The Collector

Clegg and Miranda: Love or Control? 12th Grade

Love is a complex concept, one that even ingenious writers have struggled to understand. While scientists confine their understanding of love to ‘chemical reactions’ involving dopamine and serotonin, one cannot deny the qualitative nature that love has. Clegg expresses signs of love throughout the The Collector by John Fowles; however, there is more evidence that this a copycat reaction to expected human life rather than true feeling. There is much speculation that Fowles generates regarding Clegg’s mental state, and one cannot deny the sociopathic tendencies that Clegg displays: ‘She didn’t look once at me, but I watched the back of her head and her hair in a long pigtail. It was very pale, silk, like burnet cocoons.’ At first glance, this remark about Miranda’s appearance may appear romantic, even quixotic. However, when one acknowledges the context of the comment, a sense of alarm might arise. Fowles creates an atmosphere of clarity tinged with ironic ambiguity; Clegg’s obsession with Miranda is immediately disclosed even though there is a suspenseful elusiveness about his impending actions. The reader is instantly informed of the peculiarity of Clegg’s personality, as emphasized by his focus on entomology. The simile...

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