A Tumultuous Marriage in The Force of Things: A Marriage in War and Peace by Alexander Stille

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Marriage is not a ‘merry-age’ , it may turn into a ‘sorry-age’ In his book The Force of Things: A Marriage in War and Peace, Alexander Stille vividly captures and conveys Ugo Stille and Elizabeth Bogert’s tumultuous marriage, which was akin to the plight undergone by Helen, The Tenant’s heroine. The author writes thus:

It was a spiritual condition, a disease of the soul: entropy, despair, confusion, the weight of dusty history, the tragedy of Europe and the crippling past, the love of needless complication, useless speculation, regret, equivocation, the inability to decide and live in the present. Throwing out meant choosing, looking forward, getting on with things, having a positive attitude toward life (Stille: 18).

Helen’s wretched life with Arthur Huntington can be thus compared to Ugo Stille’ stormy relationship with Elizabeth Bogert. Helen’s marriage with Arthur exemplifies this “entropy” Alexander Stille talks about. The innocent lady’s union with a debauched Arthur turns to be “an epic struggle, like a battle between Order and Chaos or a science fiction horror film...in which the protagonists combat extraterrestrial ooze that threatens to swallow up the entire town”(18) in the words of Alexander Stille.

It can be said that the Freudian psychoanalysis lends itself easily to an unsettling novel similar to The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Anne Bronte makes use of the Freudian concept of the uncanny to describe a vampire-like creature named Arthur Huntington, and

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