Exile From Self Essay

Exile From Self Essay

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Love exiles the heart from the being, sometimes begrudgingly, and at other times in the full light of day. It’s masterful in a myriad of ways; transfixing, then transforming the lover, completely removing them from anything previously palpable and familiar. Bewitchingly, love alters the conscience and authors its decisions. It is the facilitator of exile from oneself, and is brilliantly woven into the lives of the characters in D.H. Lawrence’s Odour of Chrysanthemums and Carlos Fuentes’s Aura; albeit sometimes in antagonistic ways.
I identified with the characters in these dramas as their secrets were strewn across the pages. I was amazed at the similarities between their world and mine; the rancor that was stirred within me when my tears matched those of Elizabeth’s in Odour of Chrysanthemums, and the echo of my not-too-distant past fomented by the hallucinations of the tormented Felipe Montero in Aura. It became apparent to me that with the audacity of God himself, Lawrence simply ripped a page from the story of my life eighty-five years before it was written; that Fuentes had peered into my eyes before they were conceived. Obviously they never knew me, but we share one commonality between their stories and my existence; surrender to exile from oneself because of love.
In Odour of Chrysanthemums, Elizabeth Bates is the ingénue wife in a loveless marriage disguised in family and convention. She had fostered a world around her husband’s addiction, but it was a world that was deep set in a shaky truth, not in reality. Her life was concrete in the truth that her make-shift love had fostered, isolating her from what an agape love would have revealed. Lawrence paints Elizabeth as a stern mother and angry wife, who, night after ...


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... are usually welcome, but are often nonetheless apparent. It becomes insolent and presumptuous, forcing uncertainty and sallow heartbreak on those who dare to reach into its depths, leaving a residual taste that is bittersweet in reflection. Like Elizabeth and Felipe, I too have felt the smarting prick and warming sensation of the truth fluttering to light. I am a Lazarus of love’s epic and have felt the bane of its desire; surviving to reflect upon my exile in these pages, which I believe to be my correspondence in the air.


Works Cited

Fuentes, Carlos. "Aura." Magical Realist Fiction An Anthology. Ed. David Young and Keith Holloman. New York, N.Y.: Longman, Inc., 1984. 393-417. Print.

Lawrence, D. H.. "Odour of Chrysanthemums." Magical Realist Fiction An Anthology. Ed. David Young and Keith Holloman. New York, N.Y.: Longman, Inc., 1984. 99-115. Print.

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