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"When you plan something, things can only go as well as a plan portends. But when you truly live, life goes on forever." - Phuan

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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