Love and hate are two of the strongest emotions that people can feel. They can be creative emotions or destructive emotions, and much of literature is centered around what happens when people feel these emotions about each other. The Shadow of the Wind is a novel about a love story between two people; it is also the story of a love affair between a man and a book. There are many mixed emotions that occur within the novel, and the narrator is young and naive, especially at first. However, he comes to realize, over the course of the text, that to truly hate is an art one learns with time.
The Shadow of the Wind is actually a few stories contained within a single text; the primary storyline is the story of a young man named Daniel, who goes to a place called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, where he is allowed to choose a single book to protect for his entire life. He chooses one entitled The Shadow of the Wind, and becomes obsessed with discovering where the mysterious author has disappeared to years earlier. The author’s life is a sad love story, with his love affair ending badly; his love turns out to be his half-sister, and when they try to escape to Paris together, she is stopped and eventually dies in childbirth, giving birth to their stillborn son (Ruiz Zafón).
The main character of the story, Daniel, soon realizes that he must protect the novel that he has chosen, as there is a mysterious figure traveling the country finding and destroying all of the author’s works. The figure, who named himself after the devil archetype in the novel that Daniel covets, is eventually revealed to be the author himself. During the novel, Daniel’s life begins to mimic the author’s in some ways; however, he discovers that he can marry the love of his life and be happy with here, whereas the author, Carax, was never allowed that potential future (Ruiz Zafón).
The structure of the novel is reflective of itself, and one storyline generally follows the other. Ruiz Zafón writes, “Destiny is usually just around the corner. Like a thief, a hooker, or a lottery vendor: its three most common personifications. But what destiny does not do is home visits. You have to go for it” (Ruiz Zafón). This is the story of a young man’s coming-of-age, and his ability to learn from the past and from the people who have come before him; where Julian Carax, the author, is turned bitter and cold from his experiences and learns to hate everyone (especially himself) incredibly deeply, the author learns to love deeply. First he loves Carax’s book, and then he loves a woman named Bea; Carax loved his books and a woman, but when she was taken from him, he learned to hate incredibly deeply.
Love and hate are complex, extreme emotions that people can feel about people, places, and even things. Often, when strong emotions are attached to a specific place or thing, people begin to love or hate it; this is a natural human behavior. In “Love,” the narrator expresses his love for a woman in Mexico, but it is more than just the woman; the narrator falls in love with Mexico and everything the woman represents. However, along with his love, he grows to hate her in the same way he grew to love her. Of his lover in Mexico, the narrator writes, “In the following months, I crossed the border with an alarming regularity. I'd become an aging gringo courting a beautiful young girl--the type of woman who wouldn't look twice at me back in the States. But at a certain point you just come to accept a certain reality. That part of aging is becoming what you hate” (“Love”). So although the narrator is looking for and loving a much younger woman, he is looking at a part of himself that he used to love; a part of himself that ultimately betrays him and turns him into a different, less naive person.
King’s article, on the other hand, delves deeply into the chasm between love and hate. King suggests that the reader should love everyone as Jesus would have wanted, but also wants people to condemn the sinner when he or she sins against God (King). King writes, “Yes, we are facing difficult days. Yet there is hope ahead. Have faith and love for every member of the human race. It is time to hate the sin and love the sinner. We can set the example with personal and communal repentance, revival, restoration, rebuilding, recovery and renewal. It's all about redemption” (King). King suggests that there is a way to hate the transgressions committed by the sinner while still loving the sinner him or herself; this can be difficult, however, as many people are tied emotionally to the love or hate that they feel until it encompassses them completely and totally.
People are not born with hate in their hearts. Like the author Julian Carax, most people are born with the ability to love and love completely; it is only once people feel the sting of reality and the pain of life that they begin to learn to hate. Hate is a learned, acquired behavior, a response to the pains that naturally come when people expose themselves to love and to general life experience. Love destroyed Julian Carax, and turned him into someone full of hate; however, hate never touched the narrator Daniel, because he never learned how to hate properly.
King, Alveda C. "Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner." Newsmax 8 Aug. 2013.General OneFile. Web. 14 Jan. 2014.
"Love." TransWorld SURF Dec. 2012: 78+. General OneFile. Web. 14 Jan. 2014.
Ruiz Zafón, C. and Graves, L. 2004. The shadow of the wind. New York: Penguin Press.