Looking for Love
Throughout the novel Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh, the theme of searching for love becomes clearly apparent through almost all of the characters’ actions. The search for love is of the utmost importance, whether the characters realize it or not. This is particularly the case for Charles, Julia, and Cordelia. As the narrator of the novel, the reader gains the most insight into Charles’ search. He is cautiously optimistic that love will be found, possibly even in his everyday escapades. “I went there uncertainly, for it was foreign ground and there was a tiny, priggish, warning voice in my ear which in the tones of Collins told me it was seemly to hold back. But I was in search of love in those days, and I went full of curiosity and the faint, unrecognized apprehension that here, at last, I should find that low door in the wall, which others, I knew had found before me, which opened on an enclosed and enchanted garden, which was somewhere, not overlooked by any window, in the heart of that grey city.” (p.26) We first meet Sebastian, whom Charles refers to as, “the forerunner” for all his future relationships. Later we meet Celia, who is too busy with her friends and promoting Charles’ art to develop a fully formed romantic relationship with him. Finally, we get to know Julia, who has the potential to be a true soul-mate for Charles but the potential goes unfulfilled due to Charles’ agnosticism compared to Julia’s reawakened Catholicism with the advent of her father’s acceptance of the sacraments on his deathbed. Julia’s search for love is first made apparent to the reader when she initially meets Charles at the railway station. “She had made a preposterous little picture of the kind of man who would do […] and she was in search of him when she met me at the railway station. I was not her man. She told me as much, without a word, when she took the cigarette from my lips” (p.170-171). This shows that even at a young age Julia was in search...
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