This quote is especially true for the novel Saturday by Ian McEwan, as it shows the development of the theme of love in the novel, and how love may change its form on the outside, but the fundamentals of love are still the same on thew inside. While the theme of love continues throughout the novel, the element that the love Perowne shows towards his family and his job shifts focus. He loves his daughter Daisy for being his daughter and feels a need to be close to her. At the conclusion of the novel, upon discovering her pregnancy, he feels more of a need to protect her, as she is now the bearer of his grandchild.
He loves Rosalind as his wife of twenty years to begin with, and ends up loving her more for her support in his and the family’s time of need. He loves Theo as a peaceful son, but ends with the knowledge that his son has much greater depth than his music. These changes in the status of love show the eternity of love, but how it is felt or conveyed can change, even in the course of one day like in Saturday. As his wife, Perowne loves Rosalind as his soulmate and his rock, but it is not until he is put into the situation of losing this support, that he realises the importance of her to his life.
A marriage of twenty years in the modern world is becoming less and less likely, but through Perowne and Rosalind, author Ian McEwan shows that although the expression of love may shift focus, the real meaning of love doesn’t. Perowne and Rosalind are the loving wife and husband of a modern “nuclear” family. They will love each other, til death do they part, as they would have said in their wedding vows. That is incontestable. But it is not until Baxter challenges this love through his violent invasion, that Perowne understands the collaboration that he and his wife have as a couple.
He longs for her at both the beginning and ending of the novel, but the perspective of why he loves her changed. These two contrasting quotes exemplify this point. “Feeling unhinged and unreasonable, and still in need of talking to her, he remains at the foot of the bed. ” [P24] This sentence describes his longing for her sexually, but this second quote still has some erotic features, but also sincerity. “He watches her tenderly, and with some amazement, for her ordeal is only two or three hours behind her and now here she is, pretending to be entirely herself again. [P239] This change in attitude by Perowne certainly encapsulates the quote.
Daisy, as the daughter of Perowne, shares a unique bond with her father, and this is questioned when Baxter invades their lives and reveals Daisy’s pregnancy for the first time to her father. Daisy is a university student studying in France as a poet, and has been away for six months. Perowne has obviously missed her, and this quote illustrates his emotion as she returns home. “His moment of pathos rises and falls in a single smooth wave. ” [P182]
The love that Perowne and Daisy share towards each other is especially epitomised by the way McEwan, through Perowne, constantly refers most of his thoughts back to Daisy, be it literature she has tried to get him to read or the relationship he shares with his father-in-law. Daisy, with Rosalind, Theo and his job as a neurosurgeon, are the central points of his life. Without Daisy, he feels to be missing a part of himself. However, when Baxter enters the Perowne household by force, this connection between the two is challenged. With the threat of rape upon her, Daisy is forced by Baxter to remove all of her clothes.
She does so reluctantly, and in doing so, reveals to her father and the rest of the family her pregnancy. Perowne is clearly shocked. “This feckless Guilio could destroy his daughter’s hopes. ” [P241] His instant reaction is to the protection of his daughter’s safety. His focus has shifted from loving his daughter to protecting his daughter. As the quote says, love changes over time in aspect, but not in the essence. Theo is the pacifist of the family, and Perowne shares his son’s love for blues music, and hence they have a connection.
But when the family is in a state of crisis, it is Theo who demonstrates unforseen violence to overcome travesty to save the family. This quote from the novel describes what Perowne thinks that Theo should be like as an adolescent. “Where’s the adolescent rage, the door-slamming, the muted fury that’s supposed to be Theo’s rite of passage? ” [P34] Perhaps it is the peace that Theo brings to the family that makes Perowne love him. Does Perowne see in Theo a sense of security, knowing that Theo isn’t another rebellious teenager? The development of Theo as a character by McEwan is an interesting point in the novel.
As a reader, Perowne first introduces us to him as “eighteen years old, his formal education long behind him,” [p25] It is as if to say that Theo is a just another school dropout, but further into the text, Theo is described as a peace-loving blues musician. Theo is not actually mentioned for much of the text, but is especially vital in the invasion scene. With Perowne, Theo maintains the order in the situation, and tries to reason with Baxter. It is in this scene that Perowne is seen to have a different view of Theo as his son and that he has so much in life while Baxter has nothing.
He, Henry Perowne, possesses so much … the handsome healthy son with t the strong guitarist’s hangs come to rescue him,” The development of Theo as a character in Saturday bears a strong resemblance to the quote. In conclusion, the development of the theme of love and Perowne’s attitude about love towards his family members is shown in the novel Saturday, proving the above quote to be correct. Rosalind, as his loving wife of twenty years, provides Perowne with a stable position in life, and proves to be there in his time of need. Perowne did not previously think of her like that.
Theo, Perowne’s eighteen year-old son, is a pacifist blue musician, whose initial character is portrayed in this manner, is developed to reveal a strong guitarist who can protect his family from danger from scum like Baxter. Daisy, Perowne’s loving daughter, is a poet who provides Perowne with solidarity, but who also challenges him with outside ideas on the world. When Baxter puts this relationship into jeopardy, Perowne feels more inclined to protect his daughter. For these reasons, the quote “Love is something eternal. The aspect may change but not the essence” is especially accurate for the novel Saturday by Ian McEwan.