Fran pez Professor Dutt English 101 October 11, 2003 The Mechanics of Love What defines love, in the traditional sense, between a man and a woman? In Bernard Malamud's short story, "The Magic Barrel," love manifests when a person finds the opposite of himself and shares a common interest with that person. Is love then inspired by self-interest, or does love have a more profound mystical meaning? Most people will agree that there exists two types of love: physical and spiritual. Physical love, with deals with the human body, can be easily explained, but spiritual love, with deals with human emotions, cannot be easily explained. I think that, from all the emotions, love is the most difficult to explain Have you ever heard the phase, "opposites attract?" Well, that might be true. It was defiantly true in the "Magic Barrel." Mr. Leo Finkle did not fall in love until he found the opposite of himself.

The matchmaker, named Salzman, presented to him three women who were educated like him, but Mr. Finkle did not love these women. I suspect that Mr. Finkle was not drawn to these type of women because they were not the opposite of him. Mr. Finkle did not fall in love until he saw the picture of Salsman's daughter, Stella, who was the total opposite of him.

Stella was poor, uneducated, and uncommitted to serve God while Mr. Finkle was educated, and devoted to God. It seems that love does materialize when two people, who are the opposites of each other, meet and are united by common interest. But what did Mr. Finkle and Stella have in common? "God," might be the answer to the question. Mr.

Finkle felt that he did not truly love God because he could not bring himself to love the imperfections of God's creature, man. To Mr. Finkle, loving Stella meant loving God. And Stella probably believed that a rabbi would be able to help her find God... So far, we have learned that love between a man and a woman is conditional.

Is all love then conditional? Is there a love that is divine, everlasting, unselfish? I would like to think that such love does exists between a man and woman, but I do not have convincing argument. We all know that love does not last forever. If a person's behavior changes, so does the love for the person. Is spiritual love then a myth? Before I try to answer this, I must first have a clear understanding of what physical love is. I believe that physical love refers to sexual desire for the human body.

I do not think physical love is possible if there is no sexual attraction between two people. If the physical body can only be appreciated sexually, am I talking about love or lust? I think physical love is just another definition for lust. Lust means a strong sexual desire for the physical body. It seems that physical love and lust are the same thing.

From this, I can conclude that physical love is nothing more then the lust for the human body. The opposite of physical love is spiritual love. And from this, I can tell you that spiritual love is not inspired by the physical body. Spiritual love must then be an emotion. I say this because the opposite of physical pain is emotional pain. It seems that spiritual love has nothing to do with the physical world.

So far, I've learned that we cannot love a person physically if we do not love the person sexually. And the opposite of that is, we cannot love a person spiritually if we do not the person emotionally. Furthermore, if hate is distractive, love must be nurturing. As I said before, two types of love exist, physical and spiritual.

Physical love gives nourishment to the physical body. But what part of man does spiritual love nourish? Well, I know that spiritual love is an emotion. But the problem is that all emotions are some how related to the human brain. So if physical love deals with the human body, I must assume that spiritual love deals with the human brain. The human body is believed to be an organic machine. Since the brain is part of the human body.

Do I dare say that love is mechanical? If love is mechanical, is spiritual love then a myth. I don't see how an organic machine can love spiritually if it's a machine? Mechanical love for a mechanical being. Love me seems to be conditional, lustful, and mechanical. From all the emotions, I find love the most difficult to explain. The only thing I can do is ask the question: What is love?