In the story, "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe" by Carson McCullers, why does Lymon fight against Miss Amelia on behalf of Marvin Macy?

Expert Answers
bmadnick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In this story, love is depicted as existing between a lover, the person who controls the relationship, and a beloved, the person who is controlled by the lover. Amelia is the lover in her relationship with Marvin, Lymon is the lover in his relationship with Amelia, and Marvin is the lover is his relationship with Lymon. The lover in each of these cases does not seem to be in love, as we usually define it, with his or her beloved. Amelia refuses to consummate her marriage to Marvin and goes on with her life after he leaves as if he never existed. When Lymon arrives, however, she is controlled by him, opening the cafe and becoming someone Lymon wants her to be. When Lymon becomes the beloved to Marvin, he is willing to turn on Amelia because he is now controlled and even abused by Marvin. Lymon cannot allow Amelia to hurt his lover because he can no longer imagine his life wiithout Marvin.

Read the study guide:
The Ballad of the Sad Café

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question