The Distinction Between Love and love

711 words | 3 page(s)

There are many different types of love, and the distinction between Love and love is not always a clear one, but there is a distinction nonetheless. Okonkwo, in Things Fall Apart, believed his father, Unoka, was weak; “perhaps Okonkwo was not a cruel man. But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and weakness. It was not external, but lay deep within himself. It was the fear of himself, lest he should be found to resemble his father” (Achebe, p. 13). “If you judge people, you have no time to love them,” cautioned Mother Teresa, and it may be seen that because Okonkwo constantly was focused on judging others, and it was because of that judgment that he was unable to love and cherish those that he held dear, his family members. It must be said that in Okonkwo’s case, Mother Teresa’s prophecy came true, and because he judged everyone in his life so harshly, he was ultimately unable to love anyone.

In “The Tempest,” Shakespeare shows how two people can fall desperately in Love with each other, looking at Ferdinand and Miranda’s feelings towards each other. Though this is not the central theme of the play, and though Ariel put a spell on Ferdinand in order to cause him to fall in Love with Miranda, the feeling is still present; as Prospero says “They are both in either’s powers; but this swift business I must uneasy make, lest too light winning make the prize light (Act I, scene ii). Prospero feels that if it is too easy for Ferdinand to win the heart of Miranda, he will not take their Love for each other seriously.

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The legend of La Llorona, or the weeping woman, is about a young woman, Maria, who falls in love with a man, but spurned, she murders her children and then drowns herself once she realizes the horror that she has done. She weeps by the river evermore, always searching for her lost children, and “they call her La Llorona, the weeping woman. And by that name she is known to this day” (, 2013). Maria, cast aside Love for love, and for that she punished herself, and will punish herself forevermore.

Love is defined in many different ways, and there are many different kinds of love. Love (with a capital L) is reserved for those that generate an emotion so strong that to do without them is as to do without breathing. They are the world, and their happiness matters above all others. Ikemefuna felt Love for Okonkwo, Prospero felt Love for his daughter, and La Llorona felt Love for her children. Miranda Loved Ferdinand, and he her, though Maria’s man did not love her at all. Okonkwo was too busy judging everyone to understand what Love was.

Love (with a lowercase l) is a feeling of deep affection, a passion for something. A person may love books, or they may love to write, or love to paint, but this is far different from Love (with a capital l), wherein a person has the most indescribable, deep, feelings for another, something that is harsh and tender, passionate and warm, and is encompassed by many different layers of emotion and ties to a person. Love does not occur automatically, but must be tended to and grown upon. It must be treasured and fanned, as a flame would be fanned, for like all things that burn brightly, if they are not cared for, they too can burn out. Even a fire that has burned out still has some hot embers buried beneath the spent flames, and if care and effort is put into it, they too can be rekindled. Each of the different stories that have been covered throughout the duration of the course have shown some aspect of Love or love, and each of these tales serves to explain it in their own way.

  • Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Anchor, 1994. Print.
  • Good Reads. ““If You Judge People, You Have No Time to Love Them.”.” Quote by Mother Teresa., 2013. Web. 05 Aug. 2013. .
  • “LA LLORONA.” A HISPANIC LEGEND. N.p., 2013. Web. 05 Aug. 2013. .
  • Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. Comp. Christine Dymkowski. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2000. Print.

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