Justine and Tales of Burning Love Darley, from Justine, and Mauser, from Tales of Burning of Love, are depicted as the central male characters for each novel. Both men experience love on a physical level with several women but they run into the difficulties and confusions of emotional love. Emotional love involves with intimate individuals who accept one another through friendship and being unbias towards each other.
Mauser and Darley did not have the chance to experience this type of love do to their over complicated lifestyles by their excessiveness of women, pursueness of power to their status, and ignorance towards other's feelings.
Throughout his life, Jack Mauser is viewed as a man who uses his physical love with women to gain wealth and power. Mauser's misuse of love is seen when he is described to having five wives in his lifetime. His one main reason for marrying Dot, his fifth wife, was for her to do his company's accounting.
Mauser used love only on a physical level so he could make Dot believe that Jack was in love with her. Dot thought their love was both physical and spiritual. She realized the truth about their marriage when she found out about Mauser's first four wives by Eleanor, wife number two. Without Mauser's honesty about his past, Dot saw that their love were not on the same level leading to her leaving Jack. In this moment, Mauser's weakness was his dishonesty towards his ex wives. If he told the truth to Dot in the beginning, she may have respected Mauser and would probably still be with him.
Another weakness Mauser exhibit was his selfishness when he had a brief stint with his first wife, June. After June saw that she made a mistake in marrying Jack, she left their room and proceeded to walk away from him. Mauser, full of despair since he could not perform his duty in the bed, went after June, but didn't chase her all the way down. He could of gone after her but he only "stood on the margin of the road" (p. 10). Mauser's reasoning of not crossing that margin could mean that he didn't want to make a choice where it would lead him going after a new relationship and developing a commitment with June. With him not thinking about others and only on himself, Mauser could not even remember his first wife's name when he tried to "call her name" (p. 10).
Mauser did not want to go to June and save her from the bitter weather because he felt June should of came to him. Mauser's ignorance led to her death.
June's death started Mauser's demise in his life by how he could not admit to the fact that his inqualities as a male caused her death. If Mauser was more sensable with relationships, he would of taken his time with June. He would of taken his time to get to know June on a spiritual level as they could of started a nice friendship at first. Since he wasn't patient in male and female relationships, Mauser skipped the significant parts of a relationship like communication and acceptance, and used physical attraction as an instrument of recieving his own needs.
As the same with Jack Mauser, Darley had some bad qualities when it came with male and female relationships. His major weakness was committing adultery on his wife, Melissa, with Justine. In almost any society, Darley will be viewed as a cheat who shows total disrespect to Melissa since they formed a committment with one another but also with God. Darley's sin with Justine was seemed acceptable to his standpoint. He believed those who Justine "harmed most she made fruitful. She expelled people from their old selves." (p 33). During his sexual moments with Justine, Darley was writing a novel and saw that Justine would make his life more exciting where he would be adventurous in dogging others from his secret love affair with Justine. Darley's misuse of love allows himself to be confused of what love really should be. His new sexual experience with Justine makes him invulnerable with Melissa because he believes this is a new type of love that he is experiencing. In honesty, Justine is not really in love with him as she is only satisfying her physical sexual needs.
With Darley having a new sense of life with Justine, he is very critical of his relationship with Justine. Darley believe that he had "love for her" but found himself "sometimes by disgust for her" (p 71). Darley was judging Justine on her ability to destroy her life with her excessive lifestyle. He knew that Justine was unfaithful to him as she was with other men but he did not care because he thought his "heart seemed to know the truth" (p 74). From his constant battling with his feelings and thoughts about Justine, Darley's mind is allowing him to lose focus on what love really is. He knew that Justine was an unfaithful woman where it turned Darley into an unfaithful person too. His disgust of her actions brought him to conclude that maybe this new relationship would help Justine and pull her into utter happiness.
Darley and Mauser are understood as men who do not know anything of how love should be expressed and valued. Darley is a male who thinks he is stuck in a marriage where love must be boring. He believes a marriage is only holding him down in life. Darley did not care for Melissa and her feelings due to his involvement with Justine. If he did care, he would of called off his relationship with Justine after the first heated love moment. With Darley being blinded with the use of love, he was never able to develop a spiritual love with neither Justine or Melissa. Even though he thought he was developing a communicating relationship with Justine, Darley was always putting his views on certain things and really didn't listen to Justine or Justine really didn't talk to him. Justine only really communicated to Darley through sex.
Mauser's life was developed with his marriages to his 5 ex-wives. He used these five women for many reasons. It was either to advance his status by helping his construction company, providing sexual satisfaction or just to set aside his loneliness. In the beginning of a relationship, Mauser would cherish his women at any cost and they would fall in love with him by how he treated each one of them. After awhile, Mauser would lose interest and ignore his wives leading to them leaving him. Mauser did not learn from his actions where he didn't have to marry five times if he just spent more time on getting to know his past relationships. He could of learned these women's faults and would become more picky in what he wanted out of a relationship. If Mauser could of been more honest and had the courage to tell what he wanted out of a relationship, his life would not of led such a low downfall.
Louise Erdrich wanted her readers to see Mauser as a male with many true qualities but were hidden by his brash and ability to fake a relationship by not telling his past. Erdrich expressed Mauser as a man who does not understand love and we, as students, should learn from Mauser's mistakes as any person in a relationship must be honest and true to one's mate if a couple wants to survive a healthy relationship. Lawrence Durrell wanted his readers to see how a married man can go threw if his marriage does not change over time. Darley was clearly bored with Melissa because he was sexually attracted to her when compared to Justine. Darley's sense of love is not matched to a normal sense of love where he does not communicate well with Justine or Melissa, he thinks having sex with Justine is a way of developing their relationship and Darley does not accept Justine for who she is.