General Discussion Questions Absoluately True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian Jeffrey Archer’s "Old Love" Redefines Love Story

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Jeffrey Archer’s "Old Love" Redefines Love Story

“Old Love” by Jeffrey Archer is a wonderful amorous story between two brilliant students of English literature from Oxford. Archer explores the theme of love from a completely unique perspective. The rendition is brutally honest as he portrays a constant sense of jealousy and rivalry between two sworn rivals at Oxford University: William Hatchard and Philippa Jameson. At first, their aggressive competition troubled their teacher Simon Jakes. In their frequent intellectual debates, Philippa confronts William’s deep, confident voice with her high-heeled bravado. The mutual hatred is absolute. Their sharp understanding and analytical mind refuse to submit to each other. In fact, this fierce sense of competition enables them to excel in the field. Given the background of the 1930’s she was, for him, “that crazy girl” and he was “that arrogant man”. But strange is the way of fate that an unusual love story should blossom among the bitterest academic rivals!

This rivalry assumed an unhealthy intensity when both emerged as toppers in their final degree exam. Charles Oldham Shakespeare essay writing competition feeds this fire of passionate jealousy and becomes a question of life and death for each to defeat the other. However, things change when William accidentally discovers about the death of Philippa’s father (who was a Vicar) due to cancer, and also, his secret dream to allow his daughter to study at Oxford and win the title. Charles Oldham award. Seeing the silent sobs of his proud and powerful enemy stirred a sudden feeling of empathy in his guts. He shook off her temporary doubts and offered to accompany her to his village for the burial ceremony. They hold hands for the first time and discover a new bond of friendship as they begin their journey to his village. They talk loudly to each other on the way back to Oxford which brings Philippa back to her normal competitive spirit. She slowly discovers the growth of her new found intense attraction for William. The latter secretly enjoyed this interesting conversion of the Vicar’s daughter.

The transformation of hate into love is always a fascinating topic in itself, and Archer makes the situation fun with the work of sparkling wit in their conversation. They visited Stratford and dined. But their first date is far from usual: it’s a strange mix of warmth and intellectual antagonism! If this inherent antagonism had caused a strong feeling of hatred before, now it brought them closer together. In fact, this killer instinct became a delirious source of entertainment for both. Archer asks the reader if intense hatred can be an expression of hidden attraction?

However, the situation changed on the return from Stratford. On their way home to Oxford, Phillipa and William had to spend the night in a car because the petrol gauge showed empty. The former apparently didn’t miss an opportunity to express his doubts about the brain power of a man who can’t even read a petrol gauge! The next day William gave him the reason why he let the car run out of gas: He said with a strange sense of humor: “My father told me that if I spent the night with a barmaid then I just have to order an extra pint of beer. , but if I’m going to spend the night with the vicar’s daughter, I have to marry her.” He got down on one knee and said, “Will you marry me if I win the Charles Oldham?” Philippa replied that “since there is absolutely no fear of that happening I can safely say, yes…” When William declared his love for her she told him never to show her face again in Somerville if he fails to win Charles Oldham. Readers wonder if the writer reveals Philippa’s secret wish that she can marry him at the cost of losing Charles Oldham! If not, why did tears fall in Philippa’s eyes when a woman informed her that she won? It was a moment of crisis for her because between the conflicting emotions of ambition and love in her heart, the latter won out and once the proud woman confessed, “I love no one in the world like you; don’t you it’s weird. ?”

However, when he discovers that William is a joint winner, his puckish spirit returns as he says “I pity you” to which William replies “I yielded to great persuasion…” They are closed in a warm embrace, and after that, they were never apart for more than a few hours. Ironically, their honeymoon in Athens ended in a heated argument about the relative significance of Doric and Ionic architecture!

Later in life, this constant battle of wits prevented their romance from degenerating into boredom and irreverence. Their serious research works and creative activities, even in different fields, keep them closely connected. After three years, “with well-received D. Phils”, they moved, in tandem, to college teaching. But their fierce encounter continues and their sharp wit at each other’s expense flashes across Oxford dinner tables. However, those who understand their love are jealous of their amazing relationship! They have no children but their life is not without taste.

Returning home after the celebratory dinner (declared Joint Professor), their heated argument about Proust’s great work takes a frightening turn, with a policeman, nearby, asking Philippa “Is the all ma’am?” “No, no”, declared William “this woman has been attacking me for over 30 years, and until now the police have done nothing to protect me”. However, under this apparent contradiction, their bond continues to grow stronger every year. Interestingly, their intense love is inseparable from their passionate intellectual antagonism which gives a different aura to their relationship. When Philippa was made a Dame of the British Empire, William called her an “Old Dame” that she had to live with now. This bittersweet taste of their love is what defines their marriage.

Philippa’s most irritating habit with William was her determination every morning to complete “The Times” crossword before she got to the breakfast table. One fine morning in June, William, studying the sign, filled in the eight boxes that Philippa had not completed. Philippa immediately replied that there was no such word. To Philippa’s delight the word “Why Wham” not found in the shorter Oxford Dictionary. William assures him that the word can be found in the OED on his desk, made for scholars like him. William leaves the breakfast table with sharp comments on Philippa’s limited command of the English language and that she should eat humble pie at Somerville’s Gaudy Feast while he reads the collected works of John Skelton.. .

William left with a sigh, kissing his wife on the cheek, wishing Charles Oldham away from her. Philippa replied that she did because it was inappropriate in those days to declare a woman the only winner! Closing the front door, as she entered the kitchen, Dame Philippa was suddenly attacked by her lonely heart. He called William hoarse but in vain. The news of his death is announced and the story ends with a note of dark humor in the suicidal letter of Sir William (who shot himself with his pistol): “Forgive me, but I must inform him”. There is a volume of John Skelton’s work that one opens in his hand with the words “Why Wham” reprimanded smoothly, his fingers hard and cold around it. Such a wonderful ending, gently conveys the essence of the special relationship that this couple shares so that they rise above the great marriage vow “TILL DEATH DO US PART.” Archer’s love story excels because death cannot separate Sir William and Dame Philippa! Even while following his wife to her grave, William felt the need to mask the unbreakable bond they shared, and the unbearable loneliness he would feel without her… he did so with a fierce that sense of humor!

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