I laid down Maurice, and kept looking at the little black book. The characters that E.M Forester found nearly a century ago, still exist in flesh and blood. Time has passed, rules have been altered but the characters remain.
What is felt, may not be expressed. What is expressed may not be felt.
The clarity that comes through theory, may get crumpled with an simple stroke of practical experience.
Such is(was) the love between Maurice and Clive.
Clive professes “Our love is same as the love in Phaedrus. The love of soul”. He has formulated a clear theory of his being and the nature of his attraction towards same sex, based on his ardent reading of translated works from Greeks passed down through generations of interpretations. His want of the supreme love, the love of the soul, the platonic love between two men drives him to Maurice.
While Maurice, the half-wit who finds philosphical dialogues (or rather monologes from Clive) to be charming nonsense, but acknowledges his unexplainable and unspeakable attraction and attachement towards Clive as love. His being shatters when Clive doesn’t talk to him. He is overjoyed in Clive’s company, though he doesn’t ascribe or understand what Clive says. He can spend days and nights with Clive. He can abstain and restrict from physical intimacy as long as Clive is with him.
Years are added to their platonic love, in which they are together on weekends and Wednesdays without fail. For the outside world, they are the best of friends, while in private they stroke each others hair and kiss on the cheeks in moments of extereme vulnerablity.
Maurice, the crude and unread revels in the joy of finding an companion. But for Clive, the attainment of supreme love doesn’t provide him with satisfaction as it ought have.
Clive reasons that the answers of his dissatisfaction can only be found in Greece.
As he watches the ruins of Greece that remain today, his theories come crumbling down. He declares, he is not in love and sends his platonic lover a message. “I am normal now.”
Maurice doesn’t comprehend and can never comprehend for the rest of his life.
For, Maurice become normal the day, the guilt of being born with a desire to love the same sex was dispelled by the love for Clive and the love that Clive acknowledged.
He saw God in their Love, and their Love like God is now saying that “he was not normal”.
Maurice meets Alec eventually, and finds love in its crudest form which includes the desire to live and lust for, each other. They go on to break the barriers of society at different levels, not to change the world, but to be as they feel.
They discover love, through their basic instincts.
They never looked for answers in the plato or paul.