Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Emily and Curzon - stoic 'lovers'

Curzon is just as cold, and stoic when it comes to his relationships as he is with regards to war. The only person that he has any sort of intimacy with is his wife, but it is very limited. I can't help but feel sorry for Lady Emily when I see the way that Curzon relates to her after their marriage. He is so disconnected from his emotions that he cannot even understand why the woman has tears on her face after the wedding ceremony, and he does not care to give the matter much thought (115). Instead, he is consumed by thoughts of Aunt Kate and other relations that were present at the ceremony. During the ride home, Forester describes Curzon's state as being "unfitted for love" with his wife seeming to be "a stranger to him" (117). Afterwards, there is no touching, caressing or love-making to celebrate the wedding, but Curzon does have sex with her "with a stern aloofness that could raise no response in her virginal body" (122).
When one looks upon this relationship with modern twentieth century values, it is easy to judge it as being something dysfunctional and unbearable, but at the same time it is somewhat successful in its practicality, and it does allow Emily to escape from her overbearing mother (although Curzon might not be much better). Emily's stoic upbringing has prepared her for this kind of marriage and "thanks to her patience and powers of endurance they learned after a short interval to live together as happy as two people of their limited capacity for happiness could expect to be" (122). It appears as though she accepts Curzon's limited ability to express himself and tries to be the good, dutiful wife. Emily does seem to be more adept at expressing herself in certain scenes, but their relationship on the whole is a stoic one.


Blogger Kirsty said...

I would agree that their relationship is very stoic. So much so that it actually made me uncomfortable while reading the novel. It's hard to believe anyone can have that much of an unfeeling relationship with their spouse. However, this does confirm Curzon's character within his marriage to that of his character within the military. In fact, in all aspects of his life he is very stoic: friends, family, his spouse, and his career.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005 4:45:00 PM  

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