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Love and War: A Review


On Monday, JSU professor Dr. Pitt Harding shared an original story, Love and War, with students and faculty.

Harding teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in literature, creative writing, and composition here at Jacksonville. His area of specialization is 17th-century British literature with focus points on Milton.

Fellow professors and students of the university came to Stone Center Room 234 to hear the reading, which depicts a topic everyone can relate to: lost love.

The main character of the piece is a man named Edgar who is in love with a woman named Amy. The two of them share a connection that not only he feels but she shows through the connation and illustration of her words.

The antagonist, the thief who steals Edgar’s prize possession, carries the name of Dick.

The story is set in New Orleans and is divided into three sections: the first part is about Edgar recapping his history with Amy, the second part is how Dick stole her from him, and the third is when Edgar realizes that they will never get back together.

In the first section, Edgar gives details on how he and Amy used to send letters to one another because they spent so much time apart.

These letters were more than just words on a page; it was as though Amy was there with Edgar without her actual physical being present. It gave Edgar feeling and kept him in sync with his beloved.

One day Edgar received letters that were not as heartfelt and passionate as they had been, but more distant and empty.

This was a reference of a common experience of having been so in love with someone that you know when things start to change for the worse. You begin to try and reach out to fix what you think is wrong. For instance, once finding out Amy was back in town, Edgar pulled out a pair of his old Levi jeans from college which had shrunk a couple of sizes since the years they once fitted. He decided to put up his habit of smoking Camels for a good ten days, because he wanted to look and be his best with the hope to impress her and confess the love he still harbored for her.

Secondly comes the realization that she has really moved on, because she actually married Dick.

The true drama of the story that put the audience on edge is depicted in the emails that were exchanged between Edgar and Amy in the third section, where they agreed to meet one another in a museum.

Edgar came prepared with proof in his pockets and was  dressed to impressed. He wasn’t expecting, though, that Amy was not coming alone. Dick was there to protect her.

The lesson that I got from this short story is that addictions are bad habits to shake and easily to pick up. Edgar was on the verge of quiting smoking and weans himself away slowly from cigarettes, only to become obsessed with Amy who he could not seem to shake.

Every letter reflected on the past of what once was, how things used to be between them when things were good.

Sixty-nine letters all kept to Edgar’s hope of one day getting back  together with Amy.

The story concludes that the letters that ended it all and carried such harsh connotations were not Amy’s words, but those of her husband, Dick.

Edgar didn’t realize that he was being protected from himself, and from Amy as well, that it was indeed time for their love to become a part of the past.

There was no more relevance to hold on to.

Sometimes letting go is for the better and teaches you something even when you think differently.

The past is the past, with the hope of learning from it or knowing what to do to not repeat it.

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