By Phyllis Lassner (auth.)
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Additional resources for Elizabeth Bowen
Janet tells the older woman: 'You were the reason I married Rodney. .. I wanted to be related' (105,106). The strong sexual feeling of both women represents 'cold, dispassionate passion' to men (36). Hence Janet's passion for Edward is expressed as a will to dominate. FRIENDS AND RELATIONS AND TO THE NORTH 51 Years before, she thinks: '1 could hold you, yes, and make you run about, in the palm of my hand' (36). The fate to which Elfrida subjects Considine is the consequence of such a will, as the discarded lover himself testifies: Her silence .
Having suffered eye trouble since he was gassed in World War I, enjoying a challenging and time-consuming career at the BBC, he showed signs of strain amidst the relentless stream of visitors to Clarence Terrace. His drinking increased and he was often short-tempered with the 'Black Hats' who hung about. None of this, however, affected the Camerons' marriage, which had a deep interdependence impervious to outside stress. Bowen managed commitment and love for Alan along with a life of her own. Throughout the thirties she had ELIZABETH BOWEN'S LIFE 21 several short-lived affairs and none escaped the critical sensibility she brought to her life and her work.
That moment of transformation from latency to adult sexuality suggests a suspension between imagining a self and protecting oneself from annihilation. 5 Lois is trapped between her desire for an orderly life and her fear of the 'actual' that Laurence craves. But what is this 'actual' emphasised by its echoed use? For Laurence it is clearly the political reality which has underlined Anglo-Irish impotence. For Lois it is the sexual reality which has turned Anglo-Irish women into ghosts. Together, Lois and Laurence embody the rage which results from constraints on their development and which threatens to break through the language of the Naylors.