03 Oct 2014
The Dynamics of Wartime Relationships
Many individuals have experienced war in their lifetime. Whether the person is a soldier in battle, a victim of an attack, or a civilian seeing it all from afar, they are each affected by war tremendously. War affects many aspect of one's life, but the way it affects the relationships that one has is very significant. In The End of the Affair by Graham Greene as well as The Mysterious Kor by Elizabeth Bowen, it is evident that war shapes relationships immensely. As evidenced in both of these works, war brings people together, tears them apart, and shapes personalities in ways that would not exist if the war did not exist.
In Graham Greene's The End of the Affair, the main character Bendrix is shaped tremendously by the war. In turn, his relationships are also influenced by war.
Like war, Bendrix tends to exploit people. It can be seen throughout The End of the Affair that Bendrix seems to get a sense of pleasure when he is able to expose people, make them feel uncomfortable, and leave them with nothing, just like war does to those that are affected by it. For example, Bendrix humiliates Mr. Parkis when they first meet. Bendrix hired Mr. Parkis to follow Sarah around, and Parkis happened to be on duty when Bendrix and Sarah were out eating. Parkis arrived to tell Bendrix his findings, not knowing that Bendrix was the man he had seen with Sarah earlier that day. When Parkis arrived, Bendrix's face was in the shadows, so they had an entire conversation before Bendrix allowed Parkis to see who he was talking to. Bendrix knew the whole time, but he was purposefully humiliating Parkis by waiting...