In the beginning of the autobiography, Russell said there are three sources of passions that dominated in his life: longing for love, seek of knowledge and unceasing compassion for human beings. Love greatly affected his life from youth to elder age–I think love is the essential force of his life.
The love between Alys and Russell is a bit tragic to me. Russell fell in love with Alys at the first sight and persisted to marry her even though Alys is older than him and not been regarded as a lady by Russell’s family. Their love strongly against the will of Russell’s grandmother (Lady Russell) and his Aunt. Lady Russell threatened Alys that she is not suit for Russell and forced them to accept unfair term of separation in the name of love or poor heath. But at the end, they got married and had lived quite happily for a long time. They worked together and Russell achieved fruitful reading and writing, thanks for the support from Alys and their peaceful marriage life.
Why they end up divorcing and nasty flight for separation? Russell didn’t go into detail for the reason of change.It is reckoned that Russell experienced a mysterious emotional change that led him to feel deep compassion of human beings and Russell didn’t get the understanding from Alys.Before they got married, Russell felt there are so many difference between Alys and him. Alys believed in Christianity and advocate practical work; while Russell favour reason and science to religion and more enjoy in thinking than practical work. Alys worried that she is not intelligent and interesting enough for Russell which turn out to be true. The gap between them intelligently and emotionally became larger than larger until Russell find out one day that “he doesn’t care about Alys anymore”.
Alys was slower in starting to love Russell but her love is not easy to die out. Realising Russell didn’t love her anymore, Alys tried every way to win back the affection of Russell but fail. They still live together but can’t come back to the good old days and it is such a torture of both of them. I understand the pain and desperation of Alys and I understand why she became so angry when Russell told her his love for another woman.
But once love is changed, it is changed and can’t be fixed. I think that is the nature of love, either love one whole-heartedly, or not a bit of affection left if love faded. But it can not be denied that, Russell still own his gratitude and compassion of Alys, he feel sorry for Alys and her importance in his life can never be replaced by other women. As Russell said, “I should forget her, but after living for a long time, it is hard. “