The Theme That Will Last Forever

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The Theme That Will Last Forever

Love: a feeling of warm, personal attachment or deep affection, as for a relative, friend, or companion. This literary theme is presented in many novels from long ago to the present day. The idea of love never changes; love has always been a part of life. Love makes people do many different things. This semester, two novels I read were similar in the respect that they shared the theme of love. The novels Hamlet and Better than Blonde are similar because they show how love splits people apart, how love leads to tragedy, and how love conquers all.

Love divides people in Better than Blonde and Hamlet. In Hamlet, Hamlet is very angry at his mother for marrying so quickly after the death of his father. He bottles this pain up inside of him, and stays away from her. He once says to her, "Mother, you have my father much offended."

(Shakespeare, III.iv, 9) Also, Hamlet withdraws from Ophelia, so as not to hurt her. He does not want to say anything upsetting to the one he loves. In Better than Blonde, Mrs. Kandinsky loves her daughter more than anything. The way that Mrs. Kandinsky shows her love for her daughter can be a bit embarrassing for Sophie at times. Sophie talks about how her mother, Magda, "supports" her during a basketball game. "Mama didn't know the first thing about basketball and the refs hated her. She was always screaming out perfectly useless movie quotes to inspire us." (Toten, 51) Sophie shies away from her mother when things become ridiculous. Sophie's mother also cares about her husband so much that she does not really say anything about his drinking problem. She walks away from the problem more so than she used to years ago, trying to make things better for Mr. Kandinsky. Throughout the novel, Sophie keeps her distance from her friend Madison. Sophie had told her secret that her father had been in prison, and Madison was supposed to tell her secret of being adopted. She does not, and Sophie is disappointed in her friend. Madison's real grandmother is very embarrassing, so she tries to keep her away. "`I just dropped in a sec to gaze at my miracle granddaughter.'" (Toten, 15) One can tell that Edna's love for Madison is deep. This situation is similar to that of Magda Kandinsky and Sophie. At the end of the novel, Mr. Kandinsky decides to leave the family's home to become sober. He loves Sophie and his wife so much that he leaves them behind in order to make life easier for all of them. For these reasons, in the novels Better than Blonde and Hamlet, love makes people part from others.

Love leads to tragedy in both of these novels. In Hamlet, Ophelia kills herself because Hamlet killed her father. She never believed that the man she loves could do such a thing, and out of grieving for this and of the death of her father, she drowns herself. Hamlet suffers from the loss of his one true love, as well as Laertes, Ophelia's brother. Near the end of the play, Laertes kills Hamlet with the poisoned sword during their duel to avenge his father. Hamlet then murders Laertes with the same sword because of the hit. Both characters die tragically at the end of the play. In Better than Blonde, Sophie is about to finally get together with Luke, whom she loves. He is going to break up with his current girlfriend, Alison, to be with Sophie. Sophie is so in love with Luke, but when she hears news that Alison is three months pregnant, she is heartbroken. Luke is going to marry Alison so that the child has a father, therefore, Sophie will never be with Luke as he had promised. Luke is also heartbroken that this has happened, because he truly loves Sophie, and not Alison. He once said to her: "`I do love you, Sophie." (Toten, 177) Also, when Sophie's father leaves their home to become sober, Sophie is unhappy because she loves her father so much. She describes him like this: "And he was still beautiful." (Toten, 1) He is her everything, and she will miss him terribly while he is gone. Love leads to tragedy in both Hamlet and Better than Blonde.

In these two novels, love conquers all. In Hamlet, Hamlet kills his uncle to avenge his father's murder. Hamlet must commit this crime, no matter the consequences. He wants to do good for his father, who he loves. Ophelia also drowns herself because she is depressed over what Hamlet has done; he killed her father. She also commits suicide because of Hamlet's madness. After he yells at her for quite some time, she feels as though she is losing him. Hamlet also tells Ophelia that he does not love her anymore. "Hamlet: I did love you once. Ophelia: I was the more deceived." (Shakespeare, III.i, 114) Laertes also kills Hamlet since he loved his father so much; he also wants to avenge the murder of his father. Even though Hamlet is seemingly insane, the Queen, his mother, tries to help Hamlet through his time of sadness. In Better than Blonde, Sophie really loves her mother, even is she is embarrassing at times. She misses Mrs. Kandinsky because she works constantly throughout the novel to support her family. Also, Mrs. Kandinsky will always love her husband, even though he is an alcoholic. In addition, the friendship that Sophie has with the Blondes and that Magda has with the Aunties is powerful. They will always be there for each other through thick and thin. For example, Sophie's father went missing after one night of drinking. He had not come home. Madison had her driver's license, so she took Sophie out in the car looking for Mr. Kandinsky. The weather was horrible, but Madison still did this deed for Sophie because she cares about Sophie. Also, the relationship that Sophie and her father share is one of a kind. They are inseparable and love each other dearly. Her father always calls Sophie princess and she always calls him beautiful. Their bond is very strong, and therefore because he loves his family so much, he leaves at the end of the novel to go into rehabilitation for his drinking problem. "`I've been selfish and I have damaged the only people I love and care about in this whole world.'" (Toten, 206) He says this of himself to Sophie, and he leaves her behind in order to repair his life, thus love conquers all in the works Hamlet and Better than Blonde.

Love is a theme in the books Hamlet and Better than Blonde because love leads to tragedy, love breaks people apart, and love conquers all. Love has always played an important part in pieces of literature, whether from the seventeenth century or the twenty-first. The ideas still remain the same. Love can be for family, friends, or a companion. Love can cause many different things to happen, but the theme of love will never change through the course of time. Love will always be a theme in literature. amHamloet H