The Convolution of Love
Virginia Fisher Student ID# 20441228 RS 180 Love & Friendship / Professor Carolyn Whitney-Brown 19/09/2013
The Convolution of Love “Is love a utopian dream or a possibility within our reach?” (Nouwen, 24). This essay will first, explore Henri Nouwen’s theory of reversibility or irreversibility of evil. Next, Nouwen’s perspective will be applied to the relationship between Louis and Janine and finally, this paper will examine the possibility of their capacity for love to change throughout the course of the book. Henri Nouwen composes a succinct vision of his reversibility or irreversibility of evil theory. There are two distinctive domains within, that of the ...view middle of the document...
However, Louis concedes that there is one point that Janine is authentic and transparent, that of her “passion” for Phili, as “nothing really exist for her, but her
love” (Mauriac, 72). Janine’s relationship with her grandpapa seems best interpreted as platitudal insincerity couched in the necessity of appropriating funds to ensure her “married happiness”. Moreover, during a conspiratorial family discussion, Janine proclaims that “there’s no denying that his feelings (Louis’) for us are inhuman, monstrous, and unnatural…” thereby revealing her disparaging sentiments toward her grandpapa (Mauriac, 171).
Both Louis and Janine demonstrate facets of Nouwen’s theory. Louis predominantly exhibits Nouwen’s concept of functioning in “terms of power” that is based in fear. Louis emanates the theoretical aspect of being “armed to the teeth, carefully following the movements of the other, waiting to hit back at the right moment and in the vulnerable spot” (Nouwen, 26). Louis also personifies Nouwen’s concept of “understanding people” that is “stained by power” when he believes he has an “idea about the hidden motives of people”. Choosing to assume the worst in most individuals and existing in a world of suspicion and hatred, Louis unabashedly admits that “when I have acted basely, I have always known precisely what I was doing…” (Mauriac, 13). Janine appears to be operating from perspective of “What looks from a distance like love is often, at a closer look, fear”. Nouwen clarifies that, “the reality which we call love” is not much more than a masquerade of the truth that people desire to “conquer” one another in a drawn out “skirmish of taking in, which one is always the winner who manipulates the other” (Nouwen, 27). Decidedly, Janine has maintained this struggle within her marriage to Phili, but also with her relationship with Louis, as he has the ways and means to assist in implementing her desire to control. Does Louis and Janine’s capacity for love change during the course of the book? It would appear that Janine’s eventual understanding of love does not seem to be fully realized. Louis supports this assumption by reflecting on the time Janine has spent with him and states that “the creature is entirely without imagination, but love has given her an extraordinary power of
distortion and amplification” (Mauriac, 264). Louis goes on to...