The Destructive Power of Love

In AS Byatt’s, Sea Story the main character Harold finds himself in love with a woman named Laura that he met by the ocean. When Laura and Harold met for the first time Harold’s overwhelming feelings for Laura gave Laura a bad first impression. At the end of their first interaction (which is also their last), Laura informs Harold “I’ve just been offered my dream job. I’m going to be part of a team studying the life-cycle of eels. This letter is my acceptance. I’m off to the Caribbean next week.”(Byatt). Harold, who was so hurt to see his new crush leave asks for her address so he can write her.  Creeped out by this notion and gives him a fake address and leaves. After sending many love notes to Laura and receiving no response, Harold decides to write her a love poem and he puts it in a bottle and drop in the ocean similar to a time where he found a love letter in ocean pollution. Should Harold be reprimanded for sending the poem to Laura through this mode of transportation?

Harold should be reprimanded for sending Laura the poem in this manor because it is harmful to the environment and unrealistic.  The narrator highlights the damage that Harold’s bottle does to the ocean. In the text it states, “The mollymawk tore at it, and carried away a smeared strip to feed to its chicks, who would die with bellies distended by this stuff. The cap detached itself, and was swallowed by a green turtle which mistook it for a glass eel”(Byatt). It is clear that Harold’s bottle which seemed harmless at first, was very harmful. In addition to being harmful, the idea of the bottle reaching Laura is quite unrealistic. The narrator states, “Then he closed the bottle tightly, and rowed out in his boat to where he knew, from his grandfather’s work, that the currents could possibly take the message as far as the Sargasso Sea”(Byatt). The sargasso’s sea’s proximity between Laura and Harold is simply not enough of a reason to expect its currents to take one bottle to Laura’s precise location from Harold. In conclusion, Harold should be reprimanded because of his irrational plans and harmful littering of the ocean.

53 thoughts on “The Destructive Power of Love

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