Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Twisted in every way is an interesting statement that Christine makes in the midst of a difficult time in her life where she must make a life changing decision. I believe it’s a human condition we all go through at one time or another; that is, being faced with a very difficult decision we must make, knowing it will carry with it consequences.

Let’s look at Christine's time with Raoul in the chapel, as she cries upon his shoulder bearing her heart and pleading with him not to make her go through with the Phantom’s Opera. What is Christine struggling with? She is struggling with a choice to find freedom by paying a price in the order to find it. Christine is at a crossroad. To live with Raoul, she must betray the man who birthed her voice. She feels a great sense of gratitude for what he has done for her in the past and the moments they enjoyed together, but she wants her freedom in order to move on in life without the shackles of being made to stay where she does not belong. To gain that freedom, she realizes there will be a price to pay. She is twisted in every way! Twisted because of her connection to the Phantom, and twisted because she wants a life with Raoul. What’s the poor girl suppose do to? Well, she makes a decision, and it’s a difficult one that as we all know carried consequences.

Christine chooses Raoul, but in doing so, she knows she must hurt the Phantom in the process. It’s a difficult choice, and she fears that choice because she believes “horrors” wait for her as a result. She follows her heart to buy her freedom, and her fears come to pass. The one she chooses to leave, instead of willingly letting her go, forces her to stay with him. The irony of the story is closely related to the story of Little Lotte who kept the bird caged, because she would not let it fly and pursue what it was meant to be - a free bird. Instead, she locked it up and it died unfulfilled.

The Phantom, though, realized that keeping Christine under coercion would do the same to her. It's at that point, he comes to the realization of what true love is all about. It's no longer obsession, it's love, and he allows her to go and live the life she really wants – a life with Raoul.

Similar situations happen to us in real life. We are faced with difficult decisions, a need to leave, but feeling we owe that person something. Choosing to stay would no doubt make us unhappy. Being forced to stay would make us bitter. Leaving anyway and experiencing the consequences from the unhappy receiver of our decision sometimes hurts. The greatest gift we can give anyone, however, is the freedom to let those that wish to leave us the gift of flight - even if it costs us in the process.

Did it cost Erik to let go of Christine? Of course, it did. Did Christine appreciate Erik allowing her to leave? What do you think? The whole point of all the words above can be summarized very easily.

First, have the courage to make the decisions that are right for you, even if you must pay a price. It's possible others may be disappointed or hurt by your decisions, but don't let that hinder you from following the path you know is right for your life.

Second, if there is someone in your life that wants to fly, open the door to the cage and let them go. Everyone should be entitled to follow their dreams, especially when it's in our hands to give them the gift of freedom and a little push along the away to see them come true. Letting go is more freeing than hanging on to something that is not yours to keep. I've learned that from personal experience.

The Phantom’s Student

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