The Apple Tree
Ashurst unconsciously falls in love with the simple country girl Megan just because he finds her pray for him and kiss his pillow secretly. Although he knows that Megan is “lack of intellectual personality”, and is not in the same class with him, he promises her that he would marry her. He makes this decision just because of his impulse. Then he leaves Megan. He meets with Stella who is also very beautiful and is well-matched with him in social and economic status. He quickly falls in love with her. He regrets what he has promised to Megan. After repeating mental struggle, he chooses Stella and cruelly abandons Megan. One day when he revisits the place where he met Megan unconsciously with his wife, he found there very familiar. And he heard the news that Megan had been dead because of frustrated love.
The Apple Tree has shown a romantic realistic inclination. In this novel, Galsworthy tells us the love tragedy between Ashurst and Megan. It is found that the origin of the tragedy is the unequal capitalist society. Ashurst has dual personality. On one hand, he is selfish, irresponsible, and eager to defend for himself and deceives himself as well as others; on the other hand, he indulges himself in pity and chivalry.
And a sudden ache beset his heart; he had stumbled on just one of those past moments in his life, whose beauty and rapture he had failed to arrest, whose wings had fluttered away into the unknown; he had stumbled on a buried memory, a wild sweet time, swiftly choked and ended.
This work by John Galsworthy (pictured) is surely one of the greatest short stories in the English language. It sensitively and artistically delineates the deep feelings, the rapture, the ecstasy, the tragedy, and the compromises and social strictures that surround erotic and romantic love. I think it also says something new to modern men and women who live in a world of cheapened sex, who may not yet understand how deeply Cupid’s arrow may—and indeed, ought to—pierce. (Kevin Alfred Strom)
- THE APPLE TREE