The present essay reviews the book ‘The Art of Love,‘ which shares the individual’s life experience from a specific viewpoint. The book shares the perspective of a person who experiences individual happiness and pain in love. It illustrates the life of a newborn human, who is exposed to the worldly subject. His change through various periods of life and how the nature of love could influence their individuality and life experience. The present paper examines the idea posed by discussing logic, images, and concepts in the book ‘The Art of Love.’
Erich Fromm, a prominent author in the field of social sciences, has written the novel,’ The Art of Love.’ To explain critical aspects of culture, he has written many books and given different dimensions. The book ‘The Art of Love’ is a wonderful piece of art that looks at the social , economic, political, and religious facets of life in detail. The book series examines the individual’s life experiences by exploring their thoughts and beliefs interconnected with the social changes, such as the spiritual, scientific, artistic, political, economic, and social experiences of a man.
After reading the novel, the mind of the reader interprets different facets of life related to the past and current events that take place in the life of an individual. The book describes energy problems in a distinct way. The author of the book primarily emphasises human growth with an intimate and world-related relationship. In the novel, he describes that the element of love in the life of a person will cause the person to become conscious of and closer to the truth, individuality, dynamics, liberty, and identity of the universe.
The book’s central idea revolves around the world community rather than focuses on a particular religion, ethnicity, or region. The book emphasises the world’s consideration of faith, moral, political crisis, which has contributed significantly to the growth of people. “Fremont stresses the idea that the” increasing awareness that spiritual existence is not spare and that intuition and reason must recover their significance as the significance of perceiving and fusing inner being with outer truth.
Erich Fromm ‘s book ‘The Art of Loving’ focuses on the philosophy of affection, which discusses the art of the pet. It shares the experience of people who were intrigued by the inner will without the permission of the outer world. The passion for their inner instinct and individuality makes them passionate about their ambitions and endeavors. The author’s main idea revolves around the theory and practice of love that develops a human towards betterment and development. Thus, the book is divided into two main subsections that are theory and practice.
The author of the book elaborates on the life experience of different people intimated with their inner instinct. They are merely inclined towards the different types of love, such as motherly love, brotherly love, self-love, love of God, love of ambitions, and love. It explains how different types of love function and have other characteristics. The second concept that is the practice of love provides an overview of the various factors that affect and influence individuals to practice love.
The book’s author illustrated the conception of the world, individual, and the entire universe as a matter and energy. He interprets an individual’s life with the various concepts of the work and power those in terms of biological conception, broadening living perspectives from a physical and scientific perspective. The relation of the principle of life and spirituality remains a dominant concept presented in the book.
However, the author’s relationship tries to explain in the book has been supported by coherent evidence. Because the author’s logic aims to explain his perspective, it remains abstract in the individual’s mind. A distinction is observed between different types of love, such as motherly love and fatherly love.
The writer of the book argues that the difference between the two loves exists because of the importance of the two different genders in the make and female. He explains that motherly love is another because of its instinct because of the different genders created. The claims provided by the author to describe different types of love is conjecture, as they are not well supported by the evidence and ideas that would be accepted by an individual that seeks for logical and empirical evidence, mainly scientist would face difficulties to understand the foundation author provides to explain the concept.
Also, the author often reflects cultural biases in explaining his ideas and perceptions in the book (Fromm, 1956). In the book, the author has extensively stressed in the Eurocentric cultures. The concept of love refers to different material and immaterial things that eventually contract the idea of other types of love that focus on the feeling and instincts of a human being. In certain parts of the book, the author explains that an individual’s love is associated with material things. For example, ambitions, scientific, technological, and other aspects of life are associated with love.
The idea presented in the book to associate love with material things creates the illusion of the concepts and components of the human mind and emotions give a complete another meaning to the love that goes beyond feeling or expression of love. The idea puts the reader in a paradoxical phase, where explaining the pet as a feeling or as material creates confusion. Different types of love described by the author are evident in western culture (Fromm, 1956).
In Greek culture, love is explained in four different words, similarly evident in the English language and even in Christianity. The typology of ‘love’ discussed in the book can be associated with the four different types of love preached in Christianity. Hence, the concept of ‘types’ of love is more likely to inspire Western culture. Similar elements are evident in the author’s various assumptions to explain different types of love (Fromm, 1956). The exploration of the different kinds of love is associated, such as brotherly love, motherly love, fatherly, erotic love, self-love, and love of God dominantly prevails in western society (Fromm, 1956). However, the meaning and interpretation of the different types of love are not evident in other cultures (Fromm, 1956).
The distinction between different loves is based on different social and cultural values in various cultures (Fromm, 1956). For example, the author explains self-love and erotic love with an optimistic approach that enables individuals to fight for their desires and ambitions to attain a position in society. It can be in terms of scientific, technological development. The self-love explained that different cultures and religions have very different perspectives (Fromm, 1956).
The author is inspired more by the Greek-western culture in which their beliefs are based on the false premises of types of love. Hence, Fromm’s point of view explains the kinds of love of undergoes ontological fault that is often rejected or denied for the readers that belong to different religions and cultures.
In eastern culture, the element of self-love is considered spiritual and pure. It is beyond the materialist approach, based on selflessness and sacrifices to serve humanity. However, Fromm takes a selfish and cynical approach to explain the love material and objective that is resisted by eastern society. In other words, the author claims element of self-love is the way to succeed in the world, as he considers love to be self-centered and self-approach (Shanafelt, 2012). The idea is often rejected among individuals who perceive love as a spiritual element. Hence, it can be determined that the western culture influences the author’s approach to explaining different types of love remains due to which the acceptance of the idea in the other regions of the worlds or people belonging to different culture would portray a negative impact on them (Fromm, 1956).
Fromm (1056) explains love as, “love is an art. If we want to learn some other art, such as music , painting, carpentry or the art of medicine or medicine, we must proceed in the same way we need to proceed engineering” (Fromm, 1956). The statement creates confusion in the reader because the author claims that loving is in control of human nature. The feeling can be developed according to their will. Also, the author associated love with the material aspects of a life controlled by the human. It eventually directs the readers to express love with the temporal element that is subjective, material, or skill (Fromm, 1956). Hence, its essence of spirituality to explain the feeling of love becomes abstract and confuses the reader (Fromm, 1956).
The author’s assumptions to describe the characteristics of ‘love’ are often perplexed and confused that often contradicts his statement. Fromm (1956) explains that motherly love is developed when she gives birth to the child. Her instincts are developed to her offspring that make her passion for her child more. In other words, he claims that the development of motherly love is beyond the control of the human; perhaps it is inherited by the natural process. He explains that giving birth to the child is why she develops unconditional love for the child and tackles issues related to her child. The individual, like his personal willingness, voluntarily produces the simple loving phenomena, which he explains. Whereas, at the same time, the author claims that love itself is selfishness and constraint satisfaction.
The idea eventually contradicts the concept of motherly love explained by the author in which he states that the pet is developed for a reason, such as giving birth to a child. Similarly, the proceeds say in the text that motherly love is helpless. If the mother adopts a child and loves her, at the same time she gives birth to her child; she would eventually abandon the love for her infant one. Hence, motherly love is spontaneous and would not change any circumstances.
Moreover, the author explains the erotic love in terms of gender that differs from male to female. He explains that the transformation of love in western society is based on an object that is merely a person. In the book, he explains, “being lovable is essentially a mixture of being popular and having sex appeal” (Fromm, 1956). It explains that the individual falls in love with a similar exchange of ideas dependent on mutually favorable deals. He explains that the favorability as an exchange of attractiveness, tastes, intensity, feeling, etc. develops mutual ground for the individual to love or establish a relationship with each other (Fromm, 1956).
The opposite genders (Male and Female) are the primary reason that drives erotic love among genders. In terms of homosexuality and the same gender, erotic love does not exist. He completed denies the fact that the same genders are incapable of loving each other. However, in real life, love among the same gender is evident (Fromm, 1956). Thus, gender variation cannot be claimed to be the only reason to explain the virtue of erotic love. The gender depends on the constraint set, and erotic love has no particular association or neglects the erotic love among the same gender (Fromm, 1956).
The book was published in 1956 because homosexuality was viewed as a psychological or mental problem by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders that was not removed until 1974. Due to which the claim presented by the author about erotic love remains to be one of the significant phenomena. One of the books published by Alfred Kinsey that explained the sexual behavior of male and female highlights that the publications before 1975’s have a negative view about homosexuality, as it was considered to be an unethical and mental illness. However, the present researchers show that homosexuality is not a mental illness, as the individuals are competitive in every aspect of society like an average human. Thus, the discussion regarding homosexual individuals depicts a negative impact on the minds of readers.
Similarly, Evelyn Hooker provided several experiments and evidence explaining that the love in the homosexual exists as nature (Fromm, 1956). The other research that is conducted clarifies that there is no difference between homosexuals and heterosexuals when it comes to social performance (Fromm, 1956). It proves that erotic love exists among the people of the same gender.
While explaining the idea of love of God, the author comes across several elements related to selfishness and self-centeredness of the individual. However, in the real world and various religions, God’s love is perceived as pure and selfless that is a therapeutic delusion. It is because individuals often become helpless and lose control of their lives due to which they seek a higher entity that would take care of their problems and put them away from the values of their lives in case any tragic event happens.
God’s notion is beyond the control of the human being; his existence remains to be a prominent element in the different cultures and religions that cannot be ignored. Also, discussing the selfishness’s concerns to explain God portrays a negative impact on the individual’s mind. Thus, God’s love remains to be one of the significant aspects dependent on the survival mechanism of several elements.
Formm (1956) explains, “Having belief in God also has a second function, and that is to give hope, hoping that the afterlife is better than the present, which again is a survival mechanism, because otherwise, people may not be able to survive the present” (Fromm, 1956). Hence, it can be determined that God’s love is pure, that is selfless. The author’s logic rejects the idea to explain the love of God in an effective manner that would be subjected to coherent and scientific reasoning. Thus, the use of selfishness as an element of love remains to be abstract.
It is somewhat dependent on the selflessness and sacrifices developed among individuals with time. However, materializing love is becoming very common in modern society and similarly depicted in the book (Fromm, 1956). Thus, the main element that differs from the pet, and its meaning is dependent on the consciousness and variation of human behavior that defines love (Fromm, 1956).
The idea presented in the book by the author focuses on love as a different aspect that is neither a noun nor an object; instead, it is a verb that is more like a practice (Fromm, 1956). It depends on the virtue and idea that the practicing of love depends on understanding or sharing similar grounds that share similar problems, determination, and interest (Fromm, 1956). He claims that the art of love is dependent on the inner will of the individual and devotion to understanding the core issues of life.
He highlights that loving anything in life can make an individual attain higher virtues and ambitions. However, the concepts that are provided in the book are dependent on several concerns that are often contradictory. Hence, spirituality and love lack the evidence that would support the idea of love in the book (Fromm, 1956). Moreover, the explanation of love and different type of love is contradictory, as presented in the book. However, the idea to spiritualize the love for the subjects and person is the book’s prominent theme that encourages individuals to induce love for every effort they make to attain their ambitions.
- Fromm, E. (1956). The Art of Loving. London.
- Shanafelt, C. (2012). Literary Analysis and Essay Writing Guide. New York: Gatsby’s Light Publications.