Even Shakespeare, having mastered the art of romance with classically timeless literature, claims that love is blind in that those that are in its grasp cannot see fault within each other. A simple concept, it can have two very distinct meanings, because love is also blinding and makes those previously mentioned, blinded souls, go to astounding lengths for one another.
But, how far are they willing to go? Could it be infatuation? When does love, in fact, become sinful? All are questions that plague the minds of two very fragile women, characters of novels that are timeless depictions of romance themselves in their bitter-sweet ways.
Myrtle Wilson of the novel, The Great Gatsby, and Curlers Wife of the novel, Of Mice and Men, both exhibit symptoms and behaviors during the course of the stories, which classify them as having Histrionic personality disorder.
To elaborate, the prep sis of diagnosing these characters as having Histrionic personality disorder requires a description of the ailment itself.
It is a disease of the mind, in which the patients are emotionally volatile and overly dramatic in ways that draw attention to themselves (Blabs, Chi. 39). The cause is still a mystery, and many experts in the field believe that the answer lies in genes and childhood events. And with no correlation to any of its symptoms or origin, the disorder is more frequently recognized and diagnosed in women, usually manifesting itself in the host by late teens to early twenties.
Similar to all other personality disorders, this ailment can also be flatly undetectable to cost and bordering all the characteristics of someone who is simply self- indulgent to an extreme extent. As stated in the A. AD. M. Medical Encyclopedia, “People with this disorder are usually able to function at a high level and can be successful socially and at work” (Blabs, Chi. 39). This makes it very difficult to distinguish, let alone, address. And so, with much inquiry and analysis, a running list of symptoms and distinct behaviors have been formed to assist in diagnosis and treatment.
Healthcare Providers identify Histrionic personality disorder using the following psychological evaluations: acting or appearing seductive, being highly susceptible to influence from others, being Overly concerned with one’s appearance, being dramatic or emotional, being overly sensitive to criticism or disapproval, believing that relationships are more intimate than they truly are, blaming their failure or discontent in their personal lives on others, having low tolerance or delayed satisfaction, exhibiting extreme self-centeredness, and being emotionally volatile (which gives the impression of being shallow to others).
The diagnosis is based on behavior, personal history, overall appearance, and psychological evaluation. Without proper treatment, the disorder has the ability to upset a person’s relationships, both social and romantic (Blabs, Chi. 39). The person would have a rather difficult time confronting and coping with losses or failure, being unable to accept their own faults. Severe forms of the ailment can cause a person to change jobs often out of apathy and not being able to deal with the frustration that comes with a work environment.
Patients yearn for excitement in the form of new and material things, which ultimately leads them into risky situations (Bliss, Chi. 39). And of all these outcomes, eventual oppression is the most apparent and imminent, especially in Myrtle and Curler’s Wife. Often referred to as the “tart”, “purity” or just “trouble” in general, Curlers Wife truly has no name in the novella, with significant meaning. She presents herself as an embodiment of lust, preying on the men Of the ranch and dressing for the Occasion.
Very similar to Myrtle in this way, she appeals to the opposite gender by exploiting her body ultimately to get what she wants. Upon discussion of the woman between the “swamped”, Candy, and his new ranch buddies, Leonie and George, Candy decides to enlighten the men with local ranch gossip by saying “Well, I tell way what- Curler says he’s keeping’ that hand soft for his wife”(Steinbeck, 14). A rather dirty way to introduce a person, let alone gossip, this is a testament to just how lowly they think of Curlers Wife and her husband.
And in doing so, it also shows how she is only acknowledged based on the actions of her husband or associated with dirty things. She “swings” by the men’s rooms “searching’ for her husband, this being the very ploy she uses to engage with them behind her husband’s back. Both being signs of lustful behavior and her ability for getting herself into risky situations (like flirting with other men behind her already inferior husband), these are clear signs of Histrionic personality disorder at work.
She grants herself a ticket to many risky situations throughout the novella actually, the most prominent of them being the incident that led to her death and Lien’s as well. Well aware that she is being searched for yet again, she chooses to engage with another man alone. Curlers Wife joins Leonie for his little “talk” with the maimed carcass of what is supposed to be a puppy. She tells him of her aspirations, her dream of being an actress, and claiming that the only thing that held her back was the “01′ lady” telling her that she was too young.
This incident poses as two signs of Histrionic personality disorder as well, her getting herself into risky situations and blaming her life’s failures on others. It turns out that this would be her last moment overall, as she provocatively asks Leonie to stroke her soft hair and unaware of Lien’s history with women and excessive touching, the man refuses to let go and snaps her neck with the thought of getting in ruble by George. Here, she also says “l never get to talk to nobody. Get awful lonely’ (Steinbeck, 43). Like her name, she has no identity, no sense of purpose, no friends.
She is a nobody that always dreamed to be a somebody, a woman desperate for attention but not allowed or capable of proper human contact, an epitome of lust and sinful behavior to get the things she wants and thrust herself into risk situations without reason (Hagen, Chi. 10). This is the character of Curlers Wife. Her parallel, would almost seem to be Myrtle Wilson of the novel, The Great Gatsby. Another creature of sinful behavior, Myrtle deliberately casts aside her “hollow shell of a man” husband to have an affair with the rich and hulking, Tom Buchanan.
Aware of her actions and seeking the attention of a man that can shower her with “gifts” of her choice, Myrtle is absolutely enthralled to have such an item to call her own. Stark opposite to classy Daisy, she “carries her curves well” with form- fitting clothing. Myrtle says, “l thought he knew something… But he was not fit to lick my shoe” (Fitzgerald, 39). She has little to no shame for once being in eve with her true husband and coldly turning on him.
Itching for Tom’s attention, and very similar to Curlers Wife when she seeks the attention Of Leonie, she too ends her life by literally jumping in front of the man’s car, which ultimately wasn’t even being occupied by him at the time. She believes she is “above” the ash-covered home she was supposedly forced into with an unwanted marriage. Myrtle says, “He had on a dress suit and patent leather shoes and I couldn’t keep my eyes off him” (Fitzgerald, 40). She is extremely materialistic and does little to prove otherwise.
She only holds any emotion or Tom because she wants something from him and this is proved when she called him during his dinner with Daisy, in hopes he would even be caught (Assume, 17). Having little to no worth for the man, other than to fulfill a dream she has about experiencing the lavish lifestyle and attempting to escape her true environment, Myrtle’s death ultimately answers that fate quite straight-forwardly. And so, when she dies, her blood “mingles” with the ash and it shows that she never really could escape, that all those things she did behind her husband’s back led to no avail.
Myrtle set herself up for the robbers in her life but managed to blame every single one on her poor husband, she put herself in very risky situations and one literally kills her, she dresses and acts seductively towards Tom to get what she wants, and she is extremely volatile and self-loathing throughout the novel with little to no remorse. This is the character of Myrtle Wilson. So when exactly does love become sin? In these two characters, they were never capable of having true relationships at all. They abused their loved ones to better themselves and did so by seducing who they could whenever possible without a single pang of remorse.
For them, love is but a weapon, one they use as self-defense, to keep hold of their falsified pride and ward off any complications that may arise from their actions. They don’t feel the need to take action and be innovative, they seek refuge in risky situations and self-centered thoughts and behaviors. Myrtle Wilson and Curlers Wife are victims of Histrionic personality disorder, and all their efforts to be inviolate just led them astray and into a world of further complexity. They never could escape, they never could better themselves, these women are their biggest weaknesses and cause their own downfall.
Signified by sinful actions and seductive demeanor, they cared neither for their loved ones nor valued themselves enough to see that in order to better yourself, one needs to take action on their own, rather than by exploiting others. This, is when love becomes sinful, when love can go as far as to harm, or even kill in their case. Myrtle Wilson and Curlers Wife never had a chance at their dreams because they held themselves back, and this is Histrionic personality disorder in a nutshell, when a person acts out in- spite of their own good with the misconception that they are truly bettering homeless.
Cite this Histrionic Personality Disorder
Histrionic Personality Disorder. (2018, Mar 20). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/histrionic-personality-disorder-essay/