The Things We Do for Love Essay Example

  • Category: Life, Love,
  • Words: 1424 Pages: 6
  • Published: 04 November 2020
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The lengths people go through for love can be unimaginable. Rachel Ingalls’ novella, Mrs. Caliban is a story about a housewife who is stuck in a loveless marriage. Dorothy imagines a frog-like creature entering her life at the time when she needs it the most and creates a real life love story between the two of them.  Robert Hass’s poem, “A Story About the Body” which is about a woman and a man who instantly feel a connection between the two of them. The woman then informs him about a procedure she had done on her body and because of this he then sees her differently and does not pursue a future relationship. Andre Dubus’ short story “Killings” is about the lengths a father goes through to avenge the death of his son. Mrs. Caliban, “A Story About the Body”, and “Killings” each author uses symbols to show that love has no limits no matter what the cost may be. 

In the story Mrs. Caliban, Ingalls uses Larry’s relationship as a private symbol to show that love has no limits no matter what the cost may be. Driven by loneliness, the loss of her child, and an affair by her husband Dorothy hallucinates Larry who is a frog like man because of the extreme need for love, happiness, and the want to share it all with a life partner. On Dorothy and Larry’s trips to the ocean she says to him, “I don’t know how I could bear to give you up now. Now that you’ve come, everything’s all right.” (Ingalls 46). Now with Larry in her life and the building of a relationship together, Dorothy feels alive and loved again. He shared the same wants in life and bonded over mutual things. Love is something that is wanted by every human. This is something that is yearned for and when someone has experienced it before and doesn’t have it, people will do anything to have it again. Dorothy went as far as creating a fictitious frog-like beast with extreme features. The feelings Larry had finally given her made Dorothy feel a purpose again which led her to creating an imaginary love affair in her head to get through a loveless marriage.

In the story Mrs. Caliban, Ingalls uses Fred’s absence in their marriage as a private symbol to show that love has no limits no matter what the cost may be. “She stood by the door while he went out and down the front walk. He didn’t look back. And, of course, he hadn’t kissed her goodbye for years. This was the same way that affair of his with the publicity girl had started; staying late at the office” (Ingalls 8). Dorothy’s nonexistent relationship with Fred was an ongoing issue for her which created more of a desire to feel love in her marriage again. In life every woman desires the feelings of being loved for, cared for, and wanted in the marriage they share with their husband.  When this is absent in her life the need and longing for this feeling had pushed Dorothy to create the Larry in her head to fulfill the needs she was missing in her current marriage. Love can really push you to a point you never thought you would come across.

In the short story “Killings,” Dubus uses the apple orchard as a private symbol to show that love has no limits no matter what the cost may be.  “The grave was on a hill and overlooked the Merrimack, which he could not see from where he stood; he looked at the opposite bank, at the apple orchard with its symmetrically planted trees going up a hill.” (Dubus 89). The apple orchard across the river signifies Matt and Ruth’s life before the death of their son Frank. During the time at the funeral Matt looks at the apple orchard and is reminiscing old memories of what their life used to be. Apple orchards can symbolize in some cultures good health, happiness, wisdom, and eternal love. Matt reflects on the love of his family and how at peace he is with this event. The love he had for his son and still has for his wife pushes him to do an unimaginable act no matter what the cost is. 

In the short story “Killings,” Dubus uses a gun as a private symbol to show that love has no limits no matter what the cost may be. “When Ruth said good night she looked at his face, and he felt she could see in his eyes the gun, and the night he was going to.” (Dubus 95). The gun signifies again how much love Matt has for his family. At this time Matt is broken over the death of his son and seeing his wife broken over the tragic incident, Matt then decides he wants to avenge his son’s death with this gun. The loss of a child is an unimaginable pain to go through and the emotions that come upon you is unspeakable.  The continued love Matt has for his son and for his wife Ruth pushes him to this point s. 

In the short story “A Story About the Body”, Hass uses the private symbol of the dead bees to show love has no limits no matter what the cost may be. “It looked to be full of rose petals, but he found when he picked it up that the rose petals were on top; the rest of the bowl—she must have swept them from the corners of her studio—was full of dead bees.” (Hass Lines 10-12). This image shows that there is more to love then just its surface but some may think otherwise. In the story the dead bees are placed in front of the young man’s door that the women placed for him to find. The dead bees is the symbol that ends the poem and leaves the reader to determine the true meaning behind it. The bees are meant to signify how much the woman tries to make herself feel beautiful on the outside, but in reality she is really struggling to find her inner beauty because of her double mastectomy. 

In the short story “A Story About the Body”, Hass uses the private symbol of the dead bees to show love has no limits no matter what the cost may be. “It looked to be full of rose petals, but he found when he picked it up that the rose petals were on top; the rest of the bowl—she must have swept them from the corners of her studio—was full of dead bees.” (Hass Lines 10-12). This image shows that there is more to love then just its surface but some may think otherwise. In the story the dead bees are placed in front of the young man’s door that the women placed for him to find. The dead bees is the symbol that end the poem and leaves the reader to determine the true meaning behind it. The bees are meant to signify how much the woman tries to make herself feel beautiful on the outside, but in reality she is really struggling to find her inner beauty because of her double mastectomy.

In the short story “A Story About the Body”, Hass uses the private symbol of the rose petals to show love has no limits no matter what the cost may be. “It looked to be full of rose petals, but he found when he picked it up that the rose petals were on top; the rest of the bowl—she must have swept them from the corners of her studio—was full of dead bees.” (Hass Lines 10-12). This image shows that there is more to love then just its surface but some may think otherwise. In the story the dead bees are placed in front of the young man’s door that the women placed for him to find. The dead bees is the symbol that ends the poem and leaves the reader to determine the true meaning behind it. The bees are meant to signify how much the woman tries to make herself feel beautiful on the outside, but in reality she is really struggling to find her inner beauty because of her double mastectomy.

All of these authors Ingalls, Hass, Dubus, and use several symbols throughout their stories to show love has no limits no matter what the cost may be. Love is a very strong emotion and can make a person do the unimaginable. When it is compromised at any point it can cause a person to do things they had never thought of. Throughout each story the authors accomplish this goal by showing the acts one does for the power of love. Love can be both a good or bad thing depending on circumstances. As human beings love is a natural feeling we yearn for in someone else and because of this our minds and judgment can sometimes be hindered. 

Works Cited

Ingalls, Rachel. Mrs. Caliban. New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1983.

Dubus, Andre. “Killings.” Sewanee, TN: The Sewanee Review, 1979.

Hass, Robert. “A Story About the Body.” Human Wishes. Canada: Penguin Books, 1989.

 

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