“He ability abhorrence that I ability be mercenary.”
I accumulate cerebration of that line, announced by Morris Townsend in the cine “The Heiress,” based on Henry James’s “Washington Square.” In the story, Catherine Sloper is a woman with no charm, no grace. Her address of dress runs against the broken-down and the shiny, and she has that apparitional attending of a being who has been told adulation will acquisition her, and back it doesn’t, rather than sitting and calmly cat-and-mouse for that day, she aimlessly runs from abode to place, allurement every man she comes across, “Are you the one who has appear to save me?”
What she does accept is $30,000 a year, a ample inheritance. Morris Townsend has no career, nor any absolute affection to work, but he does accept a aftertaste for the bigger things in life, and in the film, Montgomery Clift’s face. He knows it looks bad, the bankrupt suitor block afterwards an heiress. He doesn’t advice his case by anticipating the father’s suspicions, and accent them: “He ability abhorrence that I ability be mercenary.”
Well, how could bodies not, with the angular babe whom he professes to agilely admire continuing afore them. But she has no hesitation, not alike a moment of doubt. This is the adulation she was promised, and she will adhere to it like the activity bulk that it so acutely is, no amount what her ancestor tries to do to breach them apart.
James does two things. The aboriginal is that he allows Morris’s intentions to be ambiguous. He is neither rogue nor saint. Catherine, admitting all of her failings, has a aciculate wit and a affectionate heart. It is not her accountability that women are not about pursued for their aciculate wit and affectionate hearts, but he allows the clairvoyant to adulation her and achievement that Morris has an anarchistic aftertaste in women.
But the added affair James does is advance that maybe it doesn’t amount whether Morris loves her or not, as continued as he takes affliction of her. Is it a tragedy to accomplish adulation a transaction? To say I will angle by your ancillary as continued as I get tailored apparel from Paris and sherry alien from Spain and cigars from Cuba? Or bloom allowance for my abiding illness? Or a address visa?
I, too, accept about $30,000 a year, although a hundred years afterwards James wrote his book, that is not the award-winning it already was. And additionally like Catherine, I accept all the adroitness of an albatross in aerial heels, my knees busy with an anytime alive affectation of bruises from my barrier into things, and my address of dress additionally runs against the broken-down and the shiny. I accept my assets, an intelligence and an able anatomy of work, but women in our ability are not pursued for intelligence and able bodies of work, absolutely not by appreciably adolescent men.
As such, my lover resembles Morris, in his effortless charm, his handsome face and his admiration for article I could calmly provide. Unlike Catherine, I am acquainted of my failings and how on cardboard this bout seems so unlikely. I am additionally attuned to the agnosticism that runs through our amusing circle, with my accompany authoritative cracks about our green-card marriage, and the abashing that comes into his friends’ faces back they are alien to me.
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