Dysfunctional Relationships Essay

856 words - 4 pages

Throughout history, both in English literature and in real life, human relationships have been shown to be fragile. Many relationships fall apart because people take them for granted. They don’t realize the effect of their actions, therefore destroying the relationship due to their ignorance. This belief is demonstrated E.M. Forester’s novel, A Room with a View. The novel presents the ideology that close human relationships become dysfunctional in the presence of controlling behaviour, attempts to modify one another’s personality, and a lack of mutual respect.
Firstly, the novel implies that controlling behaviour in a relationship is destructive to the bond shared between the two people. This is seen through the relationship of two lovers, Cecil and Lucy. Cecil treats Lucy like a “Leonardo” (115). This simile implies that Cecil thinks of Lucy as a treasurable object, rather than his companion. This leads him to think of her as breakable, thus restricting her behaviour. Eventually, Lucy breaks up with Cecil because she feels “stifled” (198). Controlling behaviour is also seen to be destructive through the relationship of Charlotte and Lucy, two cousins. The novel starts off with Lucy pitying Charlotte, thus showing her immense care for her cousin. However, as Charlotte begins to restrict Lucy’s behaviour as seen when she cuts Lucy off several times, while speaking and ultimately never lets her speak to other guests at the pension. Charlotte’s dominance over Lucy furthers to the point of convincing Lucy to lie to her own mother, for Charlotte’s benefit. At one point Lucy “still clung on to the hope that she and Charlotte loved each other.” (Forester, 89). The personification of hope, as something tangible, conveys to readers that Lucy is at a desperate stage in their relationship. She knows the chances of Charlotte changing and showing her love for Lucy are very slim, yet she continues to believe in their relationship, thus emphasizing how damaged their relationship is. Furthermore, when Lucy is confused about their relationship, the weather is gloomy, thus creating a melancholic, depressing atmosphere. This atmosphere, created by pathetic fallacy, portrays the sadness in Lucy’s heart. She is clearly is unhappy and eventually “hardens her heart” against Charlotte (161). The contrast between the relationship at the beginning of the novel and at the end of the novel is shocking. She used to care for Charlotte’s well-being, as seen when she thinks about “...how dreadful it is for Charlotte being poor,” but now seems to not even care about...

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