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Having fought to extricate himself from a devastating relationship with a charming but fickle woman, and desperate to reach a state of serenity, William leaves her to live alone in an old dilapidated house by the sea and devote himself to music and astronomy; but his distraught state of mind induces him to seek temporary relief and he meets Dorothy, a carefree and vigorous women, to whom he, in spite of his resolution, feels strongly attached. Fearing his loss of independence he tries to quench a wild fire with a circumscribed fire and seduces a compassionate but unsuspecting women whom he hopes can shelter him till his infatuation has subsided; however, after a while he nevertheless more or less unconsciously gives her a good reason for leaving him, and he has then no option but to confront Dorothy.
Too indecisive to run away he fights his inclination, while she, being susceptible to his repressed feelings, which she has inspired, becomes eager and frustrated enough to take the initiative. As his feelings for her become manifested in action he has to accept them and this ignites an increasing interanimation which suggests a shared consciousness. And yet, his longing for serenity and her longing for absolute love are apparently incompatible and this insoluble conflict forces him to leave her, but while running away he feels the double bond between them strengthen to a point where he is pulled back to her and together they reach a state of reciprocal acceptance; and yet he suddenly leaves her for the freedom of the jungle though expecting her to join him shortly and thus get the best of both worlds; so the anagnōrisis leaves him in similar though not identical situation as that from which he tried to escape a year ago. Character determines fate and an all-consuming love is not easily reconciled with the an urge for the numinous.
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