Victoria Simpson
Okay, first off, I am so terribly sorry I was gone so long!  Life is insanity.  Secondly, I read but did not finish The Letters of Abelard and Heloise.  It was terrible.  That's a one and a half to two stars from me.  This review is actually a paper I had to write on it.  You'll get the gist of the book from reading it.

"The story of Abelard and Heloise is a tragic love story.  A scholar had a forbidden love affair with his student.  They were discovered.  Heloise goes to a convent and takes orders, and Abelard went on teaching until Heloise’s uncle betrayed him.  Abelard was castrated, and then he too took orders.  The letters between these two shows how their love continues even after these events.  However, their love affair became even more interesting due to their complicated gender dynamic.  At first glance, the dynamic between the two looks very traditional, but as one delves further into their discussions of God and love, the relationship begins to look like one of an odd power struggle.  
On the surface, Abelard looks like he was the dominant one in the relationship.  He was her tutor.  Abelard still acted like he was “in charge of her” when writing the letters to Heloise.  This particular passage is interesting to look at because it is passive-aggressive:
“So, if you still watch over your daughters as carefully as you did previously over your sisters, it is sufficient to make me believe that any teaching or exhortation from me now would be wholly superfluous.  If, on the other hand, in your humility you think differently, and you feel that you have need of my instruction and writings in matters pertaining to God, write to me what you want so that I may answer as God permits me” (56).
So, with that passage, there is evidence of Abelard trying to still control his pupil, who he beat when they were in the first flush of love, while he used God as an excuse for his continual attempts to control her.  In fact, Abelard’s “instructions of God” to Heloise all appear to be suspiciously controlling.  He also seemed agitated with her at times, such as the fifth letter.  
“The whole of your last letter is given up to a recital of your misery over the wrongs you suffer, and these, I note, are on four counts.....I have decided to answer you on each point in turn, no so much in self-justification as for your own enlightenment and encouragement, so that you will more willingly grant my own request when you understand that they have a basis of reason, listen to me more attentively on the subject of your own pleas as you find me less to blame in my own and be less ready to refuse me when you see me less deserving of reproach” (72).
Obviously, Heloise challenged the great Abelard’s power, and this was his rebuke.  Abelard was desperately trying to remain in charge of Heloise.  
However, Heloise’s actions put an interesting spin on this story, preventing it from looking like it was a traditional dynamic.  She began her letters by referring to him as “lord”, and said that he should not address her like one would an equal or superior (63).  In the same letter, the fourth letter to be exact, Heloise tried to passive-aggressively place herself in power.  She began discussing women and how they were the downfall of men.  Yet, the more she wrote about this, the more women start to look like they are the ones in control: “Only the woman he had sex with could infatuate Solomon, wisest of all men” (67).  While this is painting women as evil or temptresses, this also gives them power.  Heloise also posits herself as temptress of Abelard saying, “so that at least by long contrition I can make some amends for your pain form the wound inflicted on you” (67).  This implies she was the reason he was punished, and therefore, she is somewhat placing herself on the same plane as Delilah and others.  This puts her in a place of power over Abelard.  As this book continues on, there are other places where she seeks to instruct him and vice versa.
This book appears to be a book about a man and a woman who were love with each other and had a great love for God.  While they both were very devout to God, at points they seem to be using God and the Bible as weapons to gain control over the other instead of encouraging the other in their Christian path.  The two argued in the letters many times.  Their love does not seem so deep after a while.  They had a love of arguing with each other, they enjoyed their sex together, but did they really love each other?  Simply ending a letter with romantic phrases does not equal love.  Perhaps they had a rough sort of love, like an old married couple, but they lacked a great deal of tenderness that one would expect to see.  Either way, the relationship between the two of them has managed to last throughout time. "

I would like to point out also that in terms of gender dynamic, I loathe power struggles.  I prefer to recognize the strengths of each gender, and that the two work together.  This book does none of that.  They are both weak individuals trying to leech power from putting the other down.  Weakness in either gender is offensive to me because weakness in the individual is offensive to me.  

Anyways, maybe when I get more time, I can give you guys a happier review.
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