First time: innocence, second time: corruption, third time: physical love vs. Divine love. Many critics have complained that this novel, such is My Beloved, was too simply written. The complainant often is that the author Morley Callaghan tends to tell the reader what the characters feel, think, and do. This does not leave for much critical thinking on the reader’s part. That may be true, for someone who reads the novel once, but for someone who has read the novel more the once it is the total opposite. The second time, one reads the novel, they finally realize the corruption that is surrounding the novel and the third time is when it finally hits, that one of the main themes or conflict, ...view middle of the document...
But Father Dowling does not do this; his excuse is that the older, elderly priests were such beautiful Christian characters. But if these priests were such beautiful Christian character, would they not then understand Father Dowling’s need to help these prostitutes. Just like Jesus helped those less privileged.
“Sometimes they even wrote letter s to him, pretending to be making all kinds of revelation, when they were really shamelessly offering themselves to him without realizing how he might be tempted and tortured” (52). First look at this quote makes one angry at the girls, but take a second look, really look at it. Look at the word “tempted” trying to blend in with the other words, trying not to stand out. That one word shows how Father Dowling might have been tempted to broke his pact of celibacy.
“Yet it was kind of love he would never be able to realize completely.” (69). Father Dowling while meeting Pauline, who is Charlie’s fiancé, feels immensely glad for his friend but on the other hand he also yearns for the love that Pauline shares with Charlie. As soon as he realizes this, he thinks about Ronnie and Midge. Is there a connection in this train of thought? One would think so, as it has been already established that Father Dowling is tempted by the girls in his parish. Being tempted plus yearning equals chaos.
“And he was so moved that when he got into bed he felt that his feeling for the girls was so intense it must surely partake of the nature of divine love.”(17). Father Dowling thinks that his love for the girls partakes a divine nature. But reread that sentence, he is getting into bed while thinking about the girls, his feelings for the girls was so intense that, thefragments in the sentence change the complete nature of the sentence. These expressions lean towards physical love more than divine love.
The number three is used throughout the novel. In religion it is said that all God’s creation is complete in three: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Father Dowling, Ronnie, and Midge: in Father Dowling’s mind the three of them are a complete creation of God. This would represent the divine love that Father Dowling holds towards the girls.
“How could God have loved those girls if not for they? How otherwise then could I have loved them?” (175). When Father Dowling questions himself, as to how he should love the girls if not for themselves. Then he goes to compare his love to the same way God would have loved the girls. If this does not partake divine love then what would?
The confusion between physical and divine love can be seen. This confusion would have affected the society during which is this novel was published and the society today.
The society during which time this novel was published would have been more accepting towards the ideas and themes present in this novel. As it would have been the same society present in the novel. The society is very Christian-dominated; it would be considered the norm of the...