Perspectives on Love in Bernard Schlink's The Reader

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The essence of romantic love is the passionate affection one has for another. As Bernhard Schlink favours love over hate, and narrates both the positive effects of a relationship and the negative effects of a breakup, he is portrayed as a proponent of love. Bernhard Schlink uses his novel, The Reader, to express his feelings on the unexpected love between the characters, Hanna and Michael convey both the positive and negative effects of their love. Schlink also uses their relationship to showcase the form of love they possess for one another. By introducing this positive form of love, Schlink highlights the positive effects love has on Michael. Nevertheless, Bernhard Schlink also reflects on the negative effects of Michael’s and Hanna’s breakup. He also shows what effects it has on one another, expressing his feelings towards love. Throughout the story, Bernhard Schlink walks us through the various stages of Michael’s life and shows that he is an advocate of love.
Love can be expressed in many forms and holds a different meaning for every relationship. The love between Hanna and Michael is known as Eros love. Their relationship started the day they came together to have sexual intercourse continuing until the end of their relationship. “I explored her body with my hands and mouth, our mouths met, and then she was on top of me…"(Schlink 25). There was a great age difference between the lovers and their way of showing each other, that their love was present through sexual intercourse.
“When we open ourselves you yourself to me and I myself to you, when we submerge you into me and I into you when we vanish into me you into you I

Then am I me and you are you” (Schlink 58)
Whenever they were together, there is either sexual intercou...

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In every moment of Michael’s life, he encountered various love related moments created by Bernhard Schlink that shaped his life. The unique form of relationship between Hanna and Michael was a meaningful one, especially to the couple. The effects of the relationship positively affected Michael and highlighted every happy moment portrayed by their relationship. Nevertheless, their breakup was a tragic end to their relationship. This resulted in Michael’s sadness throughout the whole story. Michael always reminisced on the unforgettable moments of his relationship with Hanna. Thus, love was a major theme throughout the whole story and was successfully portrayed by Bernhard Schlink. In summary, Bernhard Schlink is portrayed as a proponent of love.

Works Cited

Schlink, Bernhard. The Reader. Trans. and Carol Brown Janeway. New York: Random House Inc. 1997. Print.

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