An Analysis of Love as a Constant Theme in Literary Works

Categories: Literature

Love has been one of the oldest themes in literature. This love can be for humans as well as material items and power over people. One of the first known stories, Beowulf, shows Beowulf’s lust for power. He loves power and makes sure that everyone knows that he is the most powerful creature on this planet by defeating three great monsters. Then there is the theme of love for another human, which is the most common theme for love. Emily Bronte’s literary masterpiece, Wuthering Heights, shows the first love triangle and how ones heart can push them forward as well as keeping them tied down to loneliness.

No matter which type it is, love is arguably the most powerful theme there is in literature. In the four novels that were studied this year, only a few examples could be taken and shown as the appropriate role model for love. The Godfather, Part of The Natural and Christine show the worst way to love someone, whereas the other part of The Natural and Dracula show examples of the kind of love that should be modeled after.

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The main character in Christine, Arnie, was caught in a love triangle that would ruin his life. It was a unique love triangle in the two females that it involved; however, it was a love triangle that was unnatural. When he first saw Christine, he fell in love. She was a beat up old car, but Arnie was determined to bring its true beauty to fruition.

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He would spend hours in Will Darnell’s garage fixing his new car up. Dennis, Arnie’s best friend, knew right away that Christine had something unusual inside of her, something that was dark and mysterious. Arnie did not know it, but he had been transformed Christine’s former owner. Her old owner had committed suicide after watching his child choke on a hamburger in the backseat of Christine. When Arnie had met the third part of the love triangle, Leigh, similar events unfolded. On their first date, Leigh almost choked on a piece of hamburger and was just barely saved by a stranger. After that, Leigh saw Christine come alive and glare Leigh down through her lights. This was a sign that she and Christine were about to fight for Arnie’s love. She refused to get back in Christine ever again.

Once Arnie had become totally consumed with fixing up and spending time with Christine, Leigh moved on and started dating Dennis. This essentially ended the love triangle with Arnie loosing the best option he could have had. Dennis and Leigh knew that they had to destroy Christine in order to save Arnie. When they lured her to Darnell’s garage, they demolished her ending the curse in the car. While destroying it, Dennis and Leigh believe that they saw a spirit leaving the car as they destroyed it. Almost simultaneously, Arnie and the rest of his family died in a car accident. Dennis and Leigh believe that the spirit of Christine caused it, but they could never prove it.

When Arnie asked his father about love, he responded by saying “Love is old slaughterer. Love is not blind. Love is a canibal with extremely acute vision. Love is insectile, it is always hungry.” (King, 91) This is important because it describes a kind of love that Christine shows. She is not the normal kind of muse. She is the vicious kind that will tear anyone apart who does not share the same love that she gives him or her. When Dennis and Leigh tear her apart from Arnie, she kills Arnie and his family. This is the perfect example of how love is dangerous and shows the kind of love to avoid. It is the kind of relationship that is unhealthy and must be discouraged to the youth of today.

The Godfather is arguably one of the best novels ever written. It is a great story about mobsters and the mob family. If the requirement for this essay was about family values then The Godfather would be one of the best novels to pick. The family values in this novel are the best that you could ask for; however, this essay asks about love. While some of the families show great love for their family and spouses, one relationship in this novel shows the wrong way to love someone. Michael and Kay are two of the main characters in The Godfather. They started off the book in love and the perfect example of what love should be, but that all changed. In the second half of the novel, the reader could start to see Michael and Kay growing farther apart. The first indication of this is while Kay is Pregnant. After Michael had reached Nevada after fleeing the rebels in Havana, Tom tells him that Kay had a miscarriage. After a long time goes by in the novel, Kay tells Michael that she wants to leave him while they are in Sicily. She then reveals to Michael that she never had a miscarriage, but rather an abortion. It is at this point that Michael punches her and ruins any kind of relationship that he may want to have with her in the future.

This example of a relationship is perfect for showing the worst possible way to love someone. There was no question as to whether or not Michael and Kay loved each other. These were just two people who were not meant to be together. “You cannot say ‘no’ to the people you love, not often. That’s the secret. And then when you do, it has to sound like a ‘yes’. Or you have to make them say ‘no.’ You have to take time and trouble.” (Puzo) This quote shows the kind of family values that exist in The Godfather. They have high family values and when the Don says that you cannot say no to family, it can be assumed that lying is also something that you don’t do to family.

There are some examples from both of these books that can be taken and used to show the perfect kind of relationship that is necessary; however, they create a false sense of what a relationship should be like. One of the problems that it creates is a stereotype. The Godfather shows that men are better than women and should have all the power in the household. For example, Thomas More wrote in his work, Utopia, about the household and how it should be. “Each household, as I said, comes under the authority of the oldest male. Wives are subordinate to their husbands…” (Barnet, 466) More states that women are not important in the household and that the oldest male has all the authority. This is the kind of stereotypes that books like The Godfather and Christine create when they give the reader the false sense of what is appropriate in a relationship.

Dracula is a novel about one of the scariest monsters that have ever been created in literature. This book has several different narrators; however, the most powerful one was Jonathan Harker. Jonathan was the best narrator for this novel for two reasons. The first is that he wrote everything down in a journal, which is how this section is being told. This gives the reader the feeling that they are reading Harker’s exact thoughts versus the exaggerated narration of a folk tale. The second reason that Jonathan makes the best narrator is Mina, his fiancé. Mina and Jonathan are madly in love and are completely ready to get married. It was unfortunate that Jonathan met his demise while showing Dracula the property that he was buying. It was not until Count Dracula forced Harker to write a letter to his fiancé telling him that he was on his way home that he knew he would never see her again. He knew this because the letter was dated for a month after Dracula had requested him to write it.

After a month of observing Dracula’s odd behavior, such as sleeping in a coffin, Harker knew exactly what he was: a vampire. “I saw the Count lying within the box upon the earth, some of which the rude falling from the cart had scattered over him. He was deathly pale, just like a waxen image, and the red eyes glared with the horrible vindictive look which I knew so well.” (Stoker, Ch.4) After seeing Dracula in the coffin, Harker knew he was dealing with a paranormal being and was not likely to see Mina again. On the night of Harker’s daring escape, Harkers journal read, “Good-bye, all! Mina!” (Stoker, Ch. 5) This was a heartbreaking scene in the book because it makes the reader feel the loss for the two lovers.

Unlike The Godfather and Christine, Dracula shows what it means to truly love someone to the point where they would risk, and eventually end up, dying just to see his one and only love again. It was sad to read this part because it showed the interference of a great love my a horrific monster in Dracula. This is one of the examples that readers should follow; true love is never letting go of that one person, despite any obstacle that may be thrown at the relationship. Sonnet 116 ,by William Shakespeare, is the perfect poem for this section of the book. “Let me not, to the marriage of true minds, admit impediments…which alters when it alterations find…” (Griffith, 152) This says that love does not alter, which is exactly what happens with Mina and Jonathan in Dracula. Despite their unyielding obstacle, their love never changes and it never “bends”.

The first book that was assigned in this class has both good and bad example of how love should be. First, the bad relationship in The Natural. Memo Paris is the reason why the main characters, Roy, career ended in such an unprofessional manner. Roy was in trouble from the first time he saw Memo, who snuck into his room and slept with Roy despite the fact that he was Bump’s girlfriend. This started a rift between Bump and Roy because Roy could not help but to be tempted by Memo. After Bump died, Roy’s admiration for Memo turned to love and no matter what he did Memo was on his mind. Once Roy was able to get Memo on a date, there were clear signs that they should not be together. The first was the “DANGER. POLLUTED WATER. NO SWIMMING” sign at the creek where Roy took Memo to go swimming. (112, Malamud) The next sign came while they were driving home and Roy crashed the car into a small ditch where they both received minor injuries. These were two clear signs that nature was trying to show Roy about how Memo was bad and that they were not meant to be together.

Memo always blamed Roy for the death of Bump, who ran into a wall and died of a skull fracture, because his talent pushed bump to compete at a limit every day that led to his death. Roy never quite understood this and continued to peruse Memo. Eventually, Memo decided to be with Roy, but only when he was playing well. When he went into his hitting slump, Memo said that she did not want to be around someone who was “blue”. After he had gotten his swing back and started winning games again, she came back to be with him. Memo is the reason for Roy’s down fall. After the doctors told Roy that he needed to stop playing baseball or he would die, Memo told Roy that he needed at least $50,000 so that he could buy his way into a big company and keep her happy with money. She basically put a price tag on their relationship for $50,000. The only way Roy could come up with that money was the throw the final game of the season that would determine if they would go to the playoffs or not. The teams’ owner, Judge, had been trying to diminish the stock of the team for a long time, so when Roy was ready to make a deal, Judge had $35,000 lined up for Roy loosing the game on purpose. He accepted this because he wanted to be with Memo. No matter the success that Roy achieved, it was never enough to have Memo. She wanted a rich husband who would make it so that she would never have to work another day in her life. Memo did not care whom it was that provided for her, just that she never had to work ever again. That is not love and Roy picked the wrong woman to love.

Iris Lemon was the only good female influence in Roy’s life. She first helped Roy bat his way out of a hitting slump that almost made him an enemy in the eyes of the public. He had never met her before but when he saw her standing up in the crowd, he knew that she would be his light in the time of darkness. “He caught the red dress and a white rose, turned away, then came quickly back for another take, drawn by the feeling that her smile was for him.” (Malamud, 134) After seeing her in the stands like this, Roy knew that his next up bat would be a hit and would finally get him out of the no hitting slump. After the game, Roy found Iris and met up with her at a park. She resisted his charm for as long as possible but after they had gone swimming, she gave in and made love with him. After learning that Iris had a daughter, who also had a daughter, Roy was scared and decided not to continue seeing Iris. Despite the fortune teller saying that a “Dark Haired” woman would be his soul mate, Roy still went back after the red headed temptress Memo.

Roy had relationships with both Iris and Memo and is examples what a healthy relationship is and what a bad relationship would be like. Iris lifted Roy out of a career ending hitting slump and gave him hope. This is the kind of love that Roy needed in order to have success in his life. Memo is the exact definition of what men need to avoid. Memo was independent and beautiful, but selfish. She only cared about herself and how her life was going to be in the future. She did not stand by Roy during his times of trouble but he never stopped loving her. Roy was in a one-way relationship and shows the reader exactly what to avoid while dating someone. He never felt the love of Memo despite how hard he tried. If Roy would have been with Iris, his career could have been prolonged and his reputation would not have been destroyed.

The Natural shows both healthy and unhealthy relationships that are appropriate for the reader to follow. The relationship with Iris is what everyone should strive to have. Just like the relationship with Jonathan and Mina. The relationships in The Godfather and Christine are unhealthy and should be taken as examples of what not to do in a relationship. The examples in The Godfather, The Natural and Christine should be viewed as cautionary tales, whereas the Iris relationship in The Natural and the relationship in Dracula should be seen as examples of how true love should be.

Bibliography

  1. King, S. (1983). Christine. New York: Viking Press.
  2. Malamud, Bernard. The natural. [1st ed. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1952. Print.
  3. Griffith, Kelley. Writing essays about literature: a guide and style sheet. Ninth ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2014. Print.
  4. Puzo, M. (1969). The godfather. New York: Putnam.
  5. Stoker, B. (1996). Dracula. Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia Library.
  6. Barnet, S., & Bedau, H. A. (). Critical thinking, reading, and writing: a brief guide to argument(Eighth ed.). :.

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An Analysis of Love as a Constant Theme in Literary Works. (2021, Sep 28). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/an-analysis-of-love-as-a-constant-theme-in-literary-works-essay

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