The Romantic Passion In Henri, By Henry Winterson

1435 Words 6 Pages
Register to read the introduction… Henri discovers his romantic passion for Napoleon after abandoning his religious passion for God. Henri was 20 years-old when he lost his passion for God: “I have shouted to God and the Virgin, but they have not shouted back and I’m not interested in the still small voice.”(Winterson, 9) Having abandoned his passion for God, Henri is vulnerable to any form of passion that presents itself to him. Winterson uses the guise of romance to conceal Henri’s redirection of passion and interest in Napoleon. God was a significant point of interest and commitment in Henri’s life. In order to fill the void that was his religion, Henri submerges himself fully into his passion for Napoleon and joins the French army. His drastic actions and intense emotion after hearing napoleon speak are expressed in the first chapter of The Passion, “He was great. Greatness like his is hard to be sensible about.” (Winterson, 32) Henri’s obsession with his newfound passion is similar to that of mans obsession with a woman that he loves. Winterson uses romantic language to illustrate this obsession representing an unconventional realm of romance, not literally for Napoleon as a man, but for the patriotism towards Napoleon. Henri has a love for the idea of having passion that has filled the void of his religious passion. Henri reminisces about his love for Napoleon in the …show more content…
The speed at which Henri’s passion for Napoleon dissipates and his new romance blossoms exemplifies Winterson’s abstract writing style reflecting the nonlinear and suspenseful feelings that are experienced through romance for another person. Henri expresses how fast feelings can change and soon regret sinks in when he says, “Fools stay for love. I am a fool. I stayed in the army for eight years because I loved someone.” (Winterson, 163) Henri’s disappointment in wasting eight years in the army for the infatuation with an idea of a person, Napoleon, echoes a loss of passion. Henri has lost his passion yet again, first it was god and religion, which transformed into patriotism and has now moved on to true romance rather than objects and beliefs guised by a veil of romantic language. Winterson re-introduces passion in Henri’s life and also the novel by introducing Villanelle in Henri’s province: “I did think of that and fell in love with her” (Winterson, 93). In other words, Winterson replaces Henri’s romantic affection for Napoleon with Villanelle to steer the plot of the novel in a new direction similar to a sail on a ship. Above all this demonstrates that “Man cannot exist without passion” (Winterson, 79) and how important it is in Henri’s survival and the novel’s plot, which continues to …show more content…
The amour that leads Henri and Villanelle through their maze is the same desire that captivates the reader, encouraging the reader to play in the jouissance of the text.” (Cox,

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