A Passion In Rome Essay, Research Paper
Passion turns into obsession, two confused souls bound together by fate: A complicated relationship between a lonely man and a self-destructive woman. Innocence lost, and identities found; there are some important themes, which take place in this novel as results of having extreme emotions. In Morley Callaghan s novel A passion in Rome , the two main characters, who are searching for salvation from failures, become intensely involved with each other and, in the process, encounter harsh obstacles and struggles instead. Their infatuation turns into obsession and self-destruction, their intense love for each other leads to jealousy and their failing intentions to each other resort into violence. The novel shows the mystery that every emotion has a good and a bad side and when taken to extreme can cause agony to those affected.
Passion can be the guiding light in one s life as it too can be the darkness in one s heart. Sam is led to the right path in life by his undying passion and desire for Carla. Sam is determined to help rehabilitate Carla. At this stage in their relationship nothing good is taken to the extreme, this phase in his life starts with compassion for Carla and her happiness. Sam s generosity grows to become his obsession and corruption of both individuals. As the relationship progresses Sam, the protector begins to evolve into an obsessive partner, where his love for her had turned to selfishness. Sam becomes overly controlling, his paternalistic behavior resist the fact that Carla can take care of herself. His resistance to Carla s independence makes him violent and egotistic. Carla is lead to self-destruction as a result of her failure in music, which is her passion. She had one thing to call her own and when that stopped so did she — she stopped living. She could not handle disappointment and therefore she is not able to face her fear of failure. She turned to alcohol, which she believed would take her away from the harsh reality of broken dreams and sorrow. Feelings of strong passion transforms to disturbing obsession, which leads to the collapse of the character. Sam has always been passionate about painting, it is the one true passion that was sustained in his life. Although painting was his real passion, he never once finished a picture. Sam is a lonely man waiting for something as he describes it, to ignite his passion for painting again and finally create a masterpiece and finish it too. In recent days Sam has been losing interest in his paintings, nothing was arousing his imagination. Now suddenly I can t seem to bring myself to pick up a brush. It s like someone came along and cut out my heart. (Callaghan 8) Something was always missing, and that is why he could never finish a painting. Sam becomes determined to finish a painting, he paints none stop in order to find an inspiration. What ever talent he had to develop in the years of his obsession with his painting, was all like something he had saved up to use in his experience with her. (Callaghan 138)Which as a result puts a great amount of pressure on his social life. His whole private life had been built around the painting. No one was close to him. (Callaghan 8) He ends up isolated from all of society and as a result of his obsession with painting. His father disowns Sam because he followed his own dreams to become a painter. They hadn t spoken to each other in years. The great Raymond s son wasn t supposed to have the right to choose his own life. (Callaghan 23) Sam s life has only one focus, which is painting, when he gives up on painting because of his failure as a painter his life takes a drastic turn for the worst as he falls apart emotionally.
He began to notice that he had been starting and never finishing his paintings. The studio was full of unfinished pictures, as if the thing he had been wanting to say for years, in form of color, would remain half hidden in his mind and heart (Callaghan 24)
All his feelings resurfaced which had been locked-up because of his focus on painting. He had loved the work, and now he knew it was no good. His disappointment left him desolate. But when he felt the tears in his eyes he got up angrily, went out and locked-up the studio for good. (Callaghan 8) Sam uncovers that he has many regrets in life and as he searches to find himself and his lost ambition for life, he finds redemption. As Sam is walking in the dark alleys of Rome, he reminisces his life, which he feels pity towards himself but at the same time is in rage because of society. He feels that society caused all of his problems. That loneliness made him full of fear and self pity, he thought, and yet it was true that he had no one close to him. How did I ever get myself in this position? (Callaghan 23) After Sam realized he could not paint anymore he lost perspective in life. Singing had given Carla the confidence and strength she needed to go on with her life. Being a singer had given Carla the focus in life, since she never had a normal childhood. Singing helped her heal her wounds and help her move on. Being a singer was Carla s identity and once her career was shattered so was her future and self-respect. Carla s nervous breakdown was caused by her show cancellation, in result she turned to alcohol for comfort and use it as a substitute for her music. Carl s whole personality was based on her singing, once that collapsed, her spirit was broken. Carla s self-destructive phase of in her life comes into effect, the new Carla is an alcoholic, has wild fantasies, turns to violence when under the influence of alcohol and when something is threatening her. All her self-respect is lost; she feels worthless without her music career and has no confidence in herself and ability to move on. Her reckless attitude gets her into more mishaps and brings about more conflicts in her life. Carla is lost and disgraced in her eyes, she uses her body to get what she wants, men being attracted to her gives her satisfaction in knowing she has something that she can hold on to. Because of her bad childhood and collapsed career she does not let anyone get emotionally close. This is because she is controlled by her fear of failure, isolation, and disappointment. I think it must be that when you re alone you seem to be standing on the shore of the world s sea of fear.
(Callaghan 143)Music was her collapse to drinking; the only thing that kept Carla on the right track in life was her passion and ambition for succeeding in her music. Once that was taken away from her she was lost and had nothing to hold on to except alcohol.
Sam s intense love for Carla causes him to take her life into his possession. Sam s love for Carla gives him strength to help rehabilitate her back to her self and begin a new phase in her life.
Full of compassion he bent and whispered Your are not putting me off anymore, That spark, that light will come back into your face and eyes. I know it will, because I have seen it. When it comes, it will be like meeting you for the first time. (Callaghan 142) Because of Carla being at his side Sam did not feel alone any more and he found a reason to go on living, he finally found someone he can share his life with and the best part was that he didn t need to be alone anymore. Sam’s attitude toward Carla changes as their relationship progresses, he becomes too controlling. Rage fires in him when he thinks of Carla with other men when she is not with him. He becomes resistant to the fact that Carla can be independent and becomes paranoid and extremely jealous towards anything that threatens his time with Carla. Sam has grown to depend on Carla so much that he can not handle Carla socializing with other men. Sam’s want her only to himself and is raged at the fact she wants to meet other people and socialize with others besides him. Carla does not protest at this time and Sam becomes more dependent on her as time passes by, up to the point where he turns to violence to get his way with her.
The characters initially good intention towards each other become obsessive and ultimately triggers them to use control and violence. Sam s intentions started with concern for Carl s safety and happiness and ended with obsession. Sam choose Carla over his dyeing father because he felt she needed him more, he allowed her to treat him very crudely, Sam fulfilled all of Carl s wishes to help her self image and build her confidence. Sam sacrificed many things through his journey to rehabilitate Carla and through his generous actions he changed his views from wanting the best for her to wanting everything for himself.
His jealousy turns to altruism as he conceives of himself as her protector, her master, who shall rehabilitate her and lead her to her to self-respect. His generosity becomes paternalistic, resistant to the fact that Carla is capable of looking after herself. (masterplotsIII).
Sam becomes more resistant to Carla s independence and forbids her to sing in public without his consent. Sam does not listen to Carla s needs anymore and can t handle anyone else being with Carla. He wants to keep Carla isolated from society, as he is in denial of her recovery and newly gained independence and self respect. Since Sam is so conceived by jealousy and control he starts to resort to violence on Carla to peruse her to see things his way, and physically abusing Carla is a way Sam keeps control on Carla. The first time Sam resorts to physical violence is when she hits him and he responses to her by slapping her. You little showboat, he said fiercely, and he slapped her face. You behave, you hear. (Callaghan 136) Sam hits her when she annoys him and he takes his anger and frustration out on her to make her see and understand what he is trying to do for her. Sam gets very frustrates and hits Carla to make her see his love and keep her with him. Carla does stay with Sam even after many incidents of physical violence, he rapes her when rejects him to sleeping with her. This is the first time Sam rapes Carla is because he can not handle her rejection and this is a way for him to gain control and not belittle himself.
He lifted each arm away from her, and then as he trued to move her legs she stirred, muttered a protest, held her legs together, and he pulled at them, knowing by her breathing she was awake now. The he fell on her. (Callaghan 290)
Carla uses violence to test his commitment to her; she is scared that he too will leave her like Alberto did after he got bored. She hits Sam on many occasions and verbally abuses him numerous times to assure herself of his worth to her. She had to push him, wait for him to turn against her; always testing in the daytime that measure of security she found when she had him in her arms at night. (Callaghan 142) Treating Sam with disrespect is a way of keeping him away from her heart and not letting him get near her which can only hurt her in the end when he leaves. She used all the tricks of her body to keep him away from her heart. (Callaghan 142)
Both Characters find their true passions by their experience in their relationship. The whole experience of being with each other brought the worst and the best in both of them. They helped the other love their self and help each other find what they were looking for. Carla helped Sam appreciate art and inspire him to paint again and start living his life. He helped her find herself and independence. She realized how strong she was and helped each other become better human beings and live Finds there true passion once again, Sam starts to paint again, Carla starts her singing career. Both experiences showed both sides of their personality. They find their true identity within each other while helping the other partner.