The Void***possible spoilers***
Posted by Cassia on November 05, 1997 at 20:18:03:
In response to Strange you didn't ask why??, written by Karen R on November 05, 1997 at 19:22:55
Actually, this time around I find I don't like Ash and Maud's thoughts about how could a man write letters to his wife like that when he's away with another woman struck me as very duplicitous. As I've been doing my own "Line by Line," a la Roland, these little things have been popping up at me. He says one thing and does another. He was initially attracted by her words, but within a short nanosecond he's on to some other, more physical area.
I definitely felt the same as you all did until this reading. I also saw something on the great Romantic poets (Byron and Shelley), who both left their first wives and lived with them on the continent. These women were intelligent as well, e.g., Mary Godwin Shelley. If Ash really loved her, that's what should have happened. But he never even would let it.
Yes, and leave poor Ellen alone and with too little money to live on? This is what happened to Byron's and Shelley's wives. I might even argue Byron should have known better as his fatherhad done the same thing, leaving Byron and his mother living on the charity of her family until Byron's uncle died. Since Gordon men didn't seem to be any good with money, the pair didn't have much even after that.
At least Ash feels his responsiblity toward Ellen, this makes him a Victorian ratehr than a Romantic. Many Victorian attitudes grew out of opposition to Romantic ecesses. It may be both more romantic and Romantic to run off to the continent and yell that nothing but love matters but it leaves a nasty mess behind.
One of the worst things about him is that while he keeps talking about her mind, he is making thrusts at invading her private space, but he wants to be invited over (how proper!!) It then moves quickly into the realm of the physical and he initiates each and every step.
I can agree with you in the idea of her private space. This is perhaps why she feels the need to fight against him when they are in bed.
In that last letter, he is so analytical about what happened to their relationship. But even he uses terms like duplicity. He misses the point of love; that it is not rational; that it cannot be analyzed. He's a pretend Romantic, who cannot think of a coup de foudre (or thunderbolt), but instead calls it a force galvanic--so scientific.
No backbone--at all. I've known men who have cheated on their wives for long periods of time. They do it because one provides something that the other does not. Ellen had intelligence, she could have discussed the great issues with him. The only thing she could not give him was sex.
Not at all. Ellen, because she couldn't give him sex, also couldn't give him friction. Ash and Ellen's house is beautiful and silent, nothing is ever out of place,everything is arranged to his taste, his needs are gospel there. However, is this enough? For many men both is the past and present this would be. 'Anything for a quiet life.' For others the pressing againt each other, both physical and mental, is necessary, it is the only reassurance that one is indeed alive, it thunders through the nervous system and shouts it confirmation. Conflict and its later resoulution are part of the reason life is fulfilling.
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