formal essay #2old - Y ing Li Dr. Muriel Brennan ENG 110AG...

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Ying Li Dr. Muriel Brennan ENG 110AG Mar. 31, 2008 There is a Chinese maxim: the deeper the love, the deeper the hate. Sandor Marai gives me such a deep feeling in his brilliant novel “Embers”. Marai presents a gripping story about a nightlong meeting between two once lifelong friends after being apart for many years. It touches upon life, love, hate, infidelity and music, but most of all it is about the bond of friendship, possibly the most powerful and vexatious emotional connection than can exist between human beings. When the story starts, forty-one years have passed. Through the protagonist, the General’s large part of monologue in the novel exposes the philosophical insights of friendship by indicating their differences and culminating in his friend’s sudden departure from Vienna, Marai manages to allow the readers discover what really happened all those years. Moreover, Marai’s skillful employment of the night-to-dawn period to move forward the sensation of the reunion is compelling. The first of their differences was revealed through their different family backgrounds. As Marai said in the book: “And because of their friendship, each forgave the other’s original sin: wealth on the one hand and poverty on the other”
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Li, 2 (Marai 61). General Henrik was born in a wealthy aristocratic family, but it seems that he does not have a happy childhood because of the disharmony between his parents. He almost died from this discord on a visit to Paris with his French mother. “[n]obody uttered a word about the cause of the child’s illness, but everybody knew: the body needed love, and when all the strangers had bent over him and the unbearable smell had surrounded him on all sides, he had chosen death” (Marai 29). Nini, a nanny’s coming saved his life. In comparison, Konrad had effete aristocratic parents. They met in secondary school and soon became friends, and then the friendship became solid and inseparable. They lived together in Henrik’s family castle. Their differences began to show when they visited Konrad’s family. From Marai’s description about Konrad’s parents’ eagerness to please his friend during their visit, I can sense that Konrad is afraid of being inferior from his friend. He said to his friend that what their parents scarified all they had to prepare him for an officer’s career: “For twenty-two years they have been living in this town which reeks like some squalid den where passing traders spend the night---a smell of cooking and cheap perfume and sour bedding. Here they live, and never utter a word of complaint. For twenty-years my father has not set foot in Vienna,
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2011 for the course POLITICAL 210 taught by Professor Amitage during the Spring '08 term at San Mateo Colleges.

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formal essay #2old - Y ing Li Dr. Muriel Brennan ENG 110AG...

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