Thursday, September 24, 2009

Big Question

As little kids, everyone read fairy tales that ended with a ‘happily ever after.’ The brave prince over came obstacles and villains in order to save his beloved princess and when he did he whisked her away into the sunset. Only as those kids grew up, they learned that not all those marriages lasted. Everyday people see the growing rates of divorce and breakups when people have taken sacred vows of love. The fairy tale seems to have been a complete and total lie. But other times people here about that fabled love that beats all odds and stands the test of time. John Lennon once wrote that, “All you need is love.” I want to know if love truly is enough?

Some characters in the play Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare found that love was enough, while others weren’t so lucky. Viola decides to make her own way in the world, so she disguises herself as a servant named Cesario and is hired by Orsino. She ends up falling deeply in love with him, and doesn’t let obstacles like having another women fall in love with her get in her way. When she reveals herself to Orsino at the end, he realizes how he subconsciously had the same feelings for her, and the love between them is so strong that he ignores her lies of being in disguise in order to be with her. Other characters such as Antonio are not as lucky in love however. He cares after the young man Sebastian and is there for his every need. At the end of the play, Sebastian leaves Antonio for the lady Olivia, which deeply hurts Antonio. The love he felt for Sebastian was over come by Olivia’s hierarchy in life. For some characters in the play, love is enough while others aren’t as lucky.

In Oedipus, love is a tricky and painful being. Oedipus unknowingly ends up marrying his mother and conceiving children with her. He does care for his wife/mother but how deeply that affection goes is unclear. He loves her enough however that when he finds out who she really is he takes the drastic measure of stabbing his eyes out. The love he has for his wife/mother does not seem to be enough to keep him from feeling the shame and pain that he feels. He also leaves the city and the children he loves so dearly because he can’t bare for them to see the shameful nature of him. The love he has for them is so deep that in a sense, it is enough because he is able to make that painful decision to leave them for their own good. The feeling of love is confusing and almost taboo in this story.

The play King Lear by William Shakespeare, love seemed to be enough when it was pure. Goneril and Regan faked their love for their father and so in the end the love that Lear thought he had was not there. The love from his daughter Cordelia on the other hand, was pure and she ended up saving him with her love at the end of the play, even though they both end up dying. Her love in the end is what shows Lear that he is loved and the meaning of love.

In Playboy of the Western World, I don't know if there was any true love in the play, but I know there was lust. Christy and Pegeen become infatuated with each other but they do not seem to be in love. Pegeen, and the Widow Quinn, fall in "love" with the false persona of Christy that he has made from himself, and he brings them excitement in their boring town. This "love" does not seem to be enought because Pegeen and Christy get in fights and he ends up leaving at the end of the play. At the the end of the play, Christy and his father seem to be the only ones who find love. They both decide to leave the past and the town behind them, together and that shows some true family love. Playboy of the Western World is a chaotic play that is full of lust and maybe one true example of love.

The play A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare has an erratic plot that is filled with true and false love. Lysander is madly in love with Hermia, and she loves him back. Her father, however, wants her to marry Demetrius. In the end of the play, Lysander ends up with the woman of his dream and their love is true and enough to withstand obstacles. These obstacles are the meddling fairies in the woods that change who everyone loves. Demetrius ends up with Helena even though at the beginning of the play, he hated her. He does end up truly loving her, with help from the fairies. I don't see this as love, because others intervened. But, Helena's love for Demetrius does help show that with the spell, their love is enough. This play is tricky because of the changing in love, and what you see as the definition to love in order to determine which loves are enough.

Through Stephen's journey in life in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, he dabbles in what love is. He has many different experiences with women including a prostitute and the Virgin Mary, but near the end of the novel, he falls for an angelic girl named Emma. He has strong feelings for her and the most connection they have throughout the novel is that of talking, in which he gets very excited about. The reader does not know how she feels about him, but Stephen is fond of her. His many "relationships" with women don't last and I'm not sure if the one with Emma does, but it looks hopeful because of his deep connection and emotions towards her. In most of the cases in this novel, love is not enough because it never lasts.

The Metamorphosis by Kafka is an interesting story about Gregor and the how his relationship changes with his family. The loves in Gregor's life changes as he physically changes and so I think in this case, love is not enough for Gregor, because in the end, he dies. Gregor, in human form, loved food and I think that he secretly loved his job in some form because his life was defined by his job. But when he transformed, he no longer loved the food he used to and could no longer provide for his family. His loves in life changed with his metamorphosis. Activities such as crawling on the wall and listening to his sister's violin become new loves in his life, but cannot seem to fill the void. His loss of humanity causes his ultimate downfall which is his death. His family gets stronger as he becomes weaker. Love is not enough because of Gregor's isolation and the new relationship with his family.

I don't know if any love existed in The Stranger because the narrator what indifferent to basically everything in his life in the novel. When his mother died, he really wasn't that sad. He went to her vigil, but he didn't express much emotion at all. One would think that he is indifferent about the situation, but throughout the coarse of the book, he mentions his mother in various parts. So this renders the question, does he really love his mother? I think that he does, but he just does not know how to show his emotions. But, his love for her doesn't really prevail because he can not show it and the fact that her death and memory can't stop him from shooting another man. He also has a strange relationship with a woman named Maria. He has a sexual relationship with her, but only in some moments is it sort of clear if he has an emotional love for her as well. I don't think it prevails in the end because he becomes separated from her and the relationship does not continue.