A Burnt Out Case : Theme Of Love Essay

A Burnt Out Case : Theme Of Love Essay

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Throughout A Burnt Out Case, the theme of love is continually delved into and dissected. Many characters allow their love for things like religion, women, or vocation to lead them astray from what others would consider the “morally right” path. Religion was also a common motif, it’s pros and cons being portrayed through the words and actions of characters like Father Thomas, Doctor Colin, Querry, and Rycker. These two concepts went hand-in-hand to deliver the powerful overall theme; Love is dangerous.
The theme makes itself known particularly well in the life of Rycker. Rycker, a devout Christian man and a former seminarian, fancies himself the lone island of informed Catholicism amid a sea of ignorant and blind belief. He loves the sound of his own voice, especially when talking about love; his favorite subject. However, much to his discontent, he finds himself the only one in the region with enough education and desire to further the conversation, that is until the one and only Querry happens upon his doorstep. Querry, the renowned architect and reputed Catholic, represents Rycker’s only shot at having, “a conversation with an intellectual Catholic.” (Green, pg. 39). The conversation would be a way for Rycker to elevate himself to the status of The Querry, as all men were equal in the eyes of God. Rycker claimed that his greatest love was for God and religion, but one wonders if his real inspiration for that love stems from his desire for a willing and docile wife. He continually brings up the duties involved in a true Christian marriage, and his vexations over the fact that his wife occasionally denies him what he believes is his right, bestowed upon him by God through holy matrimony. It galled him that his young wife didn’...


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...his proves to be a very significant accusation when it prompts the dramatic slaying of Querry by Rycker.
The book’s resolution came swiftly in the form of Querrys’ demise. All the swirled emotions that had come with his arrival, soon calmed. Maries’ infatuation had lost its subject, the leproserie no longer was the object of curious conversations or meddling by outsiders, and Rycker could rest easy knowing that he had protected his honor and made himself equal to Querry in the eyes of God. The question of theology was never answered, but was for the time laid to rest in order to honor the man whose opinion on the matter was never decided. Life at the leproserie went back to how it had been before the age of Querry. The patients and patrons alike practiced whatever religion or ism they wished, and continued on the work that the community had set out to accomplish.


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