John Fowles


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john fowles A Mans Vision Of Love:




A Mans Vision of Love:
An Examination of William Broyles Jr.s Esquire Article
Why Men Love War



History 266 Sec 004
The University of Michigan


11-22-2000


Prepared For
Ken Swope


Prepared By
Mike Martinez







Men love war because it allows them to look serious. Because they imagine it is the one thing that stops women laughing at them. In it they can reduce women to the status of objects. This is the great distinction between the sexes. Men see objects, women see the relationship between objects. Whether the objects need each other, love each other, match each other. It is an extra dimension of feeling we men are without and one that makes war abhorrent to all real women - and absurd. I will tell you what war is. War is a psychosis caused by an inability to see relationships. Our relationship with our fellow men. Our relationship with out economic and historical situation. And above all our relationship to nothingness. To death.

John Fowles in The Magus












A Mans Vision of Love:
An Examination of William Broyles Jr.s Esquire Article
Why Men Love War


The fact that war is both beautiful as well as nauseating is a great ambiguity for men.  In his article for Esquire magazine in 1985 William Broyles Jr attempts to articulate this ambiguity while being rather unclear himself.  On the one hand Broyles says that men do not long for the classic male experience of going to war, while on the other hand he says that men who return know that they have delved into an area of their soul which most men are never able to.  Broyles says that men love war for many reasons some obvious and some obviously disturbing.  Many books support this notion while few stray far from the admission of love.  I believe that most sources indicate that men do in fact love war in a general masculine way.  I also believe that the sources that do not admit to this love of war do not because of the authors unique, face-to-face experience with wars most severe atrocities.  I feel that the sources, while few in number can faithfully account for the average soldier in any war in the twentieth century, which Broyles applies his argument to.
Stories of combat provide a way of coping with a fundamental tension of war: although the act of killing another person in battle may invoke a wave of nauseous distress, it may also incite intense feelings of pleasure. William Broyles was one of many combat soldiers who articulated this ambiguity. In 1984, this former Marine explored some of the contradictions inherent in telling war stories. With the familiar, authoritative voice of 'one-who-has-been-there', Broyles asserted that when combat soldiers were questioned about their war experiences they generally said that they did not want to talk about it, implying that they 'hated it so much, it was so terrible' that they would prefer it to remain 'buried.'(Broyles 68) Not so, Broyles continued, 'I believe that most men who have been to war would have to admit, if they are honest, that somewhere inside themselves they loved it too.'(Broyles 68) How could that be explained to family and friends, he asked? Even comrades-in-arms were wary among themselves: veterans' reunions were awkward occasions precisely because the joyous aspects of slaughter were difficult to confess in all circumstances. To describe combat as enjoyable was like admitting to being a bloodthirsty brute: to acknowledge that the decisive cease-fire caused as much anguish as losing a great lover could only inspire shame.
Yet, Broyles recognized that there were dozens of reasons why combat might be attractive, even pleasurable. Comradeship, with its bittersweet absorption of the self within the group, appealed to some fundamental human urge. And then there was the awesome power conferred upon individuals by war. For men, combat was the male equivalent of childbirth: it was the initiation into the power of life and death.(Broyles 70) Broyles had little to say about the 'life' aspect, but argued that the thrill of destruction was irresistible. A bazooka or an M-60 machine gun was a magic sword or a grunt's Excalibur:
all you do is move that finger so imperceptibly, just a wish flashing across your mind like a shadow, ... more

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The Collector

John Fowles - The Collector

The Collector by John Fowles deals with a mans obsession with a woman that turns to kidnap and eventually death. What attracted me to this book was the unusual topic of obsession and intriguing title. In my review I intend to study how the writer, John Fowles, portrays an obsessive personality - though Fredericks actions, dialogue, and his changing relationship with his obsession Miranda.
The book is set around the two main characters of Frederick and the girl he is obsessed with Miranda and is mainly set in Sussex around the middle of the 20th century. His obsession with Miranda begins in his hometown where he merely watches her from afar but she then moves away to London to go to college so his obsession dies away. After winning the pools, however, his obsession takes a new turn. He moves to London, on the advice of the pools people, where he sees Miranda again and his obsession grows once more. Once in London he starts to develop a fantasy to capture Miranda but never really intends to act upon it until he come across a house that fits perfectly into his fantasy. The buying of this house then encourages him to carry out his fantasy and kidnap her.
This book is arranged in an unusual way. The first chapter is told from the view point of Frederick of the capturing and after the capture of Miranda. The second chapter is in diary form; this is told from Mirandas point of view. In this she recounts people and events from before she was captured and also describes her escape attempts. This chapter is very good in letting us see how Miranda perceives the events that are happening to her and provides a contrast to Frederick. The third is back to Fredericks point of view and is about Mirandas illness, Fredericks attempt to help her and his reactions. The fourth chapter is very short and is about Frederick finding Mirandas diary, chapter two in the book, and realising that she never felt anything but resentment for him. It also introduces the idea that he may do it again for a comparison. Frederick, looking back on his experience with Miranda, tells the book in the form a dialogue with the reader.
The writer, Fowles, demonstrates Fredericks obsessive personality through his actions. One of these is the way he marks down the viewing of Miranda in his diary.
In the evening I marked it in my observations diary, at first with X, and when I knew her name with M.
In this the writer is showing first that Frederick is organised to the point of obsession. He is also meticulous in his actions making sure that he never forgot a viewing of her. Another event where Fredericks obsessive and precise personality comes across to the reader very clearly is when Frederick is fitting the house out in preparation for Mirandas kidnapping.
I worked for a month or more getting my plans ready. I was alone all the time; not having any real friend was lucky.
Fowles shows here that Frederick has a forward thinking, precise mind in the phrase month or more getting the plans ready. This shows he worked out the details of the house making sure everything was right. He also shows that Frederick is someone who is determined by the phrase a month or more. This shows that although it took a long time he still carried it through. Fowles mentions here that Frederick was alone for this time, as before this Frederick has made sure that he wont be disturbed by people from the village by telling them, when they came to the door, to go away.
Then the vicar came from the village came and I had to be rude with him. I said I was a Nonconformist, I wanted nothing to do with the village,
Here Fowles again shows Fredericks determination to carry though his plans by making sure there were no disruptions to spoil his plans for Miranda.
Another event where Fowles shows Fredericks obsessive behaviour is shown is after Miranda is dead and he finds her diary. Fowles shows that Frederick meticulously measured Miranda to get the hole for the coffin ... more

john fowles

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  • the magus the magus the magus The Magus, by John Fowles, is a six-hundred-and-five page book, which I have read all of. It was copyrighted in 1965 by Little, Brown & Company (Canada) Limited, and was dedicated to Astarte. John Fowles has written many other books, such as: A Maggot, Daniel Martin, Land, The Tree, poems, and literally dozens of others. The critiques of these books state they are all fiction, but are in a wide variety of areas. The main character, Mr. Nicholas Urfe, is extremely bored with life. He at...
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