Love is presented in the following ways: parental love i.e. the love that parents have for their children, filial love i.e. the love that exists between siblings, and romantic love which is the intimate love between two people of the opposite sex who are not related by blood.
Parental love is the love that a father or mother has for the child. However, the text shows that one does not need to be the real parent in order to have parental love for a child. Natella, who is Michael’s real mother, does not show much love for him. She is more concerned with her material possessions than her child. She, for instance, wastes time packing her clothes and jewelry that she does not know that Michael has been left behind when war breaks out in the city. The Governor, on the other hand, shows an extreme form of parental love by showering Michael with a lot of care and wealth. He wants to construct a palace for him and has even hired two doctors to take care of him.
Grusha displays parental love when she takes Michael as her own son and protects him from the Fat Prince and the Ironshirts who want to kill him. She spends all her money on him and even risks her own life when she hits the Corporal on the head and dares to cross the rotten bridge for his sake. Even though she had promised Simon that she would wait for him, she goes ahead and agrees to marry Jussup so that Michael could have a home. Grusha’s love for Michael shows itself before the court when she is unable to pull him too hard out of the chalk circle and that is why judge Azdak rules in her favour.
Filial love is evident between Grusha and her brother Lavrenti. This is when Grusha walks on foot to the North in hope that her brother will shelter her and the child. Lavrenti tries his best to protect Grusha from his wife, Aniko, who is a pious Christian. He lies to his wife that Grusha’s child has a father who lives in the North and that they are on their way there. He even arranges a bogus marriage between Grusha and Jussup to enable his sister get a place to live and a home for her child. Even though, Lavrenti appears cowardly and his actions seem immoral, his intention is to see that his sister is safe and gets a comfortable place to stay.
Romantic love is evident in Simon and Grusha. Before Simon leaves for the capital, he leaves Grusha a necklace as a symbol of their engagement. They promise not to get into other relationships but to wait for each other. However, when the war is over and Simon returns, he finds Grusha married and with a child. He is angry and demands his necklace back. On realizing the truth about Grusha’s marriage and the child’s identity, Simon decides to support Grusha during her case with Natella and even volunteers to tell the court that the child is his. In the end, the judge gives Grusha the child and grants her a divorce from Jussup which allows Simon to have a wife and a child.
POINTS TO THINK ABOUT
- Is there parental love between Jussup and his mother?
- Is there romantic love between the Governor and his wife?