"The Collector" by John Fowles

Essay by So_fly November 2008

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The Collector by John Fowles

It's a psychological novel about the delirium man who trapped a beautiful female student and kept her in his manor house.

The author is able to show tiny character's peculiarities with all their violent and vague emotions in the time contexts and with social and personal background. His language is wit and extraordinary. It is modern and contrastive, contains a lot of set phrases and sparkles with splendid expressions. It has metaphors, figures of speech, hyperbole, irony, etc. But I don't think it's too difficult. Many interesting ideas are in plain words, but still they have their own charm.

There are not many characters in the book. The protagonist of the novel is a delirium man, who is the collector. He is a serial killer. He traps his victims and keeps them in his Manor House like butterflies. He did not love them in normal sense.

He worships them. And it's Platonic love.

The beautiful student girl Mabel keeps her diary while being closed in a small stiff room downstairs the big Manor House. In the diary she reveals her relationships with people in outer world and shows her attitude to the man who trapped her, depicts her mood and talks to herself. I think it's a universal literary method to reveal somebody's inner thoughts and to add some emotive and personal information. She precisely describes her relations with her friend G.P. with whom she fall in love deeply. She recollects the facts and situations about him and finds herself in a perfect match with him. The difficulties heighten the feeling of life, and her relations are changed under the circumstances. Her personality suffers serious damages from solitude, from the abnormal behavior of the mad man, and desperation. She brakes her principles to get out from the place, she hates herself, loses her hope and bearings. Finally, she catches pneumonia and dies without doctor's help.

Themes of faith, social stratification, relations between person and society, art and beauty, family, money, solitude, freedom, sex, love present in the novel.

It was interesting to read the book, because it gives us a chance to touch a person's deep thoughts, to comprehend basic emotions and people's motivation. But still this book shows immoral sight of people and neutrality of the novel is unclear. Also it has social value, author describe as he call them New People, reveals his point of view concerning Art, Religion.




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