Adrian and Langston

Now that we are deeper into the novel, we are beginning to get more insight into each of the main characters. As Adrian’s character develops we start to see a more confident side of him emerge. When we were first introduced to Adrian he seemed quite average, nothing special, perhaps even boring at times. But as the novel progresses and Adrian becomes more comfortable in Sierra Leone, I think we begin to see a man with much more substance. Furthermore, I believe that his change in character was due in part to Mamakay.

Now bear with me as I try to draw parallels between Adrian in The Memory of Love and Langston from All Our Names. 🙂 In All Our Names we watch Langston go from living in Issac’s shadow to living in America on his own. Additionally, as I noted earlier, in The Memory of Love Adrian makes a transition from a timid psychologist to a brave and passionate lover. So, the first parallel can be seen in that both Langston and Adrian develop into more assertive and complex characters as the novel progresses. Yet another parallel emerges between the two characters when one notes the women they had relationships with. Both Adrian and Langston seek out nurturing yet passionate relationships despite knowing that there is little change for a future. Langston and Helen come from two different worlds and only have an allotted amount of time together while Adrian is married and will likely return to Britain soon. However, both men still allow these relationships to persist, which also illustrates their maturation and evolution as characters in the novels. I hope these two parallels helped you to see the same correlation that I see between Adrian and Langston, as I struggled to put into words the parallel that I saw.

Anyone have any thoughts on an additional parallel we might draw?

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Posted on October 16, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. This is a interesting and well written post, thank you! To be honest I did not really see any substantive parallels between Langston in All Our Names and Adrian in The Memory of Love, until I read the points you made above and could then see a few similarities. I especially agree with the second parallel you describe, regarding the two male (main) character’s romantic relationships. I agree, the two are similar in regards to the kind of woman they seek out, the surrounding setting or environment of their relationship, and definitely that both characters mature throughout the novel due in part to their relationship.
    I would like to add another possible parallel between the two characters; the setting in which their story unfolds. Both Langston and Adrian are placed in post-colonial independence nations (Uganda and Sierra Leone), around a time of conflict (right before/during fighting and right at the tail end of the fighting). While they are each there for different reasons, their stories unfold in a similar way because the setting defines their experiences and relation/friendships.
    For example, Adrian is a psychologist who took a mission in Sierra Leone because the conflict setting called for such a person, and because of this Adrian meets Elias Cole and his friend Kai and everyone/thing else that makes his story what it is.
    Paralleling this, Langston is a young man who wants to make something more of his life and moves to the capital city in Uganda because the tumultuous setting called for a person looking for some kind of change. It is in this setting that Langston meets Isaac, learns and does new things, and allows his life to play out as it will.

    I hope this third possibility made sense! I look forward to any more parallels between the two characters.

    • That definitely makes sense! Thanks for adding to my post! I think you touched on a great point that I want to expand on a bit. In addition to the women who are supplementing the change in both Langston and Adrian’s lives, there are others contributing to their journey’s as well. In langston’s case, I think that Isaac played a role in his evolution as a character in that Issac provided Langston with the resources both literally and figuratively to move to America. In Adrian’s case, I think Kai plays the biggest role in his change as a character. Kai shows him a different side of Sierra Leone, one that makes him come out of his shell.

      Again, thanks for your comment!

  2. This isn’t exactly a parallel but rather allegory. I found somesimilarities between Elius going back home from the party and the journey of soliders going home from the war. Party and the war is similar in the sense that it is a place for confusion. When Elius was at the bar, he was drunk, confused and he could not even walk straight. He spilled his drink of other people. Elius knew there he needs to goback home and he did. However, he realized that he have vomitted. Messy outcome of the messy night. Soliders encounter similar situations when they get back to their homes. War is like being at the bar, but much more intense. It is a messy business including guns, soliders, blood. And when they get home from the war, many of them experience Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is more than just a vomittting which you can clean it up and does not have much after effects of it. However, PTSD is a mental disorder that shakes your entire life. It is worse in the sense that it stays with you for longer period of time and as it affects you more severely.

    Both war and drinking had positive intensions. Successful war do bring stability and unity to the state and drinking is still one of the ways to help you relax. However, when the result this act comes out bad, people have to deal with consequences caused by it, which is often worse than the beginning. Elius shows how it can ruin one’s life.

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