Obsession. What is it? Obsession is defined as a persistent disturbing preoccupation with some one or something. Obsession becomes obsession when your desire becomes unreasonable and you lose a sense of reality crossing a dangerous line to obtain, through violence, that which you obsess over. Was the Phantom obsessed with Christine or did he love her?
Christine had been in Erik’s life for many years. Coming to live at the Opera House as a child, Erik took interest in her. He related to her, no doubt, because she was orphaned as he was. He became her protector, an angel, a guide in her father’s absence. He watched her grow. He spoke to her in the night, and came to her in her dreams. Through the walls, through the mirrors, and in the shadows he was there guiding her.
He recognizes her potential as a singer, and begins tutoring her. He develops her skill. He gives her a voice to sing, which expresses his genius in music. Christine in many ways is the Phantom’s creation. He needs her to sing his music. She’s his glory, his triumphant, that he doesn’t wish to share with another. Christine is his entire focus in life. She is constantly on his mind.
As she matures into a beautiful sexual young woman, he begins to desire her, worship her, and fantasize over her. He plans her future as a singer and his wife. He fills his lair with sketches of her, Opera scenes of her singing, and a wax figure of her in a wedding gown. He surrounds himself with reminders of Christine everywhere in his lair, and dreams of the day she will be his. What happened to Erik? Did he try to fill the void of his solitude with one thing alone -- Christine? Did those obsessive thoughts over Christine turn around and consume him in return? When does one cross the line from reality into obsession?
Obsession becomes disturbing and unhealthy when it leads us to places that are not reality and causes an individual to commit violent acts in order to accomplish the dream they are driven to have. Erik, having never loved or been loved, is immature and doesn’t understand what true love is. He’s not able to discern between obsession and love yet. His obsession drives him to commit violent acts. He believes he loves her, but it’s only when he crosses the line from his obsession to true love that he comes into the knowledge of what loving Christine truly means.
At the point when Erik lays down his obsession to keep her in his captivity and gives her freedom, is when he crosses the line back into reality and into the meaning of true love. Erik tells Christine in tears the last time he sees her before she leaves with Raoul, “Christine, I love you.” He did. He truly loved her at that moment. It was no longer obsession driving his actions, it was true love.
Obsession doesn’t sacrifice, it only takes.
Love sacrifices, it only gives
I’ve met, on my Phantom journey, many individuals who say they are “obsessed” with the Phantom and his story. Though I don’t believe it to be obsession in the literal unhealthy sense, I think it’s more of a “preoccupation” with us, because we so relate to Erik. Every once in a while though it’s probably a healthy thing to shake ourselves back into reality and not live so vicariously through the story. What do you think? Are you obsessed with the Phantom or do you just love him? I would be interested in knowing. I have a feeling I'm going to get a few comments on this post.
Your Obedient Servant
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