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Daniel Allen
Daniel Allen

Because I Love Her [Chapter 3]

Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin return to the Murry home, where Mrs. Murry huddles over her Bunsen burner, preparing a dinner of thick stew. Calvin calls his mother to tell her that he will not be home for dinner, though he tells Meg that he doubts his mother would have even noticed his absence. Calvin is deeply moved by the warmth and love that permeates the Murry household, and exclaims to Meg that she is very lucky to have such a wonderful family life.

Because I Love Her [Chapter 3]


After dinner, Calvin reads to Charles Wallace in bed while Meg sits with her mother downstairs. Mrs. Murry expresses her grief at her beloved husband's absence. She tells Meg that she believes that things always have an explanation, but that these explanations may not always be clear to us. Meg finds this notion troublesome because she likes to think she can understand everything. She comments that Charles Wallace seems to understand more than everyone else, and Mrs. Murry says that this is because Charles is somehow special.

As in the previous chapter, Meg is troubled by all that she does not completely understand. Her first challenge in the novel is to learn to accept not knowing everything. For example, when she first meets Calvin, she immediately wants to form a definitive opinion of him, but her mother urges her to be patient and insists that in time she will come to know him better.

Meg must learn that reality is not always as it seems, a lesson that applies to her father's disappearance, her brother's extraordinary gifts, and her own self- conception. The theme is reinforced at the end of the chapter when Mrs. Which decides to remain invisible, yet her presence is nonetheless certain. It is Meg's particular challenge to learn to see things more clearly, as they truly are, beneath their often-deceptive surfaces. Thus it is significant that so many of the important characters in the novel wear eyeglasses: Meg points out her father to Calvin as the man in the photo with the glasses; Calvin tells Meg that she has gorgeous eyes behind her glasses; and Mrs. Who's thick spectacles are the first part of her to materialize in the moonlight. The theme of seeing clearly is reinforced later in the novel, when Meg is about to alight on Camazotz with Calvin and her brother; Mrs. Who's parting gift to Meg will be a pair of glasses.

The overarching theme of the book, the power of love, permeates the entire chapter. Calvin remarks that although his mother never seems to notice him, he nonetheless loves her dearly. Likewise, Mrs. Murry tells Meg that she is "still very much in love" with her husband, even though he has been gone for so long. Calvin is deeply moved by all the love in the Murry household, and remarks that the neighbors who invent stories about Mr. Murry's extramarital affairs do so because they "can't understand plain, ordinary love when they see it." Finally, Calvin and Meg's budding romance is also a testament to the power of love even amidst adolescent awkwardness: we read that the moonlight glistens on Meg's orthodontic braces and her glasses become stained with tears; yet in Calvin's eyes she appears beautiful.

She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her. She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight. So this was a marriage! She had been summoned to behold a revelation. Then Janie felt a pain remorseless sweet that left her limp and languid. (2.14)

Even though Logan has trouble showing it in any way that Janie can understand, he does indeed love Janie and deeply fears losing her. That she would voice his deepest fear to him so casually hurts Logan so much that he wants to hurt her back out of spite. This harkens back to the idea of love as painful.

Despite her old age, Mrs. Bogle has an irresistible sensuality about her; thus all her husbands have had to hold high ranks to win her hand in marriage. She treats marriage not as a matter of love, but like an economic system, where she gives her beauty and sensuality to the man who can offer her the most social prestige.

The attractive young girls entering the store have that innocence and ideal of love that Janie describes through natural imagery; she compares them to "young mustard greens in the spring." Accordingly, the young men jump to play at courting them. These young people are playing at love, flirting and testing each other out.

After their argument, Joe wants to make up with Janie but is too proud to say it outright. Instead, he hints at it with sidelong glances and his big, irresistible laugh. He wants love, but without making any sacrifices himself. Can there really be love without both parties making sacrifices?

Tea Cake does not care about social prescriptions over such trifles as age differences when there is real love involved. And the fact that he has the courage to address such a touchy subject directly to Janie further endears him to her.

After spending a blissful night with Tea Cake and a lazy morning, Janie realizes how deeply she loves him. Her previous experiences with Logan and Joe have killed the innocent and childlike parts of her so she sees her relationship with Tea Cake as a chance to start anew; thus he is "the beginning of things."

The image of Tea Cake sleeping brings on a wave of nurturing, maternal love in Janie. This love is so overwhelming and selfless that it is "self-crushing," and it puts to rest any fears Janie might have of the intensity of her love. So, this makes it safe for her battered soul to crawl "out from its hiding place" and make herself vulnerable to Tea Cake.

Tea Cake loves Janie so much that he cannot stay away from her all day, even while at work. When Janie sees that it is interrupting his work schedule, she agrees to go out into the fields and work all day beside him just to be in his company.

Tea Cake reassures Janie of his love for her and only her. He praises her beauty as mesmerizing enough to "make uh man forgit tuh git old and forgit tuh die." Her love makes Tea Cake ageless and immortal.

Tea Cake jumps in the water to defend Janie, his true love, from the mad dog. As a result, he is bitten and eventually dies from rabies. Thus, his gallant act of love for Janie results in death. Tea Cake dies for love of Janie.

Janie lectures Pheoby that love is not a fixed thing that is the same for everyone who experiences it. Instead it is as fluid and changing as the sea, only shaped by the shores (or men) it meets. Society has a normative and inflexible idea of what love is, when actual love is different for everyone.

Friends and neighbors, I'd like to thank you for welcoming my family with open arms, but you didn't. I moved to the suburbs because I bought into the dream, community, prosperity, and most of all safety. But I never felt safe here, judged from day one for my past, my body, how I raised my child. If I wasn't perfect, I would lose it all, a game so rigged that it would only exist in a world that hates women, especially mothers. But what choice did I have? But I played, and I realize that your fence, your doorbell cam, you're telling yourself that you're keeping your family safe but it's a lie you're too afraid to do what you need to do to really protect your own. I am not a coward, I do what has to be done to protect my family. I killed the adulterer next door. I killed the anti-vaxxer who sickened my child, hunted down the reporter who threatened us.I trapped the couple who tried to sabotage us, forced them to really see each other. I forced my husband to play along. But in the end, he was a coward too. And when I realized he had come to hate me, I killed him. Better than a messy divorce. Everybody keeps their dignity. When the shock wears off and you feel safe jogging in your expensive athleisurewear again, remember, you can get off the hamster-wheel at any time.

And the man she loved, who never could love her back and believed he was somehow better than her and not the most ruinous person in her life yet looked her in the eye while he put her down like a dog.

Love is someone who benefited from hearing that the voice in the back of her head, her conscience, is her real love. It's the one thing that loved her unconditionally and wanted better for her. And she didn't listen to it again until it was too late.

Love: You and your beautiful daughter, you need to run. Disappear. Ryan is just the beginning of what he'll do. Marienne: Then why, aren't you running too? Love: It's not that simple for me. Marienne: No, Okay listen to me, maybe it's not my place. Maybe you think you owe it to your kid, or maybe you're clinging to when things worked, but please, if there is ever even for a fleeting moment a tiny moment a tiny voice in your head, and that tiny voice is saying "I deserve better," listen to her. That's your partner. That's you real true love, and if you betray her long enough, you wil lose her. Trust me. I'm still tryingn to get mine back.

Joe's Mom: I know you try so hard to be good. Young Joe: Then why'd you leave me there and why are you taking care of him?Joe's Mom: I just made too many mistakes even though I loved you, still love you. I was hurting you too, sometimes you need to start over, Joey, completely over.

Love: Do you love her? I just want the truth. Oh. Did you ever actually love me?Joe: The moment I saw you. You know this, I would do anything for you. Love: I know that you cheated on me, and you lied. You made me feel like you really saw me like you were perfectly happy. You made me feel like I need to protect you. You got so upset killing objectively horrible people, so I thought he's sensitive, I can do this for him. Joe: I don't remember you asking. Love: And then I come to find out that you are happy to murder just for a different woman yet here I am doing it for you, a teenager, someone innocent. Joe: Yeah, he was just a kid, someone you were having an affair with. We can do this if you are willing to admit you haven't been perfectly happy either. We have both made mistakes. I have made some big ones, and I'm sorry Love. I never wanted to hurt you. I tried, and I know you have been trying too, but it didn't work. and now we can be honest about that and deal with this like two adults. 041b061a72


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