How Is Charles? Thesis on “Joining Charles” “Joining Charles” written by Elizabeth Bowen tells the story of the young woman Louise who is going to shift to France as it is the place where her husband Charles works and lives. The story takes place on the morning of her depature in the White House which is the home of Charles’ family and Louise isn’t happy about herself joining Charles in France. Even though Charles isn’t the protagonist of the story and doesn’t interact at all, he is present throughout the whole story.
Louise constantly thinks about him and how it is going to be for her in France and in the future with Charles together. She doesn’t seem to like him at all. This emotion becomes obvious in many parts of the story when she thinks about him. Louise doesn’t want to get a baby of Charles, she turns her head away from his picture in the morning and in the end she doesn’t know what to tell to the mother of charles most probably because her whole attitude towards Charles is so repellent and it would be very unlikely something positive.
Yet the reader can only guess how Charles actually is as there is no clear description of him, nor does he interact at all. The only hints to his character gives the oneeyed cat Polyphemus which can talk according to Louise, some phrases of charles’ sisters and mother and the thoughts of Louise. The cat doesn’t have any good experiences with Charles and asks Louise to ask Charles what had happend to his other eye. Louise is the only one who can understand Polyphemus and the sisters interprete the cat’s behaviour different.
For them Polyphemus loves Charles and thats why he spends so much time with Louise. The sisters see Charles as a brother who takes care of them. They look up to him and make him in their thoughts to a perfect lover, brother and son. Even if his arrangements gives them disadvantage they remain nice as they are ‘good souls’ how Louise calls them. For the mother Charles is a kind of hero, someone who is ‘sensitive, gallant, generous, a knightly person and who is transcending modern conventions’. But still she realizes that Louise isn’t really happy.
Perhaps she somehow knows how Charles really is and that is why she tells Louise in the end that ‘marriage isn’t easy and that many things might be difficult’. From other parts of Louises thoughts the reader comes to know how he takes part in the family life. He isn’t really interested in how the family goes, asks only very unintimate things and makes kind of fun of his sister’s feelings. All in all Charles doesn’t seem to be a very nice person more likely an egostic and perhaps evem evil character.
All those who have been really close to him don’t want to interact with him. Louise aswell as the cat don’t seem to have good experiences with him. The sisters mostly don’t see him the way he really is because he seemed to be always nice. He perhaps kind of bedazzeld them, them and his mother but as for the mother it is not clear how she actually thinks of him. The perfect son image which is created doesn’t stand with her last action. That gives another hint that he is a rather bad, egostic and ‘difficult’ person.