Mad Shadows By Marie Claire Blais

1507 Words7 Pages
In a social setting where the presence of God is absent, love simply cannot exist. It is a common-truth that human beings require love; in a society where love cannot and does not exist, the void where that “love” would have existed becomes filled with deluded misconceptions of what love truly is. In Marie-Claire Blais’ Mad Shadows, Blais clearly illustrates what happens genuine love cannot exist and is replaced by misinterpretations, with the use of well developed character relationships. In many of the relationships (romantic and otherwise) displayed in Mad Shadows, characters face a great deal of pain and suffering at the hands of their deluded notions of love; that fundamentally being that beauty and appearance equate to love. Their…show more content…
Further, when Blais describes Louise and Lanz as “ill-fated as the other”, a clear element of foreshadowing of the suffering and resent they will develop for one another is firmly established. This foreshadowing is realized later in the novel as Louise and Lanz have been together for a fair increment of canonical time. Their relationship, though lacking in substance, has been quite stable. However, in a scene where Lanz is sleeping, Louise enters the room, only to see her husband fully dressed in all his elegance. Louise saw “Lanz, whose nails were always manicured and whose shoes were always polished, had fallen asleep fully dressed, in all his offensive perfection. Confronted with this, her own image, Louise squirmed in disgust.” (Blais 54) The resent that was foreshadowed early in the novella is completely realized. As Blaise uses Louise’s character realization that her husband 's image and her own image disgust her, she expertly suggests a key theme. Blais enhances on one of Mad Shadows’ fundamental concepts; the fact that love based in superficiality and false notions of love is doomed to fail, and will only lead to suffering and pain. Blais utilizes another in-book relationship, one between Isabelle-Marie and Michael, to further reinforce the point that relationships rooted in superficial misconceptions only end in suffering and pain. In this specific case, it leads to the brutal beating and abandonment of Isabelle-Marie at

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