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Name: Linda | Gender: Female | Posts: 147 | Roses: 10
Old 10-31-2014 at 12:50 PM
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Did Erik really believe his kiss could kill?  Post [1]


I brought this up on another forum I belong to and thought I'd bring it up here as well.

Near the end of the novel, Erik relates the following to Daroga:

"Yes, she was waiting for me...waiting for me erect and alive, a real, living bride...as she hoped to be saved....And, when I...came forward, more timid than...a little child, she did not run away...no, no...she stayed...she waited for me....I even believe...daroga...that she put out her forehead...a little...oh, not much...just a little...like a living bride.... And... and...I...kissed her!...I!...I!...I!...And she did not die!..."

The way I first interpreted this passage was that Erik looked at himself as the bridegroom and so, planted a chaste kiss on Christine's forehead. I'm not sure that's correct though because I looked through the on line version of the book and the closest man to a bridegroom, Raoul, does not kiss Christine on the forehead. The only one who does this is Erik.

I have kissed my children on the forehead in the past when telling them good night, but they have never kissed me on the forehead in return. I thought there might be a mother angle there since Erik mentions his mother, but that doesn't fit at all. I know there are some history buffs out there. Does anyone know if kissing the forehead of the bride was Victorian custom?

In addition, Erik says that he kissed Christine and she did not die. Now this is a very sad part of the story so I can't believe that Leroux put this in as proof Erik was exaggerating. It also doesn't make sense to me that he'd put it out there as a sarcastic remark to Daroga. either

Was Erik really under the impression he had the power to kill with a kiss?
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Name: Chiara | Gender: a young lady | Age: 20 | Posts: 103 | Roses: 10
Old 10-31-2014 at 10:23 PM
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 Post [2]


I rather assume he thought she might die from shock or terror.


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Name: Linda | Gender: Female | Posts: 147 | Roses: 10
Old 10-31-2014 at 11:17 PM
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 Post [3]


I needed to rephrase my response. I think what you're saying is that Erik believed his kiss could kill.
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Old 11-01-2014 at 11:54 AM
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 Post [4]


Well, not his kiss exactly, but rather Christine's reaction to his kiss would kill her. Like the shock she would have had. You make it sound like his kiss would kill like poison.


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Name: Linda | Gender: Female | Posts: 147 | Roses: 10
Old 11-03-2014 at 02:09 AM
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 Post [5]


What difference does it make if the kiss is a poisonous one or one that causes medical shock? In either case, death results from Christine's physical reaction to it.

I did not have a poisonous kiss in mind when I asked the question, but I can see where Erik might have viewed his kiss as a poisonous one. He saw himself as made of death from head to toe. Not only in looks but actions as well.
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Old 11-03-2014 at 02:33 PM
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 Post [6]


No, I didn't mean it that way. If I just could explain it in a better way...
I don't think he thought his kiss - the kiss itself - could kill, but Christine would die from shock, which would be a reaction to his kiss, but not from the kiss itself. The same would work for any other kind of contact. So, he was not talking about his kiss, but about Christine who was so steady.


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Name: Linda | Gender: Female | Posts: 147 | Roses: 10
Old 11-03-2014 at 03:08 PM
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 Post [7]


I could agree with this if he hadn't had any physical contact with her.
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Old 11-03-2014 at 07:38 PM
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 Post [8]


Well, they HAD physical contact when he kissed her. And I think he was surprised about Christine, being so steady and "brave" to not die form his kiss. I don't think he was surprised that his kiss wasn't deadly.


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Name: Linda | Gender: Female | Posts: 147 | Roses: 10
Old 11-04-2014 at 12:08 AM
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 Post [9]


I'm going to quote what you said earlier. Maybe I'm not understanding your meaning:

Quote:
I don't think he thought his kiss - the kiss itself - could kill, but Christine would die from shock, which would be a reaction to his kiss, but not from the kiss itself. The same would work for any other kind of contact. So, he was not talking about his kiss, but about Christine who was so steady.
I understand your meaning when you say that Erik didn't think his kiss could kill, but instead Christine would die from shock as a reaction to the kiss.

However, you then went on to say "the same would work for any other kind of contact".

He's already had all kinds of physical contact with her, holding her while they were on Cesar, making her scratch him, leading her into his house, taking her for walks, touching her when he chloroformed her. She did not act terrified. She mentions the smell of death, probably from the chloroform and mentions his hands are cold and bony.

So when you say the same would work for any other kind of contact, what do you mean?
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Old 11-04-2014 at 11:28 AM
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 Post [10]


Yes, but a kiss is more. He has always been afraid of such a thing. Everything else was sometimes violence and sometimes normal contact and he didn't really notice most of it as physical contact. But he realized the kiss in a completely different way. He then though "I am kissing her. Touching her." And he thought "Hat if she can't stand it? What if she'll die?" but she didn't die. I don't think he thought much about their contact first. I mean, she didn't even know what he looked like at first. And he was very angry when she found out what he looked like. He didn't have time and space to think about such things.


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