“The Collector” by John Fowles is about a man named Frederick that was obsessed with a woman named Miranda, that obsession eventually turned into him kidnapping her which even resulted in her death. Frederick’s obsession with Miranda began when they were both pretty young where he would only watch her from far away so as to not be seen, but she then moved away to London so his obsession disappeared. Later, the obsession Frederick had with Miranda resurfaced when he moved to London, where he saw her. While he was in London he began to come up with ideas to kidnap Miranda but had no real intent to go through with it, until he found the perfect house that could work for hiding her.
When Frederick purchased the house, it encouraged him to go along with his fantasy and abduct Miranda.This novel is written in a very odd way. Part one is told from the point of view of Frederick, which tells the reader about the kidnapping and after the kidnaping of Miranda and how he pulled it all off. Part two in the form of a diary, written from Miranda’s viewpoint. In this part Miranda talks about everything that is happening day to day, how Frederick is treating her, how she is doing, how she feels towards him, and her attempts at escaping. Part three is back to Fredericks viewpoint and is about the illness Miranda has gotten, and Frederick’s effort to try and help her. Part four is when Frederick finds Miranda’s Diary and how he finds out that she felt nothing but hatred towards him.
The author,John Fowles, shows how Frederick has a very obsessive personality by displaying it through his actions. “I worked for a month or more getting my plans ready. I was alone all the time; not having any real friend was lucky.” Fowles displays here that Frederick has a very planned and organized mind, in the phrase ‘month or more getting the plans ready’. This shows that he ironed out all of the details of this house ensuring everything was well sealed and secure. Fowles also mentions that Frederick was alone the whole time he was working on the house.
Frederick made sure no one bothered him by telling anybody who came to his door, to go away. “Then the vicar came from the village came and I had to be rude with him. I said I was a Nonconformist, I wanted nothing to do with the village,” Another way Fowles shows his obsessive behaviour, is when he finds Miranda’s diary after she died. Once again, Fredericks attention to detail is shown by how he planned Miranda’s burial “(went down and got her in the box I had made and outside). I don’t think many could have done it. I did it scientific. I planned what had to be done and ignored my natural feelings.”The author also uses Frederick and Miranda’s relationship to show Frederick’s obsession.
The relationship they had changed many times throughout the novel. The relationship is all in Frederick’s mind in the beginning, which is where the obsession started. “I used to see her everyday sometimes, because her house was right opposite the Town Hall…
I used to have daydreams about her, I used to think of stories where I met her, did things she admired, married her and all that” Frederick then kidnapped Miranda in hopes that his fantasy will come true. Frederick has always felt love for her, while Miranda felt hatred and bitterness. “She stood a moment, then she suddenly jumped and me across the face…. There was real hatred in her looks.
” The first time Miranda tried to escape Frederick’s obsessive personality is exposed through their relationship. Even though she tried to escape, he is still convinced that Miranda could potentially fall in love with him. Frederick treats Miranda as if she is a guest and he is a servant. He thinks that Miranda also feels the same way but deep down he knows that she feels like she is a prisoner.