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Fine Line Between Love And Hate English Literature Essay

1088 words (4 pages) Essay in English Literature

5/12/16 English Literature Reference this

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There is a constant juxtaposition and replacement of love and hate in the novel. Love and hate though they seem to be polar opposites stem from similar experiences and both of these towards a sense of confirmation of God’s existence. In his hate for Sarah Maurice cannot help but say that this is because he loves her. In her love for Maurice Sarah was brought toward God in hope that she would be able to save him. On the other hand Bendrix’s love for Sarah causes him to further reject God despite his conclusion that God is real. In fulfilment Sarah’s wish for Maurice to live fuelling her belief and faith, Bendrix’s antipathy for a God He now acknowledges with hatred because her new found Faith takes her away from him.

In their relationship both found God but with different ends. In Bendrix though he concludes that there is a God this belief stems from suffering which makes the God in his mind a God who is not a good, a God who is a devil. In the last portion of the novel Bendrix refers to God and the leap of faith; “You’re a devil, God, tempting us to leap.” This animosity of the leap seems to stem from fear more than just bitterness and hatred. In clinging onto this hatred it seems that he is clinging onto Sarah’s physical being, “You can touch hair with your lips and fingers and I was tired to death of the mind. I had lived for her body and I wanted her body.” Bendrix as a character is grounded by the profane as described by Otto. He constantly seeks proof and this is what makes him refuse to take a leap of faith. Clinging onto something he can hold onto and yet have it taken away is the embodiment of suffering. Even his hatred is related to something material and profane, “Hatred is in the brain, not in my stomach or skin”. This clinging and fear leaves little room for hope in the way Marcel describes it.

Sarah on the other hand experiences love in way that it opens her up to hope. To the possibility of more, the possibility of a higher power. The strange thing about this opening up to God is that it becomes like an exchange. Giving up her affair with Maurice for her new found relationship with God. The possibility of Sarah’s relationship with God would have been unfounded though without her carnal love. Her trade in a way is a quest to save Maurice with the condition that she must not see him again so that he may have the possibility of happiness. To believe in something other than herself, this belief comes naturally in her loving Maurice. “I’ve fallen into belief like I fell in love. I’ve never loved before as I love you, and I’ve never believed in anything before as I believe now.”

In Maurice we see love and hate as similar; in his jealousy, in his obsession. While in Sarah there is that leap of faith which is accompanied by peace and a translation of her love for Bendrix as a love for God. The irony and truth behind these two opposite realizations of love within the novel is what makes it realistic. Even the sense of something mystical within relationships, even the presence of actual miracles as displayed in the novel. Relationships hold this transformative quality and because of this emotions are never solely defined under one context.

Within these two sets of belief, that of a believer and someone who hesitatingly concludes there is a God and looks upon Him with hatred making him feel helpless. This hatred however resonates with a sense of fear because he is afraid to take a leap without certainty of the profane. In this passage he mentions that “one cannot love and do nothing.” It is in physicality that Maurice’s love for Sarah blossoms and without the physicality of it he is left without certainty. He is left with something he doubts. In the novel love is seen as both a profane and sacred but not necessarily at the same time.

This brings forth the question of the possibility of love without hate. Would love still be love if it were not opposite or even combined with hate? Hope without despair? It seems that one chooses to hope because bot everyone seems able to do it. What makes it more interesting is that these two perspectives come from a singular relationship. In Sarah’s case there is a sense of Marcel’s “I believe in Thee for us”. In loving Maurice she found hope from this love. Maurice on the other hand finds the opposite to be true, he is robbed of Sarah as a reality and so there is no hope. However in the end this sense is something Maurice chooses to believe in order to keep her with him. This sense

It would be easy to simply say that hatred closes us off from God but in the novel what love is constantly interchanged with hate. In Maurice’s hope that Sarah would be his he is left disappointed because of the physicality of his expectations and the condition that to be is she must leave Henry. As Marcel points out this kind of hope is not truly hope. In the end however in his despair of losing Sarah to death Bendrix begrudgingly believes in God for the sake of not losing Sarah totally. Just as love is interchangeable with hate nothing and both need each other to exist. Sarah’s hope for Maurice is dependent on the despair she experiences in leaving him, in acknowledging that she is not the best for him.

In the numerous ins and out of their relationship love is used as a means to see God whether willingly or begrudgingly in the other. In a way these realizations are learned instead of overtly shown. In a way Hick’s theodicy is shown here through a medium most familiar to us, human relationships. In the novel God would be absent for either Maurice or Sarah if they did not have each other. In other people we find reason to despair and to hope. Love and ultimately God is found through hate and love, loss and suffering, despair and hope.

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