “other” perceives me as an object among other objects and in no case intends to absorb me. “… Being-for-another,” Sartre concludes, “suggests a double inner denial.”

Since love is a conflict, all general provisions on social conflict can be transferred to it. In particular, it can be said that the greater the emotional involvement, the greater the conflict; the harder was the earlier agreement, the greater the conflict; the sharper it is, the more changes there will be, the higher their rates, etc.

However, although love always includes not only unity, but also conflict, it almost always brings with it a feeling of joy, happiness, and a specific inner liberation.

“This is a great mystery,” says about love in ancient times.

These features of love – this is just what is clear in it, or, rather, what lies before your eyes.

But in love, of course, there is something incomprehensible, fatal and even mystical. And it is possible that this very, inexplicable side of the souls to each other is the main thing in love.

Probably, the debate about the relationship between the rational and the irrational, physical and spiritual in love will never end. It is clear, however, one thing: through it, we are aware of, we perceive the meaning of life in general, and our own autonomy. Love is always happy, only dislike is unhappy, its absence. Love is a criterion for ourselves and for those around us, our art of being human.

Theme of love in the philosophical culture of the new time

In the Renaissance, the theme of love flourished in an atmosphere of general, keen interest in everything earthly and human, freeing itself from the control of the church. “Love” returned to itself the status of a vital philosophical category, which it had in antiquity with Empedocles and Plato and which in the Middle Ages was replaced with the status of religious Christian. But the religious tinge of the love feeling did not disappear completely, and the fact that it was revived in the 15th century Florence Academy played a role in this. Neoplatonism was originally imbued with the mood of piety. But the Renaissance worldview stubbornly sought to break free from the yoke of the church, and in the long-time opposition of the love of the “earthly” and the love of the “heavenly”, the earthly declared loudly about their rights, defending them with ever more decisiveness.

In the philosophical constructions of the Florentine neo-Platonist of the XV century. Marsilio Ficino, who was not distinguished by either excellent health or temperament riot, still placed in the center of the worldview not divine plots, but a person who is full of strength and in a harmonious world pattern is connected with powerful connections of love. M. Ficino points to three main types of love, which are characterized by a significant internal difference: the love of equal beings to equal, lower to higher and higher to lower. In the third case, love is expressed in tender guardianship, in the second – in grateful veneration, and in the first it forms the basis of an all-pervading humanism.

But the renaissance concept of the essence and meaning of love reached its highest pathos, perhaps, in the philosophical doctrine of Giordano Bruno (1548— 1600). In Bruno’s “On Heroic Enthusiasm” dialogue, love appears as excellent in principle from the “irrational impulse, desire for something bestial and unreasonable”, heroic, fiery passion that inspires a person in his struggle and striving for knowledge of the great secrets of nature, strengthening him in contempt for suffering and fear of death, calling for exploits and promising delight of unity with a powerful, inexhaustible and endless Nature.

“Love is everything, and it affects everything, and you can talk about it all, you can ascribe everything to it.” Under the pen of Giordano Bruno, love turns into an all-pervading cosmic force that makes a man invincible. Man is seized by a fervent desire to be a part of the divine, in the sense of its greatness, Nature, that is, to dwell in the intellectual “love of God (amor dei intellectualis)”.

Love became a cosmic force in the works of the German mystic pantheist of the Renaissance, Jacob Boehme (1575-1624). He declares love and anger the essential properties of the deity and the moving spring of human history, where they turn into good and evil, respectively. Accepting the doctrine of the creation of the world by God, Boehme gave him a highly peculiar character: God initially had in himself both love and discord and “divided himself” into things existing in nature. In this way, Adam also arose – the first man, who, however, on the contrary, was supposedly the inseparability of male and female principles, he was a “virgin man” and a “male virgin” at the same time, androgyne.

Overcome by love longing, androgyn Adam committed an act of double fall. As a result, love has lost its oneness with wisdom, that is, it lost the perfection of love that it possessed in the divine bosom. The beginning of a new union of love with wisdom laid the act of Christ’s atonement for the sins of the human race. The future of love is in its connection with the mind, in the distribution of intelligent love among people. This scheme, of course, is fantastic, but it was inspired by the thought of people’s attainability of perfection, both in the knowledge of the secrets of the world, and in love, which is “everything”. The idea of ​​man-androgyne was known since the era of antiquity, it was also in Plato, and then appeared in the philosophy of love more than once, for example, N. A. Berdyaev.

In the XVII century. new winds blew … In the antithesis to the inherited from the times of the Reformation and the Counter Reformation, and at the dawn of the New Age, the still far from disappearing mystical understanding of love as a religious or religion-colored feeling develops completely different concepts. René Descartes in his treatise “The Passion of the Soul” (1649) states that “love is the excitement of the soul caused by the movement of“ spirits ”, which causes the soul to voluntarily connect with objects that seem to be close to it, and hate is the excitement caused by“ spirits ”and encouraging soul to separation from things that seem harmful to her. ”

In his treatise on the passions of the soul, Descartes is not limited to a general definition, and distinguishes between types of love. The first of these is love – the desire for good to someone you love, and she is capable of self-sacrifice. The most vivid example of such love is the attitude of parents towards their children. The second kind is “lust-love,” associated with the desire for possession, as in the case of a relationship with a beloved woman.

Descartes recognizes that this love may have in itself the features of the first kind, although he (in the case of the fatherly or maternal feeling) does not contain any admixture of the second kind. As for the third kind, it is, strictly speaking, not love, but only a passion devouring a person, having some similarity with love, but no more: an ambitious person, a miser, a drunkard or a rapist “strive to possess the objects of their passions, but they do not nourish her (love) to the objects themselves … ”. It follows that Descartes was not very happy with his own definition: the feeling of love is clearly more than lust, and also the desire for good to the object to which this feeling is drawn.

The definition of love that B. Spinoza gives is built in the spirit of the abstract and pedantic components of his philosophical system. It is far from the formalism of Descartes’ considerations, but the direction of concretization of this definition is different. Let in general terms “love is pleasure accompanied by an idea; external causes ”, but how different are these“ causes ”and the“ pleasures ”associated with them!

Spinoza does not at all advocate asceticism, his ideal is a person who has not destroyed his physical passions, but has managed to bring them into a reasonable channel and subordinate them to such affects that enrich the soul more and more and make its owner a purposeful and persistent personality. The highest among these affects is “intellectual love for God”, that is, curiosity, inquisitiveness, ardent passion for the work of knowing “God,” that is, infinite and inexhaustible Nature.

It is inspired by the dedication of a scientist who has devoted his life to scientific research. In research activity, man finds the greatest expression for his potencies, he achieves unity with the universe, and this elevates him over the transient everyday joys and sufferings, settling in his soul the elated sense of communion with eternity.

The third, after Descartes and Spinoza, a great innovator of the XVII century. Leibniz shifted the center of gravity to the love-friendship so glorified in ancient times by Cicero, which in its best examples develops in the character of people the features of sacrificial and disinterested selflessness. In a small sketch “On Affects”, he reproaches Descartes for not clearly demarcating the disinterested and bright feeling of love from egoistic and darkness to pleasures.

Genuine love means the pursuit of perfection, and it is in the deepest depths of our “I”, developing the stronger, the more perfect the object of our love, or at least we think so. For the growth and spread of love, knowledge and action in their unity is necessary – the knowledge of the common ideals of the human race and activities for the sake of strengthening friendship and harmony between people. But the sacrifice and selfless dedication in true friendship contradict the self-preservation power, the love for oneself, so naturally rooted in people.

How these two aspirations agree with each other depends on the characteristics of each individual, in principle, they should be connected through the exciting and sweet feeling that seizes us when we see the successes and happiness of those persons to whom we are particularly warm.

If religious theorists of the XVII. put a lot of strength in order to sharply distinguish between selfish self-love and supposedly deprived of any hint of egoism, the jubilation of a “saved soul” merging with God in the ecstasy of love for him, then for Leibnitz there is no problem: he is convinced that there is no physical, spiritual, and conversely, there is no spiritual without physical, and therefore the search for a rigid boundary between the two types of “love for oneself” is inhuman, inhumane in its very basis.

Enlightening inspiration Leibniz received in the XVIII century. development, primarily on French soil. The problem of “divine love” increasingly went somewhere into the background, “earthly love”, which, however, had never been able to destroy before, more and more firmly occupied the minds of not only poets, but also philosophers.

The apogee of the humanistic interpretation of love and its role in the life of mankind during the periods of the German Enlightenment and the literary movement “Storm and Stress” was achieved in the work of Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Love is sensual and tragic, sublime and contrived, sincere and suspicious, beautiful and frivolous – the poet paints all these and her other shades and twists, demonstrating the inexhaustible palette of human souls in different eras, in different nations and in different life collisions, in the widest range time and space (for example, “The Book of Love” in the lyric “West-Eastern couch”, “The trilogy of passion”). Love forms a personality, inspires her and instills courage in her, making her able to go against everything, even her own life (the novel “The Suffering of Young Werther”), challenging hypocrisy and prejudice (the novel “Selective Affinity”), destroys in its fatal destiny ( drama “Mary Stuart”), but also saves and clears (the tragedy “Faust”).

Goethe was both a classicist and a realist, he is committed to all earthly things, and vividly rushes to the romantic heights. And all this in a harmonious unity.

All four classics of German idealism of the end of the 18th — first third of the 19th centuries — Kant, Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel — expressed their definite philosophical and socio-practical attitude to the problem of love.

Immanuel Kant made a distinction between “practical” love (for one’s neighbor or for God) and love for “pathological” (that is, sensual inclination), and generally took a too sober and dry position in relations between the sexes, corresponding to the skeptical part of his philosophy and supported by cold observations of a lonely bachelor. In Metaphysics of Morals (1797) Kant approaches the phenomenon of love from an ethical point of view, and only that. “We understand love here not as feeling (not aesthetically), that is, not as pleasure from the perfection of other people, and not as love-sympathy (after all, it is not the duty of others to impose feelings on others); love should be thought of as a maxim of benevolence (practical), resulting in beneficence. ” Consequently, according to Kant, the love of a man of the opposite sex and “love of neighbor, even if this latter deserved little respect” is actually the same thing. It is a duty, a moral obligation, and only.

In “Metaphysics of Morals,” Kant improves his point of view, and among the demands of duty he considers friendship, and “friendship (considered in its perfection) is a union of two people based on mutual love and respect.” Moreover, without respect, “true love is impossible, while you can have great respect for someone without feeling love.” However, it seems to Kant that where there is love, there can be no equal relationship to each other and the one who loves another (other) more than that (that) him, involuntarily turns out to be less respected by a partner who begins to feel superior. And at the same time, virtuous love “seeks to pour out completely and waits for the same reciprocal outpouring of the heart, not restrained by any distrust.”

And how cold it still blows from Kant’s fears that friendship and love will be ruined by “arrogant familiarity”! Of course, the lack of ceremony in the bad sense of the word is akin to rudeness and inadequacy, but Kant is not worried about this: it is important for him that there is always a distance between lovers, otherwise their personalities will suffer with their inherent independence. Selfless dedication in love is inadmissible for Kant. And how could it have turned out differently, if, according to Kant, a debt requires love, a person is obliged to love, voluntarily, but still he is obliged .

Johann Gottlieb Fichte did not accept Kant’s sober and prudent calculations, and he talks about love as the strength of the ontological association “I” and “Not-I” – two opposites, into which the world spiritual force is first dismembered, in order to re-seek itself to reunite with itself. . But Fichte could not, of course, reject the empirical concept of sexual love, and in his early writings, where he had not yet identified the universal “I” as the source and basis of all being, with God, Fichte considers this concept. His position is very tough, rigoristic: marriage and love, of course, are not the same, but there should not be a marriage without love and love without marriage.

Friedrich Schelling was also engaged in the ontologization of love, that is, its rooting in the structure of the world Absolute. He declared love as the formative principle of the activity of the universal spiritual principle — the principle of the highest significance. Schelling talked a lot with the Jena romantics, and it was not in vain: unlike Fichte, he recognizes the equality of the two sexes in love. Each of them is equally looking for the other in order to merge with him in a higher identity.

He rejected Schelling and the myth of the androgynes, outlined by Plato in his dialogue “Feast” and repeated by Jacob Boehme: if the first people existed with undivided sexes, where would their love outlook come from? They would be completely self-sufficient, and love in the human race would not only not develop, but, on the contrary, would be completely extinguished.

George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) resolutely rejected all mysticism in the interpretation of love. He returned to these questions more than once, prompted by both his immediate interest and the needs of his philosophical system. Already in the youthful fragment of “Love and Religion” he begins the categorical treatment of this concept: a split between desires and reality is characteristic of man, and this split is overcome by the “positivity” of love, whose miraculous power is equivalent to religious. In another unfinished sketch— “Love” (1798), young Hegel continues, but somewhat differently, to reveal the dialectic of contradictions inherent in this phenomenon and its concept.

The subject, according to Hegel, seeks love, self-assertion and immortality, and approaching these goals is possible only when the love object is worthy of the subject in its internal strength and capabilities and in this sense is “equal” to it. It is then that love acquires vitality, becomes the very manifestation of “Life”: realizing inclination, love strives for mastering and domination, but thereby overcomes the opposition of the subjective and objective, rises to the infinite.

In the second half of the XIX century. The 44th chapter of the second volume (1844) of the main work of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer “The world as will and representation” made the decision. This chapter was called “The Metaphysics of Sexual Love,” and in it the person embraced by the feeling of love was portrayed as a blind puppet dominated by the cosmic principle, the World Will. It uses people as submissive tools – the means that the phantom of love makes the human race continue. All the rest – individual selectivity in love, seeing everything in the iridescent light of passion and believing only in the worst jealousy, in general, the whole wide range of feelings and moods – all this is only a disguise that hides the hypocritical “truth” that love is only insidious the trap of nature, and everything else is only a deceptive add-on.

However, Schopenhauer declared that a person is able to overcome both the blindness of biological aspirations and the egoism of prudent commercialism, provided that he transforms sexual feeling into compassion, and his – into a feeling of universal altruism. In Schopenhauer’s understanding, the subjects of altruistic love must “forget themselves”, dissolving their will in the imperative of moral self-suppression, and then completely kill it. In the end, love in any form of it will wither away, and everything will plunge into nirvana.

According to Nietzsche, love is always selfish, altruism is impossible, its complicity in love is unnatural. In this sense, love and morality exclude each other, love turns out to be “on the other side of good and evil.” If spirituality is possible in love, then it is only spirituality of sensuality in the sense of its acute awareness, “piercing.” Since love is a way of self-affirmation of the Will, it manifests itself not only as a love for a being of the opposite sex, but also as a love for life in general and a love for power especially. But these last two dimensions are also present in sexual love as a desire to overcome the existing in existence, as the desire to defeat a partner in love, break it and subjugate it. To overcome the existing – it means to overcome its former existence: love contributes to life creativity, but also to the denial of an already existing life, so that it turns out to be the preamble of death, enters at its threshold.

This peculiar dialectic of life and love in the views of Nietzsche was reinforced by his arguments about the steps of love in its development. These steps are lined up by him in a certain sequence on the basis of a sharp opposition of women’s and men’s love. In both of them there are moments of self-preservation and self-denial, but they manifest themselves quite differently: in the first one, the desire to obey wins, the second seeks to dominate, and in mutual love, the combination of these two opposite quality tendencies causes chaos and dissonance of impulses, triumph and confusion, friendliness and hatred, admiration and contempt. Going beyond its own boundaries, love returns to its irrational biological fundamental principles.

The ideal of love of the Christian-Byzantine world

If today, when the history of Christianity is already two thousand years old, we ask ourselves the question, what is its main contribution to human culture, then, almost without thinking, we can answer: the ideal of all-embracing love as the basis of human existence. Christianity immediately recognized itself as the carrier of a fundamentally new, not previously ethical, new understanding of a person, his place in the world, new laws of human existence. The Sermon on the Mount is based on the principles of the removal of ancient morality by the morality of the new, based on the principles of love. New commandments are given most often not as a development of old ones, but as their denial, removal. “You heard what was said: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. But I say unto you, Do not resist evil. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him; and whoever wants to sue you and take your shirt from you, give him your outer clothing … ”(Matthew 5, 38-40).

The ideal of a comprehensive, all-pervasive and forgiving love arose and was formed in the Late Antique world, in the most holistic and complete form in the sphere of religious consciousness, because without sanctification with divine authority he could hardly become the property of the public consciousness of the ancient world and it appeared as a negation of the opposite ideal. If in the Old Testament fear was the main principle of the interaction between God and man, then in the New Testament love became love, which did not completely abolish “the fear of God” but subordinate it to itself.

The very incarnation (incarnation) of the Son of God, all of his activities on earth, the suffering and the shameful death on the cross to atone for the sins of men were understood by evangelists, then patristics, as an action of God’s deepest love for people. “For God so loved the world,” writes John the Evangelist, “that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him ”(Jn 3, 16-17).

Comparing this amazing act of God’s love for people with the level of their consciousness, the Apostle Paul notes that a person will hardly give his life for another, unless someone decides to sacrifice for his benefactor. And “God proves His love for us by the fact that Christ died for us when we were still sinners” (Rom 5, 8), and with this saved us for eternal life. From that great and mysterious time, “the love of God was poured out into our hearts by the Holy Ghost, given unto us” (Rom 5, 5), and “the love of Christ embraces us” (2 Cor 5, 14). It is so great and strong that it surpasses all understanding (Eph 3, 19), because it pours out not only into the external world, but also acts within the Divine itself – it binds the Father and the Son.

“As the Father loved me, and I loved you,” Jesus calls out to people, “abide in my love” (Jn 15, 9). God himself set the example of infinite and saving love for people, and the New Testament, and after it Christian thinkers throughout the history of Christianity, have tirelessly urged fellow believers to imitate divine love. “So, imitate God, as children of the beloved, and live in love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us as an offering and sacrifice to God, a pleasant aroma” (Ephesians 5: 1-2).

All three synoptic Gospels transmit (although somewhat in different forms) an episode with the temptation of Jesus by the scribe, who asked him about the greatest commandment of the law and heard in response; “…“ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind ”: This is the first and greatest commandment; the second is similar to her: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The law and the prophets are based on these commandments (Mt 22, 37-40).

Jesus actually literally repeated the commandments of the Pentateuch of Moses. However, there they are listed among many other manuals and “statutes” and are in different books. Jesus puts them in first place as principal and unites them. The concept of the “neighbor”, referred to in the Old Testament only to the “sons of Israel”, it extends to all mankind, summing up in response to the scribe of the Samaritan despised by the Jews (see: Lk 10, 30—37).

In this case, Jesus does not cancel the commandments of the law, but, on the contrary, strengthens them, brings to the fore and focuses on the second (in his calculation) commandments; love of neighbor. The main, ultimate, ideal in the New Testament is also the commandment of the love of God. All its authors remember it, for love is from God. He brought it to people, loved them, and longed for reciprocal feelings. However, it is impossible without the implementation of the second commandment, without love of neighbor.

“He who says,“ I love God, ”and hates his brother, is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he sees, how can he love God, whom he does not see? ”(1 John 4, 20). Love for the neighbor, that is, for each person, in the New Testament is a necessary condition for the love of God, the main step on the way to him, and therefore it is almost in the center of attention of all New Testament authors. The Apostle Paul ardently convinces the Romans; “… he who loves another, has fulfilled the law,” for all the commandments of Christ “consist in this word; “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to one’s neighbor; so love is the fulfillment of the law ”(Rom 13: 8-10).

Through sermons and personal examples, the Gospel Jesus throughout his whole life on earth passionately inculcated the idea and sense of love towards his neighbor into human hearts. And at the last farewell conversation with the disciples (“the secret evening”), he gives them a new, higher commandment of love, calling to make it the basis of human relationships after his departure. Emphasizing its significance, Jesus repeats it three times during the course of the conversation. “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another; as I have loved you, may you love one another ”(Jn 13, 34); “This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15, 12); “I command you this, that you love one another” (Jn 15:17).

Now he calls the disciples, and through them each person, to love each other not only with ordinary human love (“as himself”), but also higher — divine, which Jesus (as well as God himself, for: “I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me ”—In 14, 10) He loved people. Driven by this love, he betrayed himself to a shameful death in order to save his beloved. This love is almost beyond human ability, yet Jesus believes in man and calls him to all-conquering sacrificial love. “There is no more that love, as if one lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15, 13).

The power of this love saves the beloved for eternal life, only it lifts a man out of his slave state, elevates him to the high position of a friend worthy of the friendship and love of God himself. If the Old Testament considered people only slaves of God, then the “Gospel of John” elevates them to the level of his friends. “You are my friends,” says Jesus to the people, “if you do what I command you.” And he commands, first of all, the love of each other. “I no longer call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his lord does; but I called you friends, because I told you everything that I heard from My Father ”(Jn 15, 14-15).

So, the love of people for each other can bring them out of the slave, humiliated state, into which their hatred and enmity have plunged, and make friends not only among themselves, but also God himself. Such a high human thought has never put a man or his, perhaps, the most difficult and controversial feeling – love. Ancient philosophy knew two types of love – sensual love (Aphrodite on earth) and divine eros (Aphrodite of heaven), as a cosmic force, but practically did not know forgiving love of neighbor, which, according to Christian notions, only makes man equal to God.

Love in the New Testament is understood very broadly, and almost all of its aspects are sanctified by divine authority. It is understood as a generally virtuous life, as the fulfillment of all moral and ethical norms that have been developed for centuries in the ancient world and enshrined in Holy Scripture as divine commandments. “Love is that we walk according to His commandments,” says the apostle John (2 John 1, 6).

These commandments, in addition to the main ones – love for God and neighbor, include elementary moral requirements: honor your father and mother, do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not slander your friend, do not wish your neighbor’s property. He who obeys these commandments is a man who lives in love. He is rewarded with the reciprocal feeling of God himself, and this is the pledge of eternal life and endless bliss. “If you keep my commandments,” Jesus promises, “you will abide in my love, just as I have kept the commandments of my Father and abide in His love. These things I have told you, may my joy remain in you, and your joy will be perfect ”(Jn 15: 10-11).

True love is accompanied by joy, spiritual pleasure from complete unity with the beloved, complete merging with him in the act of love, deep knowledge of him, carried out not at a rational level, but at some other, higher spiritual levels. This knowledge is no longer actually human, but divine, for “whoever loves God, knowledge of Him is given to him” (1 Cor. 8, 3).

God is love – in this brief formula, the deep universal human meaning of Christianity, which, alas, still remains a whole misunderstood humanity, and some of its representatives who have comprehended this may be the greatest, ideal of human existence, are revered in our society by crazy, sick, at best, cranks. A vivid example in the national culture is still not canceled the public sentence of the late Gogol, who tried to remind mankind and realize the ideal of Christian love in his work.

Mutual and all-embracing love was erected in the New Testament to the highest level of perfection accessible to humanity of that time — it is identified with God, sanctified by its authority. God, according to the New Testament, loves people so much that he sends his Son to the slaughter for their salvation. And the New Testament authors urge people to love each other so selflessly. For this is promised the highest reward – the possession of God himself. “… If we love each other, then God abides in us, and His love is perfect in us” (1 John 4, 12). “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (1 Jn 4, 16).

Possession of God, that is, complete “knowledge” of him, equates man to God, makes him free and independent, deprives of all fear – not only before the forces of this world, but also before God himself. Love, as the highest state of human existence, removes the “fear of God” prescribed to a person in his everyday life, even the fear of the Day of Judgment. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear is torment; He who fears is not perfect in love ”(1 John 4, 18).

The first defenders and propagandists of Christianity, who taught during the times of persecution of him by the Roman authorities, interpreted the New Testament doctrine of love, primarily as a command of humane relations between people, of humanity as the main principle of social existence.

Relying on the preconditions that emerged in Stoic philosophy, early patristicism attempted to develop and introduce into late-antique society a complex of such relations within a society that would protect the freedom and dignity of the human personality in all its individual identity, in its original self. In place of the philosophical spiritual eros of antiquity, Christianity brought intimate, deeply human, compassionate love for one’s neighbor, sanctifying it with divine authority, divine commandment and producing it from divine love.

Comprehensive, all-pervading love for people becomes the main weapon in the hands of early Christians against all evil and violence, and all early Christian culture strives to embody the ideals of Christian humanism in life. God gave man wisdom and humanity, therefore for Christians religion is in the first place – “knowledge and reverence for the true God”, but right behind it and in close connection with it follows humanity – “mercy or humanity”. Humanity, mercy, compassion, love for people – this is an area of ​​feelings and moral principles, opened by Christianity and put them in the basis of building a new culture.

Following the early Christian thinkers, the Byzantine church fathers paid much attention to the problem of love. The ideas of humanity, humane attitude to each specific person and for them retain their high importance, but here they practically do not add anything new to the ideas of apologists. The finds of the Byzantines lie more in the realm of purely spiritual experience, which, in their deep conviction, based on the New Testament, is impossible without love. “Cognition is carried out by love”, – the greatest thinker of the 4th century AD said aphoristically. Gregory of Nyssa, and the idea of ​​many Byzantine theologians and practitioners of “spiritual work” actively worked in this direction.

The doctrine of divine eros constituted the deepest foundations of all Christian-Byzantine spirituality. Christianity as a worldview and religion, addressed to the widest masses of the population, avoided the abstract complicated forms of expression of their teachings. It sought to express the most complex spiritual truths in forms accessible to the understanding of each believer. Realizing eros, love as the main creative driving force of the universe, Byzantine thinkers sought to convey this idea to all members of the Church, introducing into their consciousness not its cosmic significance, but primarily the social and personal meaning. After all, the Christian God, though we comprehend, but, above all, is a person, and divine eros is manifested for man in the forms of interpersonal, individual and very intimate love. Knowing God, merging with him is, ultimately, a very personal, very intimate, secret act, although it is possible and necessary to prepare for it in a conciliar manner.

The late patristic tradition ascribes to one of the greatest Byzantine theologians, the Areopagitic commentator Maximus the Confessor (VII century), the publication of a collection of statements about love that best express patriotic ideas. The four “sotnitsy” aphoristic judgments, addressed primarily to the beloved of Christ himself, the monks, presented many aspects of the Christian (and broader – medieval in general) understanding of love. Love appears in this collection, primarily as an important epistemological factor, that is, cognitive power. Higher knowledge is acquired by man only on the paths and in the act of immeasurable love for the Absolute.

The knowledge of divine things is possible only in the state of the “blissful passion of holy love” for them, “connecting the mind with spiritual contemplation” and detaching it completely from the material world. “The passion of love sticks” a person to God, his spirit soars to God “on the wings of love” and contemplates his properties, as far as the human mind can. “When, in the attraction of love, the mind ascends to God, then he feels neither himself nor anything of existence. Illuminated by the divine, immeasurable light, he feels nothing of the created, just as the physical eye does not see the stars in the shining sun. ” In a state of infinite and all-consuming love, the mind “moves forward to research about God and receives clear and clear information about him.”

Even faith, which in Christianity as a teaching, first of all religious, occupies the main place, cannot do without love. Only love ignites the “light of reference” in the soul, and, moreover, it is infinite. “Faith and hope,” says Maxim, “have a limit; love, uniting with the infinite and ever increasing, abides forever. And because love is above everything. ” Love purifies the spirit of man from false and base attachments and opens spiritual treasures in himself, in the depths of his “heart”, under which Christianity, as already indicated, means not the physical heart, but a certain spiritual and spiritual center of man.

It is in it that a person who is seized with divine love, “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” finds. In the act of this love, our mind is transformed, becoming like the divine Mind. He becomes wise, kind, human-loving, gracious, long-suffering – “in a word, almost all divine attributes accept him. And the mind that becomes detached from God becomes either bestial, wallowing in voluptuousness, or brutal, inducing to attack people for bestial pleasures. ”

Mergence with God (equal to possessing him, mystical knowledge of him) in the act of divine love is the goal of the life of a Christian; it promises him salvation and endless bliss. “Do not be quick to reject spiritual love, for there is no other way for salvation left for people,” asserts Maxim. And this way goes through the moral and ethical sphere – the correct Christian way of life, that is, through the fulfillment of divine commandments, and, above all, the commandments of love for one’s neighbor. Therefore, Byzantine thinkers paid close attention to it.

Developing New Testament ideas, Maxim calls upon his readers to love all people equally: virtuous “by nature and for good will”, and vicious ones – “by nature” (that is, as brothers) and out of compassion, as senseless and lost in darkness . But the highest kind of love on a social level is love for enemies. “Voluntarily doing good to those who hate is characteristic only of perfect spiritual love.” A man who loves reproaching him and doing good to him, follows the “path of Christian philosophy,” laid by Christ himself, that is, the path of truth.

Carefully studying the relationships of people to each other, Maxim distinguishes five types of love:

1) “for God’s sake” – so virtuous loves all people;

2) “by nature” – love between children and parents;

3) “out of vanity” – the glorified loves the glorifying;

4) “out of greed” – they love the rich so much for the gifts he gives them;

5) “out of voluptuousness” – carnal love, not having the goal of having children.

Only the first kind of love, in the eyes of Christians, is worthy of praise; the second is natural and neutral, and the other three are “passionate” and are criticized by Christian theorists.

Love for people, for each specific person as disinterested service, as constant care for the disadvantaged and helping them, as a constant prayer for all before God, Byzantine fathers were sharply distinguished from fame, wealth, luxury, carnal pleasures). If love of neighbor is the path to unity with God, then “love of the world” turns man away from divine love, because, as Palamas wrote, they are opposite to each other. “The love of God is the root and beginning of all virtues, and the love of the world is the cause of all evil.”

Each of these types of love destroys the other, and their beginnings are enclosed in the dual nature of man. His soul desires spiritual love and spiritual pleasures, and the body strives for momentary carnal pleasures. Therefore, the soul is overwhelmed with love for God, and the body towards the world, and the struggle between these types of love occurs in almost every person.

The successor of Palamas in the episcopal department in Thessaloniki, Nikolay Kavasila, to some extent, summed up the centuries-old patristic tradition of understanding love in the Byzantine-Orthodox region. God is love, and divine eros inexhaustible exudes into the world and impregnates it. God has a special love for his main creation, man, so that “the ineffable love of God and God’s love for our kind exceeds the human mind” and the mysterious “His union with the beloved is beyond any kind of unity, so no one can understand or depict way, ”writes Kavasila.

God initially invested in the souls of people a reciprocal love of self, but because of the free will granted to them, this love was drowned out in them, not without the help of satanic forces, with a vicious love for the world, nevertheless, there is always an “amazing predisposition” to high love in human souls.

Having accepted human flesh, endured suffering and death itself for the sake of people, God vividly reminded them of his love for them, set an example of disinterested love and encouraged them to follow this example in their daily lives. At the same time, Kawasila stresses, God honored his high love not only for human nature, but for each person individually, opening to him an individual path to God.

In people of spiritual love, which ultimately leads to the cognition of the First Cause in the act of mystical merging with it, excitement is carried out in Christianity by including them in the system, the main points of which are determined by interrelated concepts: Benefit – Beauty – Love – Knowledge – Enjoyment.

Already in the very mystery of baptism, Kawasila believes, Christ is receiving his beauty, which arouses such love for him in the hearts, which draws a person far from earthly limits. Appearing persecutors of Christians, she turned them into zealous followers of Christ and martyrs for their faith.

So, the Byzantine culture, continuing and developing many ancient traditions of understanding love, made a new and significant step towards the study of this complex phenomenon of human existence. Early Christian and then Byzantine thinkers and writers saw in love the most important and universal creative principle of the universe, on which its spiritual and vital existence is based. The Byzantines felt well the ambivalent (negative and positive) meaning of sensual love and unconditionally highlighted spiritual love in all its aspects. They paid special attention to the socio-moral understanding of love as the main principle of social relations. All this advances the Christian-Byzantine theory of love to one of the prominent places in the history of culture.

Philosophical love

Only in love and through love does a man become a man. Without love, he is an inferior being, devoid of real life and depth and unable to either act effectively or adequately understand others and himself. And if a person is a central object of philosophy, then the theme of human love, taken in all its breadth, should be one of the leading in philosophical reflections.

Philosophical analysis of love unfolds in two main directions: a description of specific diverse types of love (from the most distinct of its species to species that are on the verge of attraction and partiality) and the study of those common features that are inherent in each of the types of love. The main attention is paid to sexual (erotic) love, which is the paradigm of all love. Love is interpreted as inclination, impulse, inspiration, as the will to power and at the same time striving for loyalty, as a special sphere of creativity and at the same time stimulating creativity in other areas, as an objective expression of the depths of the personality and its freedom, while freedom willing to voluntarily bring themselves into slavery, as a complex, multi-plane enumeration of the biological and social, personal and socially significant, intimate, secret and at the same time open, seeking, pretending.

Childhood of human love

For a long time, people asked themselves when love arose — whether a man took it from the animal kingdom, or did it appear later. Many believe that love was born later than their fellows – hate, envy, friendliness, maternal feelings. Cavemen who lived in a horde, group marriage, probably did not know any love. Ancient scholars say that it was not even when monogamy began to arise. Proceeding from the works of such researchers, Morgan and Bachofen, Engels wrote: “Until the Middle Ages, there could be no question of individual sexual love. It goes without saying that physical beauty, friendships, the same inclinations, etc., awakened in people of different sexes the desire for sexual intercourse, which for both men and women was not completely indifferent to whom they had entered into these intimate relations . But from this to modern sexual love is still infinitely far. ”

Many philosophers, psychologists, scientists believe that during antiquity there was no love, but there was only bodily eros, simple sexual desire. Eros of antiquity – this is what they call the love of that time, and this is a walking look, which many consider to be an axiom. It is unlikely, of course, true that in ancient times there was no true love. About love is now and again stated in the most ancient myths of Greece, and in the classical era, almost twenty-five centuries ago, even theories of spiritual love appeared – Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. And the Greek gods of love? In the retinue of the goddess of love, Aphrodite, there were many gods – patrons of love. One of them personified the beginning and end of love (Eroth had an arrow giving birth to love and an arrow that quenched it), the other – carnal desires (Gimeroth), the third – reciprocal love (Anterot), the fourth – passionate desire (Pof), the fifth – love persuasion (goddess Peyto), the sixth – marriage (Hymen), the seventh – childbirth (Eilithia). And since there were gods of love and even theories of love, where did they come from, if not out of love?

When the ancient temples lived then priestess of love, they were revered, and love was deified as a mysterious force. Of course, this is still a simple eros, bodily, devoid of spirituality. But even in those times it was clear to people that this eros is not just an animal feeling, it humanizes man. With the passage of time, people changed, others were made their way of life, their psychology. And probably, it is impossible to deduce the rules common to all epochs of antiquity, to think that love was the same in them, equal to itself.

The love of early antiquity may well be called ancient eros. It is a kind of pre-love, there is still a lot in common with the natural, the same for humans and other living beings. The corporeal (although already spiritualized) aggression, desires of the flesh — such was, apparently, the early eros of antiquity. It is often said in myths that the gods took on the appearance of other people in order to appear to their beloved under their guise.

It is interesting that love appears at a time when a woman falls under the domination of a man. One would have thought that love arose in history as a psychological compensation for female slavery: having subjugated a woman, the man himself was taken prisoner by her. But this is an external approach – and very single-line. It can be assumed that similar morals reigned in the early times of the barbaric patriarchy. Love could not stand this psychological ice age and perished. And only after many millennia, when the relationship between a man and a woman began to soften, love began to be born again. The personality begins to separate itself from society, it becomes more and more aware of its separate, private interests, more and more bring them to the fore. And along with this isolation, love is also deepening dramatically, it seems to be pushed forward, falls under a magnifying glass, and the comprehension of its values ​​is made much more profound and branched.

It is then that a feeling of exclusiveness of love, of its incompatibility with other feelings, appears. Every now and then the poets say that love is the center of life, the most important thing in it, that it is stronger than anything in the world – stronger than the bonds of blood, stronger than even the instinct of life. Therefore, in ancient poetry begins to sound a note of the endlessness of love feeling

With the course of civilization, the ancient syncretism is increasingly disintegrating, and the times when spirituality has not yet left the lap of physicality are farther and farther away. Now it is often self-sufficient, independent, already exists by itself. Love is pervaded more and more by spiritual burdens, and this can be seen not only in the lyrics, but also in the late antique novel. For the ancients, love is a mixture of honey and poison, and it was not for nothing that their tragedy wrote about it with such fear. Together with the advent of love, not only the joys of life, but, perhaps even more, its sorrows, its pain, anxiety, sharply increased. Love is a huge psychological enhancer of perception, and it increases in the eyes of people both happiness and unhappiness, and perhaps unhappiness even more than happiness. And so there is so much grief and pain in the ancient drama, in the ancient lyrics, and indeed in poets of all other eras – from Petrarch to Blok and Mayakovsky.

Entering into the life of humanity, love changes the whole structure of its value.

Love in ancient Greece

The ancient Greeks distinguished several types of love.

This, above all, of course, is Eros, deified eros. Eros, or Eros, is love-passion, love, borderline with madness, mad love. The ancient Greeks said this: “erotomania” – “crazy (reckless) love”. There was a verb “ereomaneo” – “to be mad with love”.

Eros is mainly sexual love. Hence, “erotica” is the art of love. Hence the name of the work of the Roman poet Levi “Erotopaynion” – “Love fun”, similar to Ovid’s Latin-language poem – “The Art of Love”. True, love-passion can be directed to another. Herodot wrote about the Spartan king Pausanius (this is not the one in “Peer”), that he “had a passion” (“erota schon”) to become a tyrant of the whole of Hellas … However, love passion, like any passion, is rare and short. Like everything immeasurable (the ancient Greeks understood the irrational, insane as immeasurable), passion, devouring its carrier, devours itself.

More calm “filia”. The noun “filia” has its verb – “phileo” – “I love” (“phileo sous” – “I love you”). This love has a wider range of meanings than Eros. Such love is difficult to love many-sided. It is, moreover, not only love, but also friendship. Therefore, erotic love is only one type of filia.

Love as the highest degree of a good emotional attitude of “I” to “not-I” oscillates between self-love, where “not-I” is “I”, and “friendliness”, love for “not-I”, for which mediated self-love may be concealed when the object of love (“philton”) is reduced only to the object and to the means of satisfying self-love, and is not considered as something valuable, as something even more valuable than “me”. Love in the first sense is consumer love. This is not true love. Only the second, selfless, true love. It was not for nothing that Hegel said that true love is finding oneself in giving up oneself and disappearing oneself in another. True love is selfless. It includes the element of pity and compassion for the object of love.

In addition to “Eros” and “Filya”, the Greeks had other terms for love. These terms are derived from “filia”: “phylostorgia” – “tender love, ardent affection”, “filotec” – “friendship, affection, love”. Even softer than “filia” love is, perhaps, “agapecis” – love-attraction. At the time of the evening dawn of pagan culture and the morning dawn of Christianity, this love took the form of “agape” – New Testament love (agaps are fraternal meals from early Christians).

Among the kinds of “filia” was the love of myths (“phylomuthos” – “loving tales, myths”). Ancient Greek mythology, as it is known, is rich in images, plots, legends, many ancient Greek tragedians, poets, prose writers, artists, sculptors drew their themes from it …

Mythology is anthropomorphic. In mythology, people, not knowing the laws of nature, genuine cause-and-effect relationships in the world, explained the phenomena superficially, associating them associatively, by analogy with their relationships and properties. There was a great metaphor – the transfer to nature of human properties and relationships, which is why, since human nature is alien to nature, human things transferred to nature accumulated above nature, forming a supernatural, supernatural world personifying certain natural, as well as some social phenomena of supernatural beings, gods, demons, etc. And even if these creatures are outwardly not like people, zoomorphic or monstrous, they still think, speak and act like people, guided by human motives. This is an implicit anthropomorphism.

Love was mythologized and deified. In ancient Greece, it was mythologically represented in the images of several mythological creatures. This is primarily Aphrodite and Eros (in Rome, respectively, Venus and Cupid).

Aphrodite – the goddess of love and beauty. She was attributed a large role. She submits almost all living things. Aphrodite even reduces the gods with women, and goddesses with men.

He had his own mythological image and eros. This is Eros – the son of Aphrodite (according to some versions, Artemis, who changed her virginity). That cute, playful and ruthless boy with wings, with a bow and arrows of love, which, according to his whim, he lets out into gods, then into people, is the fruit of Hellenistic art, and in the beginning Eroth was depicted as an untreated stone boulder.

Homer does not mention Eros in the number of gods. This is an impersonal force, attracting gods and people of the opposite sex to each other.

And here we find the transition to philosophy.

Among the kinds of “filia” was the love of knowledge. These are “filomateia” – “love of knowledge, curiosity” (“matema” – “knowledge, teaching, science”, hence mathematics), “philology” – “love of scholarly conversations, studies”, hence philology (however, “logos” meant not every word, but only a scientific, rational one, hence the different meaning of the term “philology”, which is now accepted), “philopeustia” – “curiosity, curiosity”, finally, “philosophy” – “love of knowledge, curiosity; research, teaching, science; love of wisdom, philosophy; philosophical doctrine. The verb “philosopheo” meant “to love knowledge, to be inquisitive, to think wisely …”, and the noun “philosopher” is “an educated, enlightened person, scientist, lover of wisdom …”.

Philosophy, having arisen from the mythological worldview under the influence of the special knowledge of the intellect, logos, which had gotten strong in life itself, as well as in the spheres of special knowledge of the intellect, logos (logos cannot be identified with philosophy, logos – thanks to which philosophy exists), still managed to get rid of anthropomorphism. They are like philosophers “plugging holes” in their philosophical systems. For this, the remaining, in essence, mythological images of love were used, first of all of Aphrodite, Eros, Filiya. The ancient Greek pre-philosopher Hesiod, unable to explain the driving force of the cosmogonic process, the process of origin and development of the cosmos (and who can explain it?), Finds this force in the cosmic, universal eros.

The image of Eroth was philosophically comprehended by Plato in The Feast. Participating in this conversation, Socrates (through whose mouth Plato speaks, who avoided speaking out on his own behalf in his writings) essentially accepts Pausanias’ thought about two Eros: vulgar, earthly and sublime, heavenly (although he does not use this terminology), filling it with idealistic content in the spirit of the teachings of Plato on the two worlds, the earthly, physical, sensual and heavenly, ideal, imaginable. In Platon’s “Feast” dialogue, Socrates in his own way develops the image of Eros, saying that it’s true that he heard all this from a certain wise woman, Diotima, who enlightened him in terms of love. Eros is not beautiful and not good in itself, but neither is it ugly and mean, it is not wise and ignorant in itself. Eros lies midway between these extremes. He is like a unity of opposites. Such, in our language, is the dialectical nature of Eros.

Eros is the son of the god of wealth Poros and the goddess of poverty (there was such a goddess!) Singing (hence the “penalty”). Being the son of such dissimilar parents, Eros is controversial. Eros is not just a kind of “golden mean” between the beautiful and the ugly, between wisdom and ignorance. Eros – the pursuit of a worse state for the better. “Eros is the love of beauty”, and wisdom is one of the most beautiful goods in the world, therefore Eros in the image of Socrates – Plato is a lover of wisdom, a philosopher. So Plato explains the higher meaning of the term “philosophy”, introduced into circulation by Pythagoras (6th century BC), who proceeded from the fact that only the desire for wisdom is available to people, but not wisdom itself. In Socrates – Plato, Eros is a supernatural being, a demon is a mediator between gods and humans.

Further, Socrates proves that the love of beauty is the love of his own good, the love of the eternal possession of this good, the love of immortality. But people are mortal. The proportion of immortality that immortal gods have given people is the ability to be creative (and this is “everything that causes the transition from non-existence to being”), to birth (“birth is that fraction of immortality and eternity that is released to a mortal being”). However, the pursuit of beauty has a higher meaning. This is the pursuit of an ideal, heavenly, or more precisely, non-heavenly world. Here, Eros is no longer just a mediator between people and gods (this is still the mythological aspect of Eros at Socrates – Plato), but an intermediary between the physical and ideal worlds, the very desire for beauty as such, for the idea of ​​beauty. Everyman loves beautiful things, beautiful bodies. But the philosopher loves beauty in itself. It is pure, transparent, unalloyed, not burdened with human flesh, colors, and every mortal gaze, it is divine and uniform. Having seen such a beautiful thing once, a person can no longer live the same miserable life. Such a person no longer gives birth to the ghosts of virtue, but the very virtue, not the ghosts of truth, but the truth itself … So, Socrates says, the wise Diotima told me, “and I believe her. And, believing her, I try to assure others that in the pursuit of human nature for such an inheritance she will hardly find a better helper than Eros. Therefore, I affirm that everyone must honor Eros … ”

Such is the image of Eros in the philosophical system of the idealist Plato. Behind all kinds of love: for parents, for children, for a woman, for a man, for a fatherland, for work, for poetic and legal creativity, etc., etc., should be supreme love – love for the world of eternal and unchanging ideas to the highest world of goodness as such, beauty as such, truth as such.