Paper #2 - The Burmese Days - Lee 1 Insuk Kevin Lee Dr....

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Lee 1 Insuk Kevin Lee Dr. Ellen Boccuzzi South and Southeast Asian Studies R5A 23 October 2010 Vicissitude of Love The Burmese Days by George Orwell presents us with many ideas and topics of debate that are closely linked with the very foundations of our society. The idea of social conformity, the importance of social pretige, and the vicissitudes of love are some of the powerful messages that the author is trying to convey to the readers. What intrigued me the most, however, are the complicated love relationships among the characters in the novel. Love is such a commonplace concept but we fail to acknowledge how complicated, varied and sometimes ridiculous it can be. By portraying relationships of love among the characters as fickle and fluctuating as possible, Orwell debunks the mystery surrounding love and emphasizes the folly of love. Perhaps the most obvious example of the vicissitude of love is that between Flory and Elizabeth. Their love even illustrates some outlandish, incomprehensible instances such as when Flory looks over Elizabeth's transient love for Verrall. Before Elizabeth comes out on the scene, Flory supposedly had been in love with Ma Hla May but it dies off, producing a markedly different treatment to the prostitute - "I don't want you in here after I've done with you" (55, Orwell). Ma Hla May laments that "two years ago it was so different! [Flory] loved me in those days. [Flory] gave me presents of gold bangles and silk longyis" (53). Although Flory's feelings for Ma Hla May had not been as extensive as to be called love, this introduces the concept we are about to explore. When Flory first meets Elizabeth, his love for her so quickly develops. He skips work "while despairing letters came almost every day from the overseer, telling of
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This note was uploaded on 02/22/2011 for the course ASIAN STUD 5A taught by Professor Laveck,k during the Spring '06 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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Paper #2 - The Burmese Days - Lee 1 Insuk Kevin Lee Dr....

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