Another Beast of a Love Story

“Oh I know all about the ways of doing Dr. Campbell, but that certainly ain’t the kind of love I mean when I am talking. I mean real strong, hot love Dr. Campbell, that makes you do anything for somebody that loves you.” Stein, Gertrude. Three Lives. “Melanctha.” Dover Publications, New York, 1994. pg.70.

“One kind of loving seems to me is like one has a good quiet feeling in a family when one does his work, and is always living good and being regular, and the other way of loving is just like having it like any animal that’s low in the streets together, and that doesn’t seem to me very good.” pg 71.

Having read to page 76 ~ Stein juxtaposes two opposing definitions of love through Melanctha and Dr. Campbell. Melanctha only knows physical love from her past and feels it is what makes a real connection between two people, passion and physical intimacy. It gives her power. Campbell sees love as a mental connection, a friendship. He is disgusted by the idea of physical lust. Their budding relationship makes me thing of Marcher and May’s relationship and the different expectations and beliefs one has about what love should be, what kind of love they are capable of. Stein’s characters all have their own definitions of love and act on them in different ways. If love is the meaning of life, it is hard to find someone who shares the same definition or to classify one as right or one as wrong. Stein explores all degrees of love.

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