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The Collector And The Collected Story

737 words - 3 pages

While reading John Fowles’ The Collector, it is easy to side with Miranda and grow to hate Frederick, especially after learning both sides of the story. At the end of the book, Frederick knows that Miranda is very sick and decides to let her die, which becomes yet another reason to dislike him. A common reaction to the end of the book is anger, mostly directed towards Frederick, because he rationalizes his actions and feels no guilt even after murdering the only person he truly thought he loved.
One prevalent theme in The Collector is that it is not possible for just one person to gain total control over another person in a given situation. Frederick uses violence and threats to show Miranda “who [is] really the master” in their relationship (91). He uses chloroform and gags in order to control her and to make himself feel more powerful. However, despite his violent actions, he is never able to control her emotions, and therefore he can never truly have power over her. Miranda, on the other hand, has a variety of tactics she uses to try to overpower Frederick. Over the course of the book, she realizes that using aggression does not work and that she must be passive and “play the fool” (207). Even though Miranda can temporarily overpower him, if she shows any emotion or trait that he does not consider to be a part of his dream image of her, he loses respect for her and she can no longer control him. In Miranda and Frederick’s case, they both vie for power, but neither can completely attain it.
Another prominent theme is that one cannot rely solely on money in order to achieve his or her goals. At the beginning of the book, Frederick comes into a lot of money when he wins the lottery. It is clear that he believes that his money will help him to realize his goals that have to do with Miranda. His first goal is to measure up to her in class and education. He is inferior to her in both fields, so he spends money on “classy newspapers,” art, and literature even though he does not “enjoy them,” but...

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