Adultery by Paulo Coelho


Adultery by Paulo Coelho

Musing on the protagonist

I had promised myself that I would savour this book and at least spend a week to read it…. But after opening it all my good intentions flew out the window. I couldn’t put it and I read it from cover to cover in one sitting.

What I find absolutely fascinating about Paulo Coelho is that he writes with so much humility that you can read his books on so many levels.

Many will read this book and not understand the protagonist but they will still enjoy the book.

The real enjoyment however, is when you understand a little of what is going on in the lead character’s mind. Have you ever heard anyone express the feeling of having everything yet having nothing?  Well I have and I believe that Paulo Coelho’s character suffers from a condition called “borderline personality disorder” disclaimer this is not what the author is saying this is my understanding of the lead character.

“Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental disorder characterized by disturbed and unstable interpersonal relationships and self-image, along with impulsive, reckless, and often self-destructive behaviour.

Individuals with BPD have a history of unstable interpersonal relationships. They have difficulty interpreting reality and view significant people in their lives as either completely flawless or extremely unfair and uncaring (a phenomenon known as “splitting”). These alternating feelings of idealization and devaluation are the hallmark feature of borderline personality disorder. Because borderline patients set up such excessive and unrealistic expectations for others, they are inevitably disappointed when their expectations aren’t realized.

The term “borderline” was originally used by psychologist Adolf Stern in the 1930s to describe patients whose condition bordered somewhere between psychosis and neurosis.”

Paulo Coelho who himself was institutionalised many times must of course have a deep understanding of mental health and that’s why in his writing he never trivialises depression or BPD. He merely describes his character’s feelings and actions but doesn’t justify them only we as the readers can do that with our own knowledge and experience.

The book is not just about adultery or sex it’s about one persons struggle with their own mind and I thoroughly enjoyed ever word said and unsaid.

4 Responses to “Adultery by Paulo Coelho”
  1. keithpp says:

    Having read a little of Adultery, I disagree, though may change my mind.

    Linda typifies the idle rich, bored out of her mind, no meaningful substance to her life.

    If you read Scared Economics, the rich who engage in pointless consumerism, accumulation of capital, to make up for the lack of spiritual and social capital.

    What I loved in the first couple of chapters, was the insight into the Swiss mindset,how they view the world. Very good observation of human nature.

    Having better self-control, I will put to one side, then read at leisure, mulling over as I read. As of course a good book deserves.

  2. K.R.Vikram says:

    Priya,Paulo’s protagonist is an adulteress,quite a clever plot.I have not read the book,but I think he must have given a new definition to sex outside a happy marriage(happy-it’s even more intriguing).Its a reflection of the times we live,when the feeling called love & the devil loneliness are on a collision course,adultery is what we go through,finding hope in hopeless situation. The bipolar nature of the person comes alive & it makes them fight against all odds to sustain the relationship.Adultery is not a happy state to be in,it brings in a lot of trauma,fear,shame on to the person/s who indulge in.

  3. Rachel B says:

    I had the exact same thought! I think it’s when she talked about how she was cruel to her boyfriend’s pet that I thought that her issues were deeper than just a little mid-life boredom.

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