In "The Chaser," is Diana's passionate, clinging love a result of the love potion, or does the potion only elicit normal love of a woman for a man? If the love potion is responsible for Diana's...
In "The Chaser," is Diana's passionate, clinging love a result of the love potion, or does the potion only elicit normal love of a woman for a man?
If the love potion is responsible for Diana's overwhelming love for Alan Austen, then the story would not be read as an indictment of marital love in general. Are we to understand that the potion is only effective in jump-starting her love or that it will keep her in an unnaturally amorous condition indefinitely?
The Chaser is a curious story; quite sad really. Marriage is the bane of many jokes and no longer preferred by most young people. They do not feel that it is an expression of "real" love but more of an obligation and even a duty. In John Collier's day, it was very much the done thing and divorce unlikely - hence the need (??!) for the poison!
The "love" that this potion will generate does not sound like real love. "She will want nothing but solitude and you" is a frightening thought as life will revolve around "you" supposedly but it will actually be all about HER - how she feels, how she worries, how she fusses and how she will be affected by his actions.
Love should be about personal development and the development of the relationship as well. Alan thinks Diana's support will be "everything" and he wants to make sure that it will not just make her "amorous" (although he finds it "very interesting" that it will!)
Marriage is not intended to be one-sided (I'm not talking about sharing the chores!!!) and whilst Alan "loves" Diana and is consumed by her - hence his need to buy the potion, the suggestion is that the potion will change Diana. Alan is excited by the prospect but " cannot imagine Diana like that!" That already serves as a warning that it will not be the Diana he loves now.
I believe that John Collier could have written The Chaser as a precursor of how all-consuming feelings do not contribute to love but detract from it's true intent. Can love endure if it is nothing more than
a temporary illusion.
Alan is obviously disappointed that he could not inspire Diana through any natural means and is prepared to face the destructive elements such as jealousy in forcing her to love him. Marrying for money or duty may be wrong or misguided but can ultimately lead to true love. Diana's love though is, in my opinion, "unnatural" and not love at all.