By Richard Yates
Robert Prentice is eighteen. His mom, Alice Prentice,is fifty three. either are broken souls: Robert, through warfare; Alice, through thwarted goals of prosperity.
In deeply humanizing snap shots, the good American author Richard Yates crafts a unique of postwar the United States, straight away at odds with its personal feel of identification and mercilessly prohibitive to its like-minded electorate.
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At this news, he destroys his “little system of machinery,” the product of months of his labor. In Owen’s longtime devotion to Annie, he had constructed a vision of an angelic figure that had little factual basis. ” To Owen, however, Robert Danforth has snatched away his angel. ” He speaks of mechanical marvels such as Albertus Magnus’s Man of Brass and the French dauphin’s automated miniature coach and horses but now regards them as fabulous. He tells people he had once thought it possible to “spiritualize machinery” but has abandoned such ideas.
Although Aylmer is profoundly moved by her trust and devotion, he does not give up his experiment. She drinks the potion he has concocted, which succeeds in fading the birthmark but also kills her. Aylmer is a scientist and an aesthete, but both his judgment and his alchemy are fallible. ” He is the victim of his lifelong search for ultimate control over nature. ” The young and beautiful Georgiana helplessly submits to the scientific experiments of her husband, Aylmer, who is obsessed by her birthmark and wants to prove his omnipotence by making it disappear.
He interprets her “physical imperfection” as a “spiritual one” and kills her in the process of attempting to cure her. Shannon Burns observes that Aylmer is not even a good alchemist: “The old alchemists searched for an integrated, unified personality: Aylmer wants a perfect and pure distillation” (“Alchemy and ‘The Birth-Mark,’ ” 154). Another system of thought that was prevalent in the mid-19th century was animism, a philosophy that embraced and yet divorced spirit and matter. Animists believed that inanimate objects, such as stones and clods of earth, possessed spirits of their own, and that soul and spirit existed apart from physical matter.
A Special Providence by Richard Yates