The Creep, The Creep

I’m sorry to say that The Sea, The Sea was a little bit ruined for me.

I still thought the writing was beautiful. I still enjoyed the problem of an old man struggling to hold onto his fading youth. I really liked the spiritual aspects of it.

I even feel like I could make a really compelling argument that The Sea, The Sea is a Gothic piece of literature. There were an awful lot of interesting parallels with Jane Eyre, actually.

But that’s not what I’m going to write about today. (maybe later, actually. Because I think it’s really interesting)

But here’s the thing: CHARLES IS INSANE!!!

I just…I don’t know. I want to be able to accept his actions as part of the plot that would allow for reflection later, but I can’t. I just can’t.

River Song, Doctor Who, "Spoilers"

 

He can’t get over the first girl he fell in love with. He goes on to have a wonderful, glamorous life as a theater person, where he’s surrounded and adored by beautiful women.

He retires to a house by the sea where he can live in isolation. In his new village, he discovers his childhood girlfriend, Hartley. It turns out that she’s married and has a kid.

Charles can’t get over this. He’s sure that Hartley still wants to be with him, so he finds her 18-year-old son, uses him to lure her to his house, AND THEN HE LOCKS HER IN A ROOM UNTIL SHE AGREES TO LEAVE HER HUSBAND FOR HIM.

He even wants to legally adopt her son Titus. He pretends that he’s Titus’s real father. He convinces himself (based on eavesdropping and spying) that Hartley’s husband is abusive and dangerous.

I….I just…

I’m sorry. The story really does wind up in a beautiful place. Charles somehow comes through his insanity (I guess he never admits that he’s insane, but I’m just absolutely sure he is), accepts his lost youth, and begins to love his life and the people around him. In a way, I guess it reminds me of the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life,” because Charles finally realizes, in the end, that his life is wonderful and that he has great people around him.

It’s a great story of learning to let the past go.

However, I could really have done without the whole stalker thing. It kind of got in the way of my enjoying the rest of the story.

I might write another something about the beautiful themes and quotes from The Sea, The Sea another time.

But this is my gut/knee-jerk reaction to the book.

 

Rating: ***
Up Next: The Yellow Wallpaper
(except I posted slightly out of order. So. Whatever)

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