Thursday, February 14, 2008

youre to Jung for this...

Elizabeth and Paul's relationship borders on the unhealthy. The concept of the "Game", the constant togetherness, stealing etc. The concept of personal space and borders do not exist between Elizabeth and Paul but between the world and Elizabeth and Paul. "No notion crossed them... even faintly of the external impression they produced" p59. Cocteau points out how close they are. After the death of their mother, their relationship became even more dysfunctional close.
I kept thinking of the idea of the anima and the animus. Anima is the unconscious female and the animus the unconscious male. The Anima and animus are shadow selves of each other. The female/male is not a genderized or sex trait specific expression but a symbolic one.

Jung also set out a hierarchy or "levels of development” in which each that each gender had to work though in order to maintain a healthy relationship with the opposite sex.

Only when you could achieve perfect balance of your anima/animus could people have a healthy relationship.

I am thinking about other untraditional relationships between a man and a woman-- such as the straight women/gay male relationship.

Although Paul and Elizabeth are brother and sister, they still are friends. The gay male/straight female alliance has been under recent fire lately, due to shows like Will and Grace.

So why did I infer Paul was gay? Up to this point in the book he idolizes the athletic youth, and seems to have crushes on his male friends. ( Worshipping the athletic youth is one of the levels in the anima/animus)

The isolation of Paul and Elizabeth reminded me of Flowers in the Attic by VC Andrews. This book has gained a huge cult following. It details the sexual feelings of a Cassie Dollanganger to her Chis brother while being trapped in an attic.

Paul/Elizabeth Cassie/Chris and even Will and Grace- feel isolated and depend on their "other half" to complete them. They exhibit signs of L’Amour Fou- or Mad Love. This emotion was described to me as "an all consuming passion for each other, to where the world does not exist- only love exists"
To my cynic mind.. maybe they need more analytic psychology and spend some time apart.

1 comment:

DJ Kessler said...

My older sister was a huge V.C. Andrews fan when she was in high school. I told her that you made the connection of incest between the two siblings. She was really excited to tell me about the dark themes of V.C. Andrews. She mentioned that at the end of many of her novels, the characters also find out that they are rich because they inherit money from an unknown relative. That seems be a reocurring theme in Cocteau's novel as well, especially when he brought Michael into the picture to die off and fund the madness of houseful of people he left behind.