is perceivable as the resolve to extend oneself in a bid to nurtureprivate or another individual`s spiritual growth (Peck 82). Manypeople misconstrue the meaning of "falling in love" withlove (Peck 86 Jeremy39).The reason for this wrong interpretation is the emotions that areassociated with sexual or physical attraction (falling in love) havea close link with the feelings that are associated with love(Bathobakae34).The contrast between the two ideas is that physical attraction canonly be categorized within the sexual context a rational individualcannot fall in love with his friend, parent, or child (Peck 86). Thisrevelation surfaces somewhat distinctly in Hornby’s writing, Abouta Boy.Marcus, for example, falls in love with Ellie but falls out of lovewith her after realizing that she is too loud (Hornby 61). Also,sexual appeal always declines with time the feeling usually diesaway after a relationship exists long enough. Nicky Hornby’s book,Abouta Boy,brings the realization that falling in love is an entirely differentconcept from love to the surface.
can be contextualized within a relatively broad framework. Onemay view love in terms of behavior that is directed toward thepurpose or goal that it serves (spiritual growth) (Peck 83).Secondly, love is a circular process this means that the act ofloving entails self-evolution, even when the purpose of love involvesanother person’s growth. Third, love encompasses both self-love andlove for another person. Fourth, love involves effort one must exerteffort since one can only extend one`s limits by exceeding them,which requires exertion. Finally, the concept of "will"implies having sufficient intensity to translate one`s desire intoaction an individual can only love if he chooses to convert hisfeelings into deeds.
Consideringthe above assertions, one may assume that falling in love has thesame connotation with love, or, it is one of its manifestations thispremise is wrong. Falling in love is usually associated withconceptions such as “I love her” or “I love him” (Peck 86).If one applies this viewpoint to Hornby’s book, he realizes that,at first, Will Freeman fell in love with Rachel (Hornby 45) but didnot love her. As Peck put it, falling in love is not extending one’sboundaries or limits, but collapsing them temporarily or partially(Peck 93). In essence, extending one’s limits requires effortfalling in love is, almost, automatic. Freeman met Rachel at a partyand fell in love with her (Hornby 45). In this case, Will did notapply any effort to develop feelings for Rachel he just met her andfell in love. In the same vein, falling in love has a limitedassociation with growing one’s spiritual identity.
Fallingin love has a very limited connection with nurturing one’sspiritual self. More often than not, when people fall in love, theyare usually seeking ways of terminating their loneliness (Peck 93Zastrow174).Rachel pleased Will because she was beautiful, interesting, and diddrawings. Will, conversely, had not done anything meaningful with hislife (Hornby 45). Thus, inferring from this assertion, Will was moreinterested in finding someone who could complement his life. Peck(93) contends that when a person falls in love, he or shecontemplates guaranteeing that he terminates his loneliness throughmarriage. Will told Marcus that he wanted Rachel to be his lover,wife, and the axis of his whole world (Hornby 47). This assertiondraws the link between falling in love and sex.
Thedifference between the "falling in love" experience andlove is that a sex-allied erotic experience motivates falling inlove. A reasonable person cannot fall in love with a friend, aparent, or his child. At one point, Rachel and Will kissed (Hornby45). Ordinarily, a person can only kiss someone that he is intimatelyinterested in, as opposed to an individual with whom he has a bloodrelation with. Thus, Will’s emotion can only be contextualizedwithin the erotic framework, and not love. Real love, mostly, occurswhen the love feeling is absent (Peck 92). When Marcus asks Will howhe knows that he wants Rachel to be his wife, Will says, "I feelit" (Hornby 47). This confession further proves that Will hasfallen in love with Rachel, but does not love her. A person can onlyclaim to love another when he or she acts in a loving manner when hedoes not feel like it. In essence, love is an act of will a personhas to exert effort to extend himself to another individual fallingin love, conversely, is an unconscious feeling. Will meets Rachel ata party and falls in love with her (Hornby 45) he did not apply anyeffort, the emotion just manifested itself. One may, therefore,assume that falling in love is in tandem with the survival of thehuman race.
Fallingin love is more of a natural survival instinct than love. The matingbehavior is an instinctual behavior that is genetically determined(Peck 94). Thus, falling in love can be perceived as a stereotypicreaction to an arrangement of external sexual stimuli and inner sexurges. This phenomenon is a means to enhancing sexual pairing andbonding to secure the survival of a species. Accordingly, Freeman didnot have the desire to fall in love because he believed that it was anasty experience he saw his friends losing sleep, weight, andbecoming unhappy just because they had fallen in love (Hornby 45). Infact, he was quite certain that Rachel would make him miserablebecause he was not entertaining. Nonetheless, he fell in love withher and even went to the extent of looking for Marcus and pretendingto be his father to please Rachel. Will’s behavior seemsirrational, but it has a biological underpinning, as stated earlier.
Tobecome an effective motivation to inspire individuals to considermarriage, the falling in love emotion draws its potency from theillusion that the feeling will last forever. The cultures in societyeulogize the romantic love myth, which traces its origins to fairytales, where people live happily after getting married (Peck 96).These stories emphasize that everyone has someone in the world. Thus,when one meets someone who he falls in love with, he assumes thatthat individual will satisfy all his desires. This account issynonymous with Marcus’ feelings towards Ellie. The young boyadmits that he likes Ellie very much and that he would like her tobecome his girlfriend, as opposed to just being a friend (Hornby 47).In fact, Marcus contends that he wants to be in Ellie’s company allthe time and tell her things before opening up to his mother or Will.Marcus also asserts that he does not want Ellie to have anotherboyfriend. However, as Peck states (96), if friction arises or someneeds do not get satisfied, the realization that a mistake was madecomes to the surface. Marcus came to the understanding that he didnot like Ellie as much as he thought he did when she started shoutingin the train (Hornby 61). Although he thought she was intelligent,funny, and lovely, he believed that she was not the right type ofperson for him. Marcus supposed that he was more interested in anindividual who was quieter, studious, and enjoyed playing computergames.
Nonetheless,although “falling in love” is not “real love,” it isexceedingly close to love. Without a doubt, the reason why thefallacy that falling in love is similar to love is powerful isbecause some legitimacy is inherent in this premise (Peck 100).Falling in love is not an extension of oneself to another person itis a temporary collapse of one’s ego boundaries. In this backdrop,real love has a connection with extending oneself because it involvesthe expansion of one`s limits, which are also referred to as the egoboundaries. Consequently, the extension of this limit, through love,to a dearly loved individual, with the intention of nurturing him, iswhat constitutes real love. For this happenstance to occur, one mustbegin by being attracted to a particular individual and invest in andcommit to this person beyond the limits of self. This process isreferred to as attraction, investment, and commitment cathexispsychiatrists call this progression “cathect.” When a personcathects another individual, he psychologically slots in arepresentation of that being into himself.
Thus,if one applies the above argument to Will’s emotion toward Rachel,he realizes that, in the end, Will developed real love feelings forRachel. After meeting Rachel, Will fell in love with her (Hornby 45).However, he did not extend himself to her. After spending some timewith Rachel and knowing her, his feelings for her grew. Later, Willrealized that his emotions for Rachel had changed his life. Hedesired her so much that he felt frightened and afraid of losing her(Hornby 61). Freeman finally realized that he had transformed frombeing Will, “the cool guy” who loathed involving himself withpeople, to being deeply engaged with Rachel he could not separatehimself from this feeling. He desired to be important to Rachel, andcreate an image of a responsible person in her mind. He, therefore,began taking Marcus and Ali out on Saturdays.
Additionally,Will, Marcus, and Fiona loved each other. After Marcus had seen hismother crying, he felt inclined to help her but did not know how, sohe told Will (Hornby 53). By telling Will, Marcus extended his egoboundaries to Will this means that he let Will into his life, which,by extension, means Marcus loved Will. In the same vein, Marcusopened up to Will to help his mother since Will was an adult. Asdiscussed earlier, real love usually occurs when the love emotion isabsent (Peck 92). Thus, Will, in spite of his reluctance to helpFiona, decided to help her (Hornby 55 – 56). Although Will did notknow what to do, he decided to listen to Fiona and help her out asmuch as he could (Hornby 60). Similarly, Will’s love for Marcuscame to the surface when he heard that Kurt Cobain was dead (Hornby61). At first, Freeman was not bothered by the news however, afterremembering that Cobain was Marcus’ favorite artist, he becameworried about Marcus’s wellbeing. Fiona, on the other hand, lovedMarcus. She wrote a note explaining that Marcus was not the cause ofher death to make sure that he lives through her demise withoutremorse (Hornby 22). Also, Fiona’s love for Will came to thesurface after she confided her problems to him (Hornby 60). Fiona puteffort and an extension of herself when talking with Will since notmany people disclose their problems to other people, especially thedepressed individuals.
Abouta Boy offersits audience insights into love. For instance, the reader is broughtcloser to the workings of love. Through the interactions of thevarious characters, one understands what real love is and what itsmisconceptions are. For instance, one may assume that Marcus’relationship with Ellie would end in a fashion that is similar tothat of Will because both characters expressed their interests inwomen at the same time (Hornby 47). However, in the end, the audiencecomes to the realization that Marcus’ emotions toward Ellie wereclassic illustrations of “falling in love” while Will’sfeelings for Rachel transformed into real love. Marcus realizes thathe does not like Ellie because she is loud (Hornby 61). AlthoughEllie is witty, intelligent, and attractive, Marcus starts realizingthat he prefers a girl that loves video games, studying, and isquiet. Marcus gets more irritated as he spends time with Ellie(Hornby 61), a perfect depiction of falling out of love with aperson. Will, conversely, develops stronger emotions toward Rachel.Instead of losing interest in Rachel, Will finds her more attractiveas they continue spending time together (Hornby 61). Will`s view oflife starts changing, and he becomes more responsible and sociable.This manifestation is a typical reflection of the manner in which anindividual extends himself to another person. Will takes Ali andMarcus out to show Rachel that he is a responsible man.
Also,the love between two friends and child and mother is highlighted. Abouta Boy goesbeyond highlighting the love that exists between intimate partnersit also discusses the love that subsists between a child and itsparent. Marcus becomes anxious after seeing his mother crying (Hornby22). He extends himself to her by feeling her agony and worrying onher behalf. Marcus approaches Will with his problem and requests himto help his mother to solve her depression predicament (Hornby 53).Although Will is reluctant, he acquiesces to Marcus’ appeal andlooks for a way to help (Hornby 55 – 56). Will knows nothing but putseffort into helping Marcus’ mother by listening to her problems.Will’s love for Marcus, again, comes up when he realizes that Kurtis dead. At first, he is not very worried by the news, but afterFiona reminds him that Cobain is Marcus` favorite musician, heworries about his friend`s well-being.
Nonetheless,as much as Hornby’s book reveals the essence of love, it leaves outthe important issues of intimacy and parenthood. The author leavesthe audience thinking about the place of sex in relationships.Physical encounters are, almost, never discussed in the book. Apartfrom Will kissing Rachel at midnight (45), the audience is notexposed to any other bodily encounter. Also, the reader does notinteract with Marcus’ father very much. This coincidence leaves theaudience contemplating about the place of paternal relationships inthe love framework. Even so, the writing discusses the issues of lovein a relatively comprehensive manner.
Ina recap of the above discussion, an analysis of Peck’s book, ,and Hornby’s book, Abouta Boy,reveals the differences between the emotions that are usuallyassociated with falling in love and the ones that are linked to reallove. can be viewed as the determination to extend oneself tonurture personal or another self’s spiritual growth. Manyindividuals misinterpret the meaning of “falling in love” withlove (Peck 86). This wrong interpretation comes to the fore becauseof the emotions that are usually linked with a sexual or physicalappeal (falling in love). These feelings, more often than not, have aclose relation with the sentiments that are allied to love. Thedissimilarity between the two ideas is that physical desire can onlybe classified within the sexual framework a sensible person cannotfall in love with a friend, his parent, or a child. Also, sexualattraction invariably diminishes with time the sensation typicallydies away after a relationship exists for an extended period.
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