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Amy Foster & the Mythology of Love

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:28 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 62.9 
  • Words: 1081
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In "Amy Foster", Joseph Conrad has written a great story that


shows the different types of love felt between Amy and Yanko as


described by Joseph Campbell in his essay on "The Mythology of Love".


The relationship of Yanko and Amy is dynamic and changes as the story


progresses. At first, Amy feels compassion for Yanko; she does not see


the differences between him and the English people as the others of


Brenzett do. However, later in the story, compassion turns to passion.


Amy's son is then born; distinctions appear and she is either no


longer able to love Yanko or she loves Yanko to such an extent that


she finds she is incapable of joining Yanko on an earthly plane as


Joseph Campbell describes (page 159). Whatever the reasons may be,


Amy refuses to aid Yanko in his time of need, resulting in Yanko's


death. There is a great change of heart from Amy's first compassion


for Yanko to her nonchalance of his death. However, the results may


have only been a product of the different levels of love felt by Amy


for Yanko. The general population of Brenzett treats Yanko an escaped


lunatic when he is first spotted in the seaside town. He is whipped,


stoned and beaten by many of the residents. In addition, he was


captured and caged like a wild animal. He is described as a "drunk",


"tramp", and "creature". He is very different from the usual


Englishman and is treated as such. He is segregated and is forced to


work for Mr. Swaffer. However, one person sees through the


differences. Amy, perhaps because of her stupidity or an ability to


feel for Yanko, does not see a wild foreigner that screams at night


and dances strangely. She saw only the similarities, the oneness of


two human beings, and not the separateness. This is the basis of


compassion, as...

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