In Maurice we see love and hate as similar; in his jealousy, in his obsession. While in Sarah there is that leap of faith which is accompanied by peace and a translation of her love for Bendrix as a love for God. The irony and truth behind these two opposite realizations of love within the novel is what makes it realistic. Even the sense of something mystical within relationships, even the presence of actual miracles as displayed in the novel. Relationships hold this transformative quality and because of this emotions are never solely defined under one context.
Within these two sets of belief, that of a believer and someone who hesitatingly concludes there is a God and looks upon Him with hatred making him feel helpless. This hatred however resonates with a sense of fear because he is afraid to take a leap without certainty of the profane. In this passage he mentions that “one cannot love and do nothing.” It is in physicality that Maurice’s love for Sarah blossoms and without the physicality of it he is left without certainty. He is left with something he doubts. In the novel love is seen as both a profane and sacred but not necessarily at the same time.
This brings forth the question of the possibility of love without hate. Would love still be love if it were not opposite or even combined with hate? Hope without despair? It seems that one chooses to hope because bot everyone seems able to do it. What makes it more interesting is that these two perspectives come from a singular relationship. In Sarah’s case there is a sense of Marcel’s “I believe in Thee for us”. In loving Maurice she found hope from this love. Maurice on the other hand finds the opposite to be true, he is robbed of Sarah as a reality and so there is no hope. However in the end this sense is something Maurice chooses to believe in order to keep her with him. This sense
It would be easy to simply say that hatred closes us off from God but in the novel what love is constantly interchanged with hate. In Maurice’s hope that Sarah would be his he is left disappointed because of the physicality of his expectations and the condition that to be is she must leave Henry. As Marcel points out this kind of hope is not truly hope. In the end however in his despair of losing Sarah to death Bendrix begrudgingly believes in God for the sake of not losing Sarah totally. Just as love is interchangeable with hate nothing and both need each other to exist. Sarah’s hope for Maurice is dependent on the despair she experiences in leaving him, in acknowledging that she is not the best for him.
In the numerous ins and out of their relationship love is used as a means to see God whether willingly or begrudgingly in the other. In a way these realizations are learned instead of overtly shown. In a way Hick’s theodicy is shown here through a medium most familiar to us, human relationships. In the novel God would be absent for either Maurice or Sarah if they did not have each other. In other people we find reason to despair and to hope. Love and ultimately God is found through hate and love, loss and suffering, despair and hope.