Originally Posted by Nightingale
I'll admit, I have not reread Leroux's as recently as Kay's and hers left a more dramatic impression upon me.
I did, however, reach back over my shoulder and grabbed my copy of Leroux's (I have the books out for reference purposes at the moment ... and really wish I could read French and had the original wording as I know translations muddle things). I guess in her actions--specifically how she is described in response to Raoul's 'sleeping/drugged' form upon the sofa doesn't read so much as her having truly chosen him. If she was 'acting' when Erik leaves the room there was a good time for her to show concern, if she loved Raoul THAT deeply she would be taking every chance to go to him ... and yet mysteriously there is no reaction that the Persian notes at all. It is like Raoul is not even there. Later, in Erik's tearful description of what had transpired, it did read to me as though she had indeed embraced Erik (in a way). Her actions, the expressions described in her eyes (granted, yes, I realize this is description coming from an unreliable narrator in a fit of melancholy ... but it is what Leroux gives us, which means it is left to some interpretation as to what really occurred.)
In my mind I guess I always saw her veering throughout the book towards Erik; unconscious actions, clips and phrases, even some of her discussions with Raoul seemed to reveal there was a earnest connection that she was troubled to identify/acknowledge. Something that extended beyond the revelation of what her Angel truly was. Let's face it, sometimes having feelings towards someone (even in the mundane sense) can be intimidating, especially for someone who is on the shier side.
Now, I admit, that is what I see in the words penned well over a century ago in another language with radically different rules of etiquette. It is my interpretation.
Actually, Raoul was taken prisoner. After he got well he was moved.
I'm going to have to side with Raoul. It's easy to sympathize with Erik, but ALL of Christine's actions are for his protection or her willingness to not be forced to stay down there in the book.
In ALW's, Christine kisses him out of compassion. You see, Christine is a pure, pure girl. She manipulates, yes, but it is out of good intentions. I do believe that she had the capacity to love him. However, I do not think that she was meant to for two reasons: 1 - it is a tragedy. The phantom was meant to be redeemed and left alone. Seeing as there was never a sequel written by Leroux, it was supposed to end there. The beauty in it is that Christine shows him compassion. She may not grant him a happy ending, but she gives him the love (there is more than one kind, after all) that he needs to taste all the happiness that the world can offer. Christine gets to be with the one she loves. Beautiful ending.
2 - The Phantom killed. Had he not been a liar, kidnapper, and prominently a killer, Christine might have learned to love him. But she did not, because she knew what it felt like to be lonely, and she never killed. She understands that Erik was never loved, which is why she shows him compassion, but she cannot understand his distorted soul. He wanted revenge on the world, and he killed innocent people. Christine knows what it is like to lose a loved one, and she could never learn to love someone who would cause others that same pain. Especially when he knew it was wrong. It is their hearts' intentions that set them apart, not faces.
I believe that people want Erik to be with Christine because he is so easy to relate to. Everyone has felt lonely or hurt. Raoul is not nearly as complex, yet he still messes up in the book and the ALW musical. Christine remembered Raoul after all their years apart. To me, that shows a stirring affection between the two. Following this, Raoul has to decide whether she's really worth it as he realizes what danger they are both in. In the end, he proves his love by willingly begging her (the Persian in Leroux's book) to let him die for her.
Christine shows Erik true compassion, yes. In the book, she lets him kiss her, showing him that she is sincerely going to stay. In ALW's musical, she kisses him, commiting herself to stay with him for Raoul's safety. They spend six months together in the musical, or twelve in the North American tour, or three in the movie, or two in Leroux's book. In the musical, they are almost certain that they are free, although Christine is still a little hesitant. They had time to get to know each other, and their engagement meant that much to Christine.
We see Raoul mess up, by not as impactful impulse in the novel, and by PONR in the musical, and he begs her to forgive him in the final lair. He is humbled.
Therefore, I like the ending and the story as a stand alone one. I don't really consider LND or any other sequels as THE sequels, but each as A sequel.