Devotion, by its nature, tends to invite agony. But this language appears to be spilling over. It may originate in a sort of erotic consecration, but love and pain, joy and punishment, seem increasingly convergent, at least in the ways that people express themselves online.
Love may be timeless, but the half-ironic millennial death wish has become an underground river rushing swiftly under the surface of the age. Earlier this month, I got on the phone with Mistress Velvet, a dominatrix in Chicago with a day job in social work, to ask her what she made of all this. My clients sometimes talk to me like this. Your life is sacred! But not all run-me-over tweets direct their sentiment at an object. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which had lain quiet within the lover for a long time hitherto.
And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer. So there is only one thing for the lover to do. He must house his love within himself as best he can; he must create for himself a whole new inward world — a world intense and strange, complete in himself. Let it be added here that this lover about whom we speak need not necessarily be a young man saving for a wedding ring — this lover can be man, woman, child, or indeed any human creature on this earth.
Now, the beloved can also be of any description. The most outlandish people can be the stimulus for love. A man may be a doddering great-grandfather and still love only a strange girl he saw in the streets of Cheehaw one afternoon two decades past. The preacher may love a fallen woman. The beloved may be treacherous, greasy-headed, and given to evil habits.
Yes, and the lover may see this as clearly as anyone else — but that does not affect the evolution of his love one whit. A most mediocre person can be the object of a love which is wild, extravagant, and beautiful as the poison lilies of the swamp. A good man may be the stimulus for a love both violent and debased, or a jabbering madman may bring about in the soul of someone a tender and simple idyll. Therefore, the value and quality of any love is determined solely by the lover himself. It is for this reason that most of us would rather love than be loved.
Almost everyone wants to be the lover. And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret way, the state of being beloved is intolerable to many.
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The beloved fears and hates the lover, and with the best of reasons. For the lover is forever trying to strip bare his beloved. The lover craves any possible relation with the beloved, even if this experience can cause him only pain. Even love unreturned has its rainbow.
Barrie, The Little Minister. I mean, it's perfect As long as something is never even started, you never have to worry about it ending. It has endless potential. In accepting that his wonderful new life is a dream, he causes the dream Krypton to explode just like the real one.
- Because I have my reasons — selfish and little they may sound to anyone!
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Psylocke had to do this in Uncanny X-Force. The first was her lover, Archangel; he was possessed by Apocalypse, forcing her to completely erase his mind. The second was her brother, Jamie; his future self was a multiverse-conquering demon, so she killed him to save the worlds. The Rainbow Connection ends in a fight to the death between former best friends Rainbow Brite and Stormy. Rainbow has to stop Stormy's plot to cause an apocalypse on Earth by fighting her.
Rainbow hadn't intended to kill Stormy, but it was self-defense and her wounds were too critical. Stormy ends up dying in Rainbow's arms.
Blake is in love with Weiss and they're also good friends. Blake opts to kill both herself and Weiss , but this trope is subverted when Qrow saves them. It's all a lie but Lady Tremaine needs an excuse for her kids' magical transformations and she also wants Esmeralda out of the picture, so it's a good enough excuse.
A few days after the execution, Frollo is Driven to Suicide. The ending to Million Dollar Baby. The film's star boxer has suffered a career-ending injury, is paralyzed below the neck, has no hope of recovery beyond being immobile for the rest of her life, and because she is no longer able to pursue her dream of being a boxer, she wants to die, but cannot kill herself due to her injuries.
Her manager, who has during the course of the movie becomes like a father to her, later makes the painful decision to cut off her life support and give her a massive dose of tranquilizers to avert her prolonged suffering. Averted in Serenity : "bullet in the brainpan squish. It is easy to imagine the writer pulling that one. In John Woo's The Killer , the title character has to put a bullet to Sidney Fung, his best friend, in an I Cannot Self-Terminate moment, after he went through serious hell to get the money the Killer needs to have Jenny's eyes fixed to him and got shot by the bad guys.
Subverted in the ending of Pan's Labyrinth , when Ofelia has to kill her baby brother to prove herself as a princess of another world. She refuses to do so. Soon, she's killed Double Subverted in Kill Bill. At first, all we see of The Bride is her Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Bill, her ex-lover, but after she kills him, she breaks down sobbing for several moments.
Shaun of the Dead : Shaun shoots the zombie Barbara after her transformation. The Usual Suspects has a sickening version. He came home to find them being held hostage, guns and knives being held to them, pleading eyes, etc.
Not to be cowed, he killed them all himself , then the shocked hostage-takers, "then their parents, then their parents' friends Wolverine is forced to kill Jean to stop her murderous Phoenix alter-ego from destroying everything. As mentioned in the Literature section, Old Yeller is one of the oldest examples in film. At first, there is a Hope Spot tease when Travis pens the dog in a corncrib, hoping he won't turn rabid — he does. Will Smith's dog in I Am Legend.
The first is a subversion depicting a man who has to have someone shoot his rabies-infected dog. He laments that he didn't do it himself. It is later invoked when George has to kill Lenny to save him from an angry mob. But when it turns out Haydon is The Mole , Prideaux is the one who executes him. Corrupt cop Jimmy Shaker seems to care for Maris, his girlfriend and fellow kidnapper.
When he kills the two expendable remaining kidnappers to make himself out as a hero cop, she shoots him in turn, clearly expecting him to dispose of her as well. He seems a bit shocked at this before he kills her as well with apparent remorse. In The Wolfman , the first werewolf kills his wife and son; Lawrence kills his father and almost kills Gwen too.
The Fear to Love
First invoked, then cleverly subverted in Zombieland. Wichita asks Tallahassee and Columbus to perform a Mercy Kill on her infected sister, Little Rock, then stops them and insists that she be the one to do the deed. She then promptly turns the gun on the two men so that she and her NOT-infected sister can steal their weapons and vehicle. In Pixels , the confrontation between Ludlow and Lady Lisa has shades of this, with Ludlow unable to bring himself to kill the love of his entire life. The love part of the trope becomes clear at the end of the film during Bob's Dying Declaration of Love towards Jesse.
Monsieur Verdoux : Implied.
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There is something in the way Charlie Chaplin as the titular anti-hero delivers his vague statement about losing his wife and child to a "happier place" ie. Heaven , after losing everything in a stock market crash, that hints that he may have, shall we say, given them a "helping hand". Towards the end of Deewaar , police officer Ravi shoots his criminal brother Vijay, who dies of his injuries not long after. Thus, to get the stone, Thanos killed Gamora, the one who he loved the most. Ironically, this is also why the universe seems to have bestowed the role of the Soul Stone's guardian onto the Red Skull.
Unlike Thanos, he's genuinely heartless and while equally willing to make the sacrifice, he simply cannot because he has no loved ones. On two occasions in the same film, heroes attempt to do this to keep the stones out of Thanos's hands- Gamora tells Star-Lord to kill her if she's captured to keep Thanos from extracting the location of the Soul Stone from her , and while the Avengers attempt to remove the Mind Stone from Vision safely so it can be destroyed without killing him, eventually Wanda is forced to try and destroy it while it's still in his head when they run out of time.
Thanos prevents the first by using the Reality Stone to turn Peter's gun into a bubble blaster when he pulls the trigger on Gamora , and undoes the second by using the Time Stone to undo Vision's destruction.
In Avengers: Endgame , Black Widow essentially forces her best friend Hawkeye to kill her to get the soul stone. In doing so he would have been killing the man who knew him best and was his ally for the last seventeen years. Unlike the film, Travis knows the dog will inevitably succumb to rabies and shoots him as soon as he sees the dog's injuries. Averted in the story of the Sacrifice of Isaac in The Bible. It turned out to have been a Secret Test of Character for Abraham. In Outlander , Jamie has to kill his godfather, Murtagh, after he's grievously wounded at the battle of Culloden.
Rosemary Sutcliff 's The Mark of the Horse Lord begins with the gladiator hero having to kill his best friend in the arena.
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