David Lovatt Character Analysis

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Superficiality Harriet and David Lovatt set a goal that is based on a cultural myth and their ideals, unrecognizing that it is unattainable. The accomplishment of this “mission” becomes the sole and top item on their priority list. Nevertheless, not for the idyllic values they associate with their dream, but rather for the sake of achieve this reality. Ironically, they are willing to sacrifice the happiness of the rest of their children to do that, while overlooking the costs of this blind pursuit. Their tendency to repeat the word “happiness” is also a catalyst to this plagued perception of their quixotic vision. On the other hand, one must recognize the times in which the novel is set; the transition from the 1960s to the 1980s, two key…show more content…
Lastly, the hopes of the Lovatt’s are embodied in the form of their house, which they acquire prior to expanding their family. Albeit, due to the impracticability of their dreams, their new home becomes the scene of their nightmares, and is thus constitutes an accurate representation of the superficiality of an idyllic view of family life; the Lovatt’s greatest friend and enemy. “Happiness” normally carries an extremely positive and light-hearted connotation. However, the Lovatt’s do not chase the connotation, but rather the word itself. “Happiness”, being mentioned in several instances throughout the novel, amplifies and documents a blind chase after the ideal family. Both Harriet and the Narrator consistently repeat the words, in a manner that devalues it. Ironically, in a similar fashion to the transformation in the family’s happiness, the word is most common in the beginning in the novel and begins to be used less as the story progresses. The narrator, for instance, describes the relaxed atmosphere in the house as the entire family visits, by stating that the couple “breathe[s] happiness” (25). While, indeed, this may be because of the romantic tone of the scene, it is also a metaphor. Happiness becomes their oxygen, drives their…show more content…
Ironically and paradoxically, nevertheless, once they make such sacrifices, true happiness gradually becomes less attainable. That is, for the sake of Ben’s “normality” they are willing sacrifice their other children’s happiness. However, in that case, how much is the idyllic family view worth, and can it realistically exist? In a sorrowful narrative near the end, the narrator, as though from the perspective of the protagonist, writes “because she had, and saved him from murder, she had destroyed her family. Had harmed her life... David 's... Luke 's, Helen 's, Jane 's... and Paul 's. Paul, the worst” (141). The stilted nature of this statement and the ellipsis between the names depict her reluctance to admit her mistakes and the blindness of her pursuit of perfection while inflicting severe damages on her surroundings. She mentions the harm she caused to herself first, implying egoistic intentions. On the other hand, as she states that the influence of her decisions on Paul is the worst, Harriet is developing self-consciousness and depicting that her children’s good is also crucial to
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