Love manifests itself differently in every person. That is the beauty of love: it is purely unique to the beholder. Most conversations about love will never do itself justice. This writing will be no different. For love is more than just something that arises out of thin air: love is cultivated, love is intentional, and love is infinite. 

Yet, to display love and allow it to come to life, we must recognize, accept, and tame the monster within so that we can love as a protector, protecting others from the villain that is oneself. To love, one must love himself in his fullness. That means understanding the talents and gifts one has, but also identifying the faults, incoherencies, and incompetencies, that one carries throughout his life. In that, a person can now play a hero. The person can fight and defend others from the evil within. 

To plead ignorance against the evil within, is not fulfilling the archetype of the hero, rather it is a key element of the fool, the jester. The jester ignores the realities of life and avoids them like the plague. He avoids what is within and what is without. He lives in a fantasy world as if all is okay, but that inability to acknowledge the cruel, harsh truth that the world is already broken and destroyed makes the opportunity for the world to be redeemed impossible. The jester makes the world a living hell because he is in denial of the monster within and allows that monster to wreak havoc on the world under the guise that he is saving the world by manipulating others to believe they live in a fantasy world where evil is something we deserve to be rid of, but he does not take any action to get rid of it himself. The privilege that the jester seeks is not one that is deserved, but one that is earned through battle and hardwork.

The hero, on the other hand, tackles the brokenness of the world head on. Yet, the easiest monster to access, but the toughest one to fight is always the one within hero himself. It does not matter what problems the hero faces outside if he does not have capability to fight what is within. The interesting thing that develops as this form of love that is fighting and taming the demon within oneself is polished and practiced is that a person can now encourage the people he loves to fight their own monster within. The way to accomplish this is one of the most complex parts to a relationship. One cannot just identify the monster in the other, he must equipment his loved one with the weaponry necessary to combat the monster. Furthermore, to equip a loved one, equipment cannot be forced into their hands, but, rather, the equipment has to be found independently of the helper, but purely by the loved one’s personal trek into the abyss that is the valley of the shadow of death. The only thing the person can do to help the loved one is to motivate and support the loved one to gain the necessary equipment to fight the monster within, and in that, reveal how that battle benefits everyone that loved one loves themselves.

To fully live out love, one cannot fight for himself, it must always be done for the sake of others. There is no greater sacrifice one can make than the sacrifice of his life to love and serve others. Otherwise, fighting is out of pure selfishness and will only lead to a losing battle. One will know of the existence of the monster, but he will never win, causing others to be affected by the consequences of a monster being set free into the world. Strangely enough, sometimes the monster needs to be set free in order to tame him.

In the movie, Marriage Story, this is the conflict that Adam Driver’s character, Charlie, faces throughout the whole movie. His ignorance, his selfishness, and his pride has been put on blast and he begins to see the consequences of his actions throughout the movie. We cannot deny that Scarlett Johansson’s character, Nicole, also faced similar problems, but we will purely look at Charlie.

A common point of tension is the move to Los Angeles. Throughout the movie, it appears as if Charlie is right, that his son, Henry, should be in New York. However, as details reveal themselves, it is shown that Charlie is wrong and Henry should be in Los Angeles. Noah does a great job allowing the audience to see this before Charlie sees it. Charlie becomes a character worth sympathizing with into a character that is wrong. However, by allowing us to sympathize with Charlie first, our sympathy does not disappear. It is redirected so that we hope to see that he rights his wrongs.

The turning point in the story for Charlie is when he wishes death upon Nicole. His demon is revealed to himself. In the realization of the evilness of his comment, he comes to a self-realizing idea that in his desire to seek what was best for the family, he was ultimately seeking his desire of what was purely best for himself. Nicole had her family. Henry loved his new school. Nicole found a great job back in Hollywood. Charlie previously had an opportunity to bring his successful play to Los Angeles. Everything was revealed to him and it made sense for his family to move, but his delayed realization, because he could not tame his own demon of selfishness, led to the breakup of his family. 

Luckily, his change of attitude and ability to fight his own selfishness allowed him and Nicole to redeem their relationship. Although they remained divorced, they reconciled and he made it possible to move to Los Angeles. Yet, to not fight what is within will lead to dire consequences that affects the rest of one’s life. To identify, fight, and tame the monster within, one will lead to always looking towards what is best for those he loves.