Appointment in Samarra Themes

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The Failure of Love

A theme common to most of John O'Hara's works is the failure of love and Appointment in Samarra is no exception. Although Julian English is ultimately responsible for his own demise, he may have indeed felt that his situation were less dire had he felt loved by those most important to him. The most basic love of all—parental love— eludes Julian. His parents, Dr. and Mrs. English, treat him with cold disregard; his father, in particular, sees in Julian the very qualities evident in his own father—weakness of character—which led to Julian's grandfather's suicide. It is because of this perception on Dr. English's part and this loathing that he cannot love Julian unconditionally. Caroline confronts Dr. English about his coolness toward Julian when he comes to inform her of Julian's death in the following passage:

Ah, go away. You did it. You...

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This section contains 681 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Appointment in Samarra Study Guide
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Appointment in Samarra from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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