The 's Journey And His Encounters Essay

The 's Journey And His Encounters Essay

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​In Iris Murdoch’s novel Under the Net, she explores various philosophical themes throughout Jake’s journey and his encounters. One particular theme, love, is what essentially drives certain characters within the novel to conflict and other consequences. Love also acts as a motivational force and a prominent concept that is discussed within various scenes.
​In the beginning of the novel, it is established that Jake is still infatuated by his former lover Anna when he goes to see her at a theatre. Upon looking at her, he says “I looked upon the face that I had known so well and now that for the first time I saw its beauty as mortal I felt that I had never loved it so dearly”. Within this scene, Jake begins to reminisce on old memories of Anna and says to her, “I loved you,” to which she has a bitter response: “What has love ever meant to me but creaking stairs in other people’s houses? What use has all this love ever been that men forced on me? Love is persecution,” Anna says, evidently showing that love hasn’t treated her well over the past few years. In this scene, it is clear that love has given Jake a new sense of optimism and hope whereas love has made Anna bitter and tired due to prior bad experiences with it. It is also inferred that Jake is in love with Anna’s appearance and memory of her with the line: “the memory of this rose in me now like an inspiration and I advanced upon her,” suggesting that Jake’s love for Anna might not be authentic.
​Later on, Anna’s sister Sadie is introduced when Jake is attempting to look for a place to stay. With Sadie needing a caretaker for her flat, she talks about how a fellow named Hugo is “madly in love” with her and has been trying to reach her, thus giving her a reason to hire a careta...


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...s view of Anna changes drastically from that of a beautiful image to one that has faded. On the contrary, upon reading Sadie’s letter to him, Jake comes across a revelation: “There is only one thing which will make a woman keep, and that is intelligence. Sadie had it. Hugo was right.” In this scene, the characters’ love square ultimately ends up changing Jake’s perspective on Anna and Sadie.
​Throughout the novel, various scenes are utilized to show the effect that love can have on relationships and one’s character development. Murdoch also suggests that love is a word thrown around too easily and is usually misinterpreted. Additionally, love has the ability to drive people into certain tricky situations and it is often times not recuperated, as seen in Hugo, Jack, Sadie, and Anna. Though fulfilling and passionate, love can easily create conflict within relationships.

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