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 WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?

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PostSubject: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Mon May 26, 2008 6:27 pm

From Leroux's description of Christine, she seemed fragile and vulnerable in character. Losing her father caused her to loose interest in life, especially singing. Enter Erik, her mysterious singing coach. She both loves and fears him. Then Raoul comes back into her life.

According to Leroux, Christine would not acknowledge Raoul for fear Erik would become angry. However, Raoul did present several opportunities for her to leave, but she wouldn't go.

We saw her wring her hands and display such terror of Erik, yet she wouldn't go. She had to give one final performance for him. In the end, she did go with Raoul, why?

I think Christine loved Erik but because of his looks and scary ways she knew no one could live with him, especially five cellars beneath the opera house. Raoul gave her the easy way out, with money and a title.

What do you think? Any thoughts?

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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Tue May 27, 2008 9:50 am

I think there are many different kinds of love.

I believe Christine loved Erik, and that Raoul had a point about it being "the kind of love you don't admit to yourself" (paraphrased). But that doesn't necessarily mean it was the sort you get married and settle down for. I think she made the right choice, all things considered. Why?

Because Erik's crazy. I'm sorry, he's brilliant and I love him and he's immensely to be pitied and I obviously don't think he deserved the treatment he got his whole life. Maybe, if this had happened earlier, there'd be hope. But the man that Erik has become must be incredibly difficult to love in the way he wishes to be. He's not rational. Can you imagine living with the man? Do you think, honestly, he'd become as gentle as a lamb once he had her with him? I don't think so. People can change, sure, but how much? How quickly? Would he instantly lose all jealousy, all his anti-social hangups? I doubt it.

So my answer, as far as Christine goes, is that her conflict about leaving with Raoul is one of a sort of love, a sort of sympathy, but one which she hasn't the power to act upon.
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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Tue May 27, 2008 10:39 am

You make a good point, my daroga. From Leroux's description Erik was indeed quite mad and I for one would not and could not live with him. I agree he has my pity and I would not treat anyone the way he had, but we saw many terrifying moments which proved he did not have a healthy mental state.

Yet, Christine could have left him. She could have run away with Raoul and never return to the opera house or Erik had she a mind to. Perhaps fear kept her prisoner, but in some ways I think she struggled with a love for Erik like she did for Raoul. Whether he truly had a hyponic power over her, I don't know, but I believe if he had better looks she would have stayed with him.


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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Fri May 30, 2008 2:50 am

I also think that she was unsure of what a future with Erik might hold in store for her, and so, she finally took the easy way out, when he presented her with it, even though she did choose him in the end. She chose a title and money, over the uncertaity of living with Erik, who, as we can all see, wasn't exactly completely sane, at all times.

I do believe, though, that she did love him. Enough to be willing to sacrifice everything she knows to be with him, in the end. But also enough to know that it isn't really possible with his mental state and then she goes away with Raoul at Erik's "command".
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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Fri May 30, 2008 10:14 am

I agree. What kind of future would any woman have with Erik? Most of the really young teens think it would be so romantic to be with such a man five cellars beneath the opera house, but in truth, they don't comprehend the gravity of the situation. As much as I care about Erik, I wouldn't want to live with him. I assume they are thinking Erik looked like Gerry. Not according to Leroux. He had looks to scare the hair off a brass monkey!

It's obvious that Raoul knew she had feelings for the Phantom, and it confused him. At first, I wasn't sure if she obeyed Erik out of love or fear, when she ignored Raoul. What do you think?

Then we see her and Raoul on the roof making plans to go away together. Here Christine expresses the horror of Erik and her desire to leave, but not. Why didn't she leave then? Go away with Raoul right then and there without a final performance as Margarite?

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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Sat May 31, 2008 10:14 am

I agree with a lot of all of your points.

I think she hesitated to leave Erik because maybe she loved him in a way but i think she pitied him more than anything. She felt sorry for him which is why she wanted to sing for him one last time.

In leroux, didn't she say something about it not being fair to him if she left without performing the next night.

I think that she made the right choice because he was dangerous. He was a murderer and Raoul was her childhood sweetheart whom she loved and adored. I think also that she wanted to be with Raoul not only because he was safer but he had a better lifestyle. She wouldn't be trapped five levels beneath the earth for the rest of her life.

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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Sat May 31, 2008 9:32 pm

Perhaps women in those days allowed fear to hold them more than we do nowadays. I would have left with Raoul immediately if I feared him so. Yet, sometimes I think Erik did have a hypnotic hold her. I agree she pitied and feared him, but it seems that he did have some sort of hold on her. Of course, this is what makes may wonder if she did love him.

I don't think anyone affected me like Erik. No one ever seemed so torn than Christine. Is it possible to love two men equally at the same time?

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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:16 am

I think it is entirely possible to love two people at the same time. You're not going to have the same exact relationship with them, but there's no rule (in my book) that says one's heart is lost for good once you hang it up on one guy/girl. I think that while Raoul might have been "safer," we're by no means assured that she did NOT love him, too. Raoul's not a bad guy, not in Leroux anyway. He's a little entitled, a little invasive of Christine's privacy, but he's also very young and in love and I think that goes a long way to explaining his immaturity. So I think she could love them both, but not know what to do with Erik.

As to women being less in thrall of their fear nowadays, I don't think that's always true. Hopefully most of us are more free to make decisions for ourselves, and we've come a long way. But there are plenty of cases of abuse and fear and women not coming forward, in western countries and elsewhere. The modern world doesn't mean we're all safe from victimization.
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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:02 am

I agree, it is very possible two love two men at the same time. It is also possible to love them both enough to want to marry the both of them. Even if you love them for different reasons.

I think this is what happened in Christine's case. She had the choice of the older, more mature, slightly eccentric man and the younger, more immature childhood sweetheart.

One could give her all the security she could ever ask for, coupled with a home (above ground), children, a family, which she never fully had. The other could offer her his love, his home in the celler five floors below civilisation. Thats it. Maybe a family, but there IS the question of Erik's ability to having children and if his deformity prevented it, or not.

I do believe that, had she chosen Erik, Christine wouldn't be trapped in the cellar, though. I think Erik wouldn't dream of keeping her from the world above, even if he never would venture out himself. He did love her, after all, and I don't believe he would have kept her captive, had she professed her love for him and vowed to stay.

All in all, no matter how much I care for Erik and wish that he didn't need to get hurt, I think she made the right choice, when going away with Raoul. Erik might not have deserved the hurt that he got, throughout his lifetime, but I think they would have been just miserable together. I think what they felt, or maybe even thought they felt, was too perfect and idyllic and in a lot of cases reality can be a bit of a shock. Mind you, I think the same can be said over Christine and Raoul....
Now that IS something to think about... scratch
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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:42 am

Again, I agree that Christine made the right choice by leaving with Raoul, however, I don't believe a woman or man, whatever the case may be, can be in love with two men/woman at the same time with the exact same type of love.

Most women think they do, but in reality they don't want to make a choice. This is what leads to infidelity.

The Phan fic Progeny explored that scenerio. I read like a soap. Christine didn't want to leave Raoul, but she didn't want him to touch her. Her infidelity with Erik made things worse and came to a tragic end. This is typically what happnes when a woman thinks she's in love with both men at the same time.

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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:47 am

PhantomnessFay wrote:
however, I don't believe a woman or man, whatever the case may be, can be in love with two men/woman at the same time with the exact same type of love.

I agree with this; but I don't think that any two relationships are the same. Ever. How do you quantify that? Just because they're not the same type of love doesn't mean they're not love. I'm not saying she should have gone for both--I think she (and most people) definitely need to make a choice. But it's quite possible to be faced with a choice where you do genuinely love two people. In different ways, just like all friendships are slightly different.

In my view, there's not one type of love that means "you should marry/stay with this person." No one can define that feeling, so no one can say "this means love, and this doesn't." It has to be what you feel and what you think you can live up to. I love my husband, and am committed to spending my life with him. That doesn't mean that, under other circumstances, I couldn't have loved someone else equally well. It wouldn't be the same relationship, but it might not be better or worse. Just different.

Then again, I'm assuming there's no such thing as "true love" or the "one and only," and we all have different opinions about that.
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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:00 am

I agree. No two love's are the same, because no two men are exactly the same. This is why I think it is possible to love two men at the same time. BUT I also believe that a woman has to choose one of them, even if she does love them both, because she cannot have both.
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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:33 pm

Because I've never been in the situation, I can't imagine being in love with two men at the same time. Not in the marriage way. No wonder Christine appeared addled. Too bad she didn't have the nerve to leave with Raoul without trying to make Erik happy.

Do you think the absence of her father made her have more feelings for Erik than she normally would have? I believe that was what ALW played on in the stage version and in the musical film. Perhaps she thougth of Erik as a father, a protctor?

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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:44 pm

I don't think it's an enviable position, but I think it's possible. There are lots of worthy guys/girls, and circumstances could align such that one is forced to make that choice.

I think Christine's lack of a father--and the influence he had on her growing up--had every effect on her relationship with Erik. After all, Daae kept her in a sort of eternal childhood--he himself is described as childish--and kept spinning his tales and resisting her growing up. I think, honestly, that his influence was detrimental to her. Without him keeping her head full of dreams, I don't think Erik would have been able to command her so fully as the "Angel of Music." A rational person would not have believed in him. I think Christine was especially susceptible to his influence because of her father.
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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:49 pm

Agreed. Normally, as an adult we pretty much figure out that certain things our parents told us were meant for a child. Such as the Angel of Music. She actually believed that. Maybe the parent/child relationships were different at that time.

Perhaps in some way, Christine looked upon Erik as a father and not a lover or husband.

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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:24 pm

I think that parent/child relationships were probably largely different, but I also think that the Daaes in particular were different. Cut off from reality. It certainly didn't help her once her father was dead.

The mentor relationship they start out with would suggest a father/daughter cast to the it.
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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:34 am

That is entirely possible. And it would also explain why she wouldn't leave without a final performance to him. She didn't want to disappoint him, just like a child doesn't want to disappoint her father.
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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:21 am

Now we are getting to meat of the indecision. I truly feel Christine loved Erik as a father, a protector if you will. However, Raoul she loved as a husband.

Like some famlies, she had to choose between having a life of her own or staying with the man she looked upon as a father. Truly, she didn't want to upset "daddy". (Pardon the humorous informality.)

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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:32 am

A lot of fairy tales and folk tales are interpreted to be about the negotiation between family and marriage. Or the fear of leaving the family for the husband. Take Beauty and the Beast, vs. Bluebeard--in both, the girl is "married off" to a monstrous person. In the former, she learns that he is not such a monster and that her separation from her father and family was necessary and good. In the latter, the husband really is a monster, and it's a warning about men.

There's a lot of this fairy tale imagery, both explicit and implicit, in Leroux's book. So I think this father/lover interpretation has some validity, though I think it's muddles too because Erik can represent either/both the Father and the Monstrous Husband.
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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:35 pm

Wonderful analysis! You offered perfect examples of Erik. I've heard the comparison between him and the Beast from Beauty and the Beast, but never thought about Bluebeard.

I can see why she was so terrified. There was nothing normal about the situation. Erik was not like any man you could anticipate. Alot of that showed in the scorpion and the grasshopper scene. The way he said things. Poor unhappy Christine! Exclamation Exclamation Exclamation
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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:48 pm

Erik explicitly recalls Bluebeard--he warns Christine to "remember the story of Bluebeard" when she is asking about the little bag of life and death. So he himself draws that parallel, which is interesting.

What I've always found interesting about Erik and Phantom is that it's a BatB story that has no transformation at the end--Erik has a change of heart, but he doesn't become the prince.
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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:04 pm

I forget about Erik's reminder of Bluebeard. True he didn't make a physical transformation, but a change none the less.

This is what makes his story so tragically note worthy.

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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:07 am

I, myself, don't know the story of Bluebeard. But I do agree with the BatB analysis. And I think his change of heart is what makes all of us love him so. Because, as with a lot of people, Erik was a product of his circumstances. All he wanted was to be loved for himself, not because of who or what he was, or because of his looks, and I think, in a way, this is what Christine sensed in him, and why she loved him. Because he was only a seriously misunderstood man, who became what he was because he felt he had no other choice...

She loved him, because of the sincerity which he showed where he said (I'm not going to quote directly) "there is no Angel, only Erik".... or something along those lines. But as you said, like a father...
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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:24 am

Bluebeard was a crazed nobleman who killed all of this wives except the last one. A certain room he kept locked, warning his wife never, never to open it. Curiosity got the better of her and she found the key and unlocked the door, only find the bodies of his dead wives.

Even though she washed the blood off the key, Bluebeard new she'd been in the room, so he came after her with his sword. Fortunately, her two brothers got there just in time to kill him and save their sister.

Here we see a similarity to Erik with the locked, forbidden room and his insane threats. However, unlike Bluebeard, he did not kill Christine or Raoul as so noted. Perhaps she knew society drove him to do what he did. If he could change that much, Erik couldn't have been that insane.

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PostSubject: Re: WHY DIDN'T CHRISTINE LEAVE SOONER WITH RAOUL-DID SHE LOVE ERIK?   Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:42 am

I don't really believe he was insane, as such. I think he was a bit eccentric, due to a lack of human contact. And I think he might have had a lively imagination adn was mostly living in a world of his own. But there's nothing wrong with that, I mean, I've been known to live in a world of my own.... Razz

I think Erik had a bit of good in him and that he really might have tried to repent. Which explains why he didn't kill Raoul and Christine. (besides the fact that I believe he did love her with his entire existence)
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