Pavilion on the Links This Dissertation

  • Length: 8 pages
  • Sources: 8
  • Subject: Literature
  • Type: Dissertation
  • Paper: #41812088

Excerpt from Dissertation :

At times Northmour seems to lose control of himself and become almost uncontrollably violent for almost no reason. We encounter this facet of his character at the beginning of the story when the two friends part company. It is as if there is a dark side to his nature which he has to be kept under control. The following quotation from the story clearly shows this aspect of his character.

He leaped from his chair and grappled me; I had to fight, without exaggeration, for my life; and it was only with a great effort that I mastered him, for he was near as strong in body as myself, and seemed filled with the devil.

In the above quotation the inner evil, the other side of Northmour is revealed. This character therefore, like many others characters in the works of Stevenson, symbolizes the reality of the conflict between good and evil in human nature. As Cassilis remarks in the story;

He had the appearance of a finished gentleman; his face bore every mark of intelligence and courage; but you had only to look at him, even in his most amiable moment, to see that he had the temper of a slaver captain. I never knew a character that was both explosive and revengeful to the same degree

The duality that exists in this character can be seen when he discovers that Frank and Clara want to be married. On the one hand, although he had entered into an agreement to protect the father to obtain the hand of the daughter in marriage, he does not desert them when he finds out they are in love and in the hour of their danger. This shows a great deal of integrity, which seems to in opposition to the other more negative traits of his character.

There are other examples of dualism and opposites in the short story. Besides the contrast between Northmour and Cassilis there is also the difference between the characters of Clara and her father. While she is presented as being the epitome of beauty, wholesome honesty and integrity, her father is portrayed as the opposite of these qualities. . When we are introduced to Bernard Huddleston he comes across as a decidedly unpleasant person who seems to be sickly, cowardly and insincere. Cassilis' response to meeting Huddleston and his aversion to the man clearly reveal the qualities of this character."I gave him my hand, of course, because I could not help it; but the sympathy I had been prepared to feel for Clara's father was immediately soured by his appearance, and the wheedling, unreal tones in which he spoke."

The father is almost the opposite of the forthright and morally upright daughter.

2.3.2. Romance and Mystery

Romance and love act as a counterpoint to the mayhem and tension in the story. Romance is also another opposite in the complex that reflects the theme of duality in this work. This refers to the instinctive and intuitive love relationship that takes place between Clara and Frank and is also linked to the sense of mystery that pervades this short story.

Mystery is everywhere from the very beginning to the end of the story. We are continually confronted by the unusual and the strange in different guises; whether it takes the form of the oppositions in human nature or in the obscure and sinister Italians.

Within this context of mystery and suspense, love blossoms between Frank and Clara. It is as if the author is suggesting that love is able to develops and thrive in the most unlikely and difficult of situations. However, we could also argue that love itself is a great mystery without any rational explanation. The mystery of love is captured in the way that Frank Cassilis is entranced by the Clara's features. "…when I thus saw her face-to-face, her eyes set steadily and imperiously upon mine, I was filled with admiration and astonishment, and thought her even more beautiful than I had looked to find her."

The narrator remarks on the strangeness and mystery of love.

Was not this strange? So swiftly and wisely does Nature prepare our hearts for these great lifelong intimacies, that both my wife and I had been given a presentiment on this the second day of our acquaintance. I had even then hoped that she would seek me; she had felt sure that she would find me.)

From the above it is clear that love and relationships are also mysterious and extraordinary.

2.4. Conclusion

The above overview and analysis of this short story brings to light a number of central aspects that could also be applied to many other of Stevenson's works. This is a story that combines mystery, suspense and romance in a way that stresses certain central themes. One of the most important of these themes is that of the opposites or dualities in human nature. Stevenson is intensely aware of the complexity of human nature and the fact that there are contradictory elements and emotions within the human psyche.

On the other hand there is as great sense of unity in this story and others. I believe that this unity is created by the sense of mystery and wonder that tends to dominate this story. In the final analysis it seems that in this story, as well as in many other novels and short stories, the author is aware of the greater mystery and strangeness of life and human experience and wished to make us aware of this fact through his works.

Bibliography

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Life of Robert Louis Stevenson by Alexander Harvey. Bartleby. Web. 10 Feb. 2012. (http://www.bartleby.com/188/1000.html).

Man Is Not Truly One, but Truly Two. Web. 12 February, 2012. (http://www.epinions.com/review/Dr_Jekyll_and_Mr_Hyde_by_Robert_Louis_Stevenson_and_by_Vladimir_Nabokov_and_adapted_by_Kate_McMullan_and_illustrated_by_Paul_Van_Munching_and_edited_by_Carol_Hegarty/content_118519598724?sb=1).

Stevenson Prince of Modern Story-Tellers. Web. 13 February 2012.

(http://www.oldandsold.com/articles33n/english-books-14.shtml).

Stevenson R.L. The Pavilion on the Links. Web. 12 February, 2012. (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2038/2038-h/2038-h.htm#The_Pavilion_on_the_Links).

Steuart, John a. Robert Louis Stevenson: A Critical Biography. Vol. 1. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1924. Questia. Web. 10 Feb. 2012.

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(http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/unbound/classrev/rlsteve.htm).

Walker, Hugh. The Literature of the Victorian Era. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1910. Questia. Web. 10 Feb. 2012.

Walker, Hugh. The Literature of the Victorian Era. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1910. Questia. Web. 10 Feb. 2012. P. 810.

Stevenson Prince of Modern Story-Tellers. Web. 13 February 2012.

(http://www.oldandsold.com/articles33n/english-books-14.shtml).

Stevenson R.L. The Pavilion on the Links. Web. 12 February, 2012. (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2038/2038-h/2038-h.htm#The_Pavilion_on_the_Links).

Stevenson R.L. The Pavilion on the Links. Web. 12 February, 2012. (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2038/2038-h/2038-h.htm#The_Pavilion_on_the_Links).

Man Is Not Truly One, but Truly Two. Web. 12 February, 2012. http://www.epinions.com/review/Dr_Jekyll_and_Mr_Hyde_by_Robert_Louis_Stevenson_and_by_Vladimir_Nabokov_and_adapted_by_Kate_McMullan_and_illustrated_by_Paul_Van_Munching_and_edited_by_Carol_Hegarty/content_118519598724?sb=1

Biography of Robert Louis Stevenson. Web. 12 February, 2012. (http://www.heartoscotland.com/Categories/RobertLStevenson.htm).

Stevenson R.L. The Pavilion on the Links. Web. 12 February, 2012. (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2038/2038-h/2038-h.htm#The_Pavilion_on_the_Links).

Stevenson R.L. The Pavilion on the Links. Web. 12 February, 2012. (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2038/2038-h/2038-h.htm#The_Pavilion_on_the_Links).

Stevenson R.L. The Pavilion on the Links. Web. 12 February, 2012. (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2038/2038-h/2038-h.htm#The_Pavilion_on_the_Links).

Stevenson R.L. The Pavilion on the Links. Web. 12 February, 2012. (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2038/2038-h/2038-h.htm#The_Pavilion_on_the_Links).

Stevenson R.L. The Pavilion on the Links. Web. 12 February, 2012. (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2038/2038-h/2038-h.htm#The_Pavilion_on_the_Links).

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