English Lamp Posts Top Victorian Blog Award Winner 2011

Brought to you by English Lamp Posts

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

No Endurance of Love

"When they returned, Madame Arnoux took off her hat.  The lamp, standing on a console table, lit up her white hair.  It was like a blow full in the chest."  (Part III, Ch. VI)

Frederic never gets over his love for Madame Arnoux.  He decides to love and live with Rosanette, only to be drawn away when he hears the Arnouxes are in financial difficulties.  He feels obligated return to Rosanette upon learning of her pregnancy, though he no longer loves her and develops desire to have Madame Dambreuse, the wife of the wealthy Monsieur Dambreuse, as a mistress.  All of these affairs take place in addition to the attention that Frederic receives from Louise, a childhood friend and probably only woman who truly loves him.  Frederic is tempted by her father's wealth but ultimately pursues other interests.  The quote above describes Frederic's reaction to Madame Arnoux upon seeing her 16 years after her financial difficulties.  Repulsed by her white hair, Frederic no longer has feelings for her.

Frederic is sentimentality at its best.  He believes he must have love to be a success but is not willing to develop a sincere relationship.  Instead, he seeks a mistress, wanting marriage until it is actually attainable.  Maybe it is because she is attainable that he ignores Louise.  He no longer wants Rosanette but remains with her because of the child; nevertheless, once the child dies, Frederic no longer feels any obligation to her.  He loves the idea of marrying Madame Dambreuse after her husband's death until he realizes she is not an heir to his fortune, after which she is no longer enticing.  Madame Arnoux never leaves his thoughts throughout those 16 years and he is happy to see her until he sees her white hair.  Frederic always manages to find a reason no to pursue his affairs.  He vacillates from one relationship to another, having no stability and no desire for it.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails