Wednesday, July 18, 2007

On Passion

The following conversation is from the fantastic, beautiful movie Ever After.

Danielle: Is something wrong?

Henry: [turns to face her] In all my years of study, not one tutor ever demonstrated the passion you have shown me in the last two days. You have more conviction in one memory than I have... in my entire being.

[laughs slightly, walks away, Danielle follows]

Danielle: Your Highness, if there is anything I have said or done...

Henry: Please... don't. It's not you.


Henry: I'm afraid, mademoiselle, you are a walking contradiction... ..and I find that rather fascinating.

Danielle: Me?

Prince: Yes, you. You spout the ideals of a Utopian society, yet you live the life of a courtier.

Danielle: You own all the land there is, yet you take no pride in working it. Is that not also a contradiction?

Prince: First I'm arrogant, and now I have no pride. However do I manage that?

Danielle: You have everything, and still the world holds no joy. Yet you make fun of those who would see it for its possibilities.

Prince: How do you do it?

Danielle: What?

Prince: Live each day with this kind of passion? Don't you find it exhausting?

Danielle: Only when I'm around you. Why do you like to irritate me so?

Prince: Why do you rise to the occasion?


He asks how she can live each day with that kind of passion.

And I often wonder: how can he not?


Stubborn and Strong said...


David_on_the_Lake said...

passion for one thing is difficult to sustain..
There are lots of passionate people out there, but more often than not..their passions jump from one thing to the next

Rebecca said...

The truth is, we are all born with certain personal attributes. And no one is born with the same combination. Passion is one of these attributes, and not everyone has that with the same intensity you seem to expect in your question here.

However, I do believe that everyone has some level of passion, albeit not in certain areas. I didn't see this movie (or maybe I did, but I don't think I remember it), but perhaps Henry simply has a lack of passion in the areas addressed to him here and is actually passionate about other areas in his life. Perhaps he is passionate about his love, or for his horses, or for his wealth. But I do not know Henry, and these are just speculations. Hence I stick to the more general point: I believe that some level of passion must be inborn for a person to desire life, but is expressed differently in different people. Where one man may be passionate about his stocks or business deals, another may be passionate about his children--or both.

For instance, you are passionate about ideals and justice and a host of other concepts. You may not (and this is again, a speculation) be passionate about Wall Street. As I've become fond of saying, "to each his/her own."

What is obvious to you, my dear, is not necessarily obvious to others. That's one of the most important lessons I know.

Scraps said...

I think most people have their passion squeezed out of them. :(

Rebecca said...


Can you look at Chana and really say that? :-)

Scraps said...


Um...having never had the privelege of meeting Chana, I haven't had to.

I didn't say it was a good thing, just that it is so. A sad truth, but an explanation for Henry's side of things.

Sarabeth said...

If you are only vaguely unhappy with your life -- you don't hate it, you don't love it, you just go through the motions -- it is possible to live without passion. It is easier to live this way, than to actually care deeply about something, because no struggle is involved.

Erachet said...

I think a lot of people feel passionate towards things that are meaningful to them, but not everyone is as open with their passion. Therefore, they may not come across as passionate people. Some people are too self-conscious to let loose and just be openly passionate.

Chana said...

Okay, I am uncomfortable about how this conversation is progressing. Let's stick to the characters, yes?

Scraps said...

I think erachet hit the nail on the head.