Modern-Day Review

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Modern-Day Review

This is not a story of fairy-tale romance. Neither is it a tale of heroic endeavour. This is raw fiction at its finest; an exposé of the very core of human nature.

In this novel entitled The End of the Affair, Graham Greene leaves no stone unturned, exploring the many facets of passion – love, hate, jealousy, truth, trust and faith, and then some more. It is a novel of infinite expression – Greene's personal experiences provide this novel with the sort of depth that would go on to set the tone for the rest of the fifties.

The novel opens in post-war London, on a particularly bleak and wet night in January. The atmosphere is significant for the novel's central themes – in extreme pathetic fallacy, the mood of the weather creates an appropriate backdrop for Greene's unfolding narrative. The dark and melancholy aura of Britain echoes these same tumultuous feelings that are interwoven within the format of Greene's primary relationship.

The plot centres on the complexities of a love triangle, between the characters of Maurice Bendrix, his love interest Sarah Miles, and her husband Henry. At the same time, a triangle can be seen in the form of Bendrix, Sarah and God, who ultimately determines the fate of the unreligious protagonist. Sarah's lifeless marriage with Henry initiates the inevitable affair with Bendrix which provides her with the intellectual, emotional and physical stimulation that she never received in her relationship with Henry. They embark on a passionate, expressive journey in which both are more fulfilled than they have ever been in the past, until Sarah abruptly, and without explanation, puts an end to their affair. Immediately following his brush with death, Bendrix is full of anger and rage towards her unexpected departure, and loses all faith in Sarah, and to some extent, himself. His writings become the foundation for his self-confessed "record of hate, far more than of love" which is produced in the form of this...
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