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Miranda Grey and Frederick Clegg are the main characters that are interpreted in the text The Collector, by John Fowles.

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Introduction

Miranda Grey and Frederick Clegg are the main characters that are interpreted in the text The Collector, by John Fowles. Both characters correspond to different classes in society. John Fowles uses the concept of the implied reader, in which he 'speaks to' a specific reader in mind in an attempt to have the story interpreted in a particular way. Fowles expects us to read Miranda as an intelligent, mentally independent being part of the upper class, but at the same time, an arrogant "...liberal humanist snob" (Radhakrishna Rao, www.freshlimesoda.com/reviews/thecollector.html). The use and lack of several literary techniques, point of view, allusion, and Heraclitian philosophies encourages this intended response I hold towards Miranda. Fowles' various writing techniques promoted the interpretation that Clegg is part of the lower class and as a result is a victim of the mind, unable to expand his thoughts or feelings. It is because of this that he finds it hard to see between what is morally correct, and what is not accepted. I found it difficult to respond to his character due to the fact that the protagonist in most novels is one easy to identify with, unlike the motives of Frederick Clegg. Fowles' uses several literary techniques to enhance the proposed analysis of Clegg. The first insights to Clegg's mental restrictions are revealed as early as the first page. ...read more.

Middle

228). Due to the resistant opinions of the protagonist, we are initially encouraged to sympathise with Miranda "...I was the man that attacked her...and kept her captive in a nice way."(Pg. 19). This sympathy is carried throughout the novel, however, once she reveals her conceited side "I'm so superior to him." (Pg.130), I held a mixture of feelings towards her as well, similar to those of Frederick. Clegg's point of view encouraged me to see him as physically free, but emotionally trapped, but both Clegg's and Miranda's viewpoint allowed me to read Miranda as physically trapped, but emotionally boundless. In this way, I sympathised with both characters. However, the measures Clegg goes to, and the opinions Miranda holds towards the lower class encouraged me to reject them at the same time. Therefore, the first person point of view allows the reader to see both the sympathetic and repulsive dimensions that the characters hold. Miranda refers to many texts throughout the story, in particular that of The Tempest, by William Shakespeare. In doing this, she persuades herself and the reader that she is stronger than what most people think and in a higher position than Clegg. Quite coincidentally, Miranda is the name of the central character in the text and shares the same qualities and problems that Fowles' Miranda does. By alluding to this text, Fowles' constructs Miranda to be seen as a victim of beauty, but with a strong sense of energy and independence "I don't care what he does. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, in order to be completely separated into the Few, she would have to marry an educated, upper class male (who predominantly makes up this status.). Despite this, she realises that socially she has power over him. "The New People destroy themselves because they are stupid...[Caliban] is the New People and I am the Few". (Pg. 231). This sense of pride and vanity is what made up parts of my rejection to her character, and acceptance and support of Clegg's attitudes. "There are hints that Clegg envies and unconsciously despises her talent, and enjoys his power over her in compensation for his inferiority - exactly what the Heraclitus criticism claims." (The Collector: Wizard Study Notes pg. 43) Frederick Clegg and Miranda Grey of John Fowles' The Collector, represent many dimensions of society. Through various literary techniques, point of view, allusion and Heraclitian philosophies, Clegg represents the extreme and harsh effects of the lower class. He in mentally restricted as a result of his deprived childhood. It is this side of him that I commiserated with, however by performing his actions (kidnapping Miranda), I felt hate and anger towards him. These techniques also present Miranda as a victim of the upper class, who only has the education that connects her to this status. However, despite her arrogant and conceited views, she has been held prisoner and slowly attacked, initially physically, but then emotionally, which encouraged part of my response to be out of compassion. Fowles intends for us to question both characters and has succeeded in doing so. ...read more.

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