I’m starting this straight after finishing the book. There are no words to aptly describe the ending. It left me shaken and emotionally distraught but not because the writing–because of the content.
Abuse, my friends. That’s what this book tore through me. Every single thing that defined the relationship between Christian and Ana boiled down to a mental and physical mind fuck.
Let’s back up to the one thing that Ana uses to rationalize his behavior. The fact that he suffered abuse until the age of four. Think about that for a moment. What do you remember of the first four years of your life? I remember going up the cable cars in Germany, our German Shepard Ollie, and the glow of my dad’s cigarette as he slapped his leather belt into his palm as I pretended I was sleeping. That was all before the age of four. While it’s not crack whore worthy, it wasn’t peaches and cream either. So don’t bullshit me into thinking that little sliver of his life fucked him up.
Christian Grey beguiles Ana and she falls for him hard. No matter what twisted thing he does to her beyond the sex doesn’t seem to sink in. She’s addicted to his dark personality. His brooding emo persona intrigues her vagina and the blinders to his abusive nature goes up. To be clear –I don’t consider what he does to her a true BDSM relationship.
If you care for someone, you don’t try to control their life or dictate who they may or may not have contact with. You certainly don’t follow them across the country. In my own situation, the anger level if I spent too long at my parents was enough that I stopped going and rarely saw my parents. That’s what they do–make you feel as if you’re doing something wrong. You change because you love them. Whether or not that love is reciprocated is another matter altogether. Was he changing for her? Not really. Every step in his journey was to ensnare her.
Remember when he said outright that he wanted to hurt her? She blissfully wants to see how far he will go and gets it tenfold. Sex was the crux of their relationship. Her mind emptied of every wary thought when his penis plugged in. She was afraid he would hurt her. We want to know why she didn’t run sooner. While the whole affair didn’t last long really. I mean, Jose’s picture showing was talked about at the beginning of the book and not mentioned again until toward the end. This is what confuses me.
Let me explain.
An abusive manipulator takes longer than what this book shows to lay the ground work into ensnaring his prey. They’re nice at first–something Christian clearly isn’t beyond tossing expensive gifts at her. A mask hides their true nature and once the victim falls in love and starts to do anything for them? It’s over and the damage control spirals out of control.
The whole basis of this book seems to be the whole billionaire angle–tortured mega bucks boy. Ana’s shallowness on that and her ignorance of the world, considering she’s been in college for four years, is astounding. It brings to light so many wrong things about this book and, for me, gives a false sense of what a relationship should be.
Worse yet, Ana didn’t turn to anyone for help because she signed a non-disclosure without reading it. Low self esteem will do this to a person as well. None of her friends–who were few when you think about it–helped her like she needed. All the warnings Kate got and didn’t have a heart to heart with her? Granted, since the entrapment happened so quickly, Ana wouldn’t have listened. She rationalized all his behavior which is classic victim MO. The ending, when all of her emotions are laid bare, is also part of the process. She poured her love into him, though he did not do the same, and when the slap of reality hits the tears come. You feel as if you failed and a hole forms. The best medicine is to stay away from your abuser but as easy as that sounds, it’s not. They promise to change, to see things your way. All a ploy.
So that’s a little bit of my feelings as I don’t want to delve too deep. My personal journey isn’t over and I hope I never read anything that romanticizes abuse, rape, or someone who thinks they’re entitled to thinking a woman is property in any way. That’s not romance. That’s not love. That’s just fuck up. Period.