The Collector

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John Fowles - The Collector

"The Collector" by John Fowles deals with a man's obsession with a woman that turns to kidnap and eventually death. What attracted me to this book was the unusual topic of obsession and intriguing title. In my review I intend to study how the writer, John Fowles, portrays an obsessive personality - though Frederick's actions, dialogue, and his changing relationship with his obsession Miranda. The book is set around the two main characters of Frederick and the girl he is obsessed with Miranda and is mainly set in Sussex around the middle of the 20th century. His obsession with Miranda begins in his hometown where he merely watches her from afar but she then moves away to London to go to college so his obsession dies away. After winning the pools, however, his obsession takes a new turn. He moves to London, on the advice of the ‘pools people', where he sees Miranda again and his obsession grows once more. Once in London he starts to develop a fantasy to capture Miranda but never really intends to act upon it until he come across a house that fits perfectly into his fantasy. The buying of this house then encourages him to carry out his fantasy and kidnap her. This book is arranged in an unusual way. The first chapter is told from the view point of Frederick of the capturing and after the capture of Miranda. The second chapter is in diary form; this is told from Miranda's point of view. In this she recounts people and events from before she was captured and also describes her escape attempts. This chapter is very good in letting us see how Miranda perceives the events that are happening to her and provides a contrast to Frederick. The third is back to Frederick's point of view and is about Miranda's illness, Frederick's attempt to help her and his reactions. The fourth chapter is very short and is about Frederick finding Miranda's diary, chapter two in the book, and realising that she never felt anything but resentment for him. It also introduces the idea that he may do it again for a comparison. Frederick, looking back on his experience with Miranda, tells the book in the form a dialogue with the reader. The writer, Fowles, demonstrates Frederick's obsessive personality through his actions. One of these is the way he marks down the viewing of Miranda in his diary. "In the evening I marked it in my observations diary, at first with X, and when I knew her name with M." In this the writer is showing first that Frederick is organised to the point of obsession. He is also meticulous in his actions making sure that he never forgot a viewing of her. Another event where Frederick's obsessive and precise personality comes across to the reader very clearly is when Frederick is fitting the house out in preparation for Miranda's kidnapping. "I worked for a month or more getting my plans ready. I was alone all the time; not having any real friend was lucky." Fowles shows here that Frederick has a forward thinking, precise mind in the phrase ‘month or more getting the plans ready'. This shows he worked out the details of the house making sure everything was right. He also shows that Frederick is someone who is determined by the phrase ‘a month or more'. This shows that although it took a long time he still carried it through. Fowles mentions here that Frederick was alone for this time, as before this Frederick has made sure that he won't be disturbed by people from the village by telling them, when they came to the door, to go away. "Then the vicar came from the village came and I had to be rude with him. I said I was a Nonconformist, I wanted nothing to do with the village," Here Fowles again shows Frederick's determination to carry though his plans by making sure there were no disruptions to spoil his plans for Miranda. Another event where Fowles shows Frederick's obsessive behaviour is shown is after Miranda is dead and he finds her diary. Fowles shows that Frederick meticulously measured Miranda to get...
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