The ends of love : vice and charity in The End of the Affair.
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Hughes, Heather Lynn.
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The End of the Affair offers a compelling portrait of the two possible ends of natural love. Sarah Miles and Maurice Bendrix are confronted with the choice to let their natural love be subsumed into the love of God, transformed by its inherent capacity to conduit divine love, or else to degrade their love by seeking an impossible satisfaction in it. Sarah transitions from disordered love to real charity, in the pattern of true eros and agape. In contrast, Bendrix attempts to make their love an end in itself, intentionally preventing its sublimation into the love of God. In this he demonstrates the capital vices lust and envy as described in the seven deadly sins tradition. Greene's compelling depiction of how natural love can be pulled toward both demonic vice and the love of God makes The End of the Affair a powerful portrayal of Catholic moral choice.