Written on the Body

Written on the Body reminds me a lot of Lady of the House of Love. Louise and the narrator reminded me a lot of the Countess and the soldier. Louise seems to have this power over the narrator that the soldier had over the Countess. The narrator is known for being a “dog” to the woman he is with. He is only this way because every woman before played him. Most of them were married and ended up leaving him. His revenge was to never “fall in love” again. He once said, “I had lately learned that another way of writing fall in love is walk the plank.” The narrator met Louise. From the beginning it seemed that they had a “thing” for one another. Louise was married though, just like the others. That didn’t seem to matter to the narrator this time; even though sometimes he would remind himself by saying things such as, “Whenever you think you are falling remember that ring is molten hot and will burn you through and through.” In other words saying, “Don’t get hurt by another married woman.” Louise had a control over the narrator though. He says, “A heroine from a Gothic novel, mistress of her house, yet capable of setting fire to it and fleeing in the night with one bag.” This made me look back and think of Lady of the House of Love. He also says, “But she wouldn’t call the police, she’d take her pearl-handled revolver from the glass decanter and shoot me through the heart.” This showed how much of a dominant woman she was to him.

The narrator knew that if it came out about him and Louise being together that it would hurt the woman he was with, Jacqueline. Besides the narrator having the trust issues with Louise, Louise had them with him. He tried telling her multiple times that he loved her; but she wasn’t hearing it. She told him not to say those words unless he really meant them. She wanted to keep it as friends, because she was scared to get hurt. The narrator says, “She didn’t trust me. As a friend I had been amusing. As a lover I was lethal.” She wanted him to come to her without a past. She wanted him to prove his love for her. All in all, it seemed that the narrator couldn’t get over Jacqueline. He for an instance thought about her. That seems to be the only difference between the two stories. There was someone extra making the two hold back their love for one another in Written on the Body.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chelsea.dermody@lindsey.edu
    Sep 30, 2013 @ 14:55:59

    I like the comment you make about the power that Louise has over the narrator. I think this is certainly true. But doesn’t the narrator share some of that power? The narrator seems to have some power over Louise as well. From the novel it doesn’t sound like Louise has ever had an extra-marital affair before, and this is only relevant if the narrator is actually female, but there is no mention that Louise has ever had any homosexual relationships prior to the narrator. The narrator has the power to convince (even if unintentionally) Louise to have an affair outside of her marriage, possibly engage in homosexual activity she has never experienced before, and make a decision to leave her husband. That’s some incredible power. I don’t think that the narrator’s power over Louise takes away from Louise’s power over the narrator though. They seem to have allowed each other to have power over one another (maybe not consciously, but still) out of their love for one another. Isn’t that kind of the way love works? (I’m of course not suggesting that one partner should or does have some kind of dominance over the other. But don’t we allow our partners at least the power to break our hearts when we are in love?)


  2. carissajengle
    Oct 03, 2013 @ 15:09:18

    I agree with you. After reading the rest of the book I feel like they both have power over one another. Even though the book is over, I do still feel that the narrator shouldn’t give up his search for Louise until he finds out where she is at. Gail Right will not be able to help the narrator with any of his problems; he is going to drop her and pick someone else up until he finds Louise. I think what the narrator and Louise have is TRUE love.


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