Excerpts from May Sarton’s 1982 novel, “Anger”:
“ ‘I can’t understand,’ he said after a moment. ‘One minute you’re in a fury and the next you are telling me you love me. I can’t move that fast from one mood to another, Anna.’
" ‘People in love are vulnerable, Ned, and easily hurt. And,’ she went on very quietly, ‘people react differently to being hurt. I react with anger. You withdraw.’ “
“ ‘Everyone told me how powerful you are in your world…and that was reassuring. But now I have the feeling that in your mind there is no equality. You make me feel inferior. It’s like living with a governess. I can never be myself with you.’
" ‘What I don’t understand is why being a screaming hysteric is ‘being yourself.’ I am alienated by your tantrums. I can’t help it.’ ”
“ ‘I sometimes think you are an addict—as some people take to the bottle, you take to anger.’
" ‘But why should I?’
" ‘…How many times you come back from a concert furious at someone or something! I suppose it breaks all that tension you talk about, but it never occurs to you apparently, that other people bear the brunt of it….’ ”
" '...I thought I saw that for him deep feeling comes clothed in anger.'"
" 'I'm half Italian as you know and the Boston ethos gives me the creeps. It's so cramped, so the opposite of life-enhancing....But on the other hand the volubility, the quick changes of mood, the spontanaety just strike Ned as somehow faked or superficial.' "
“One thing was becoming clear. That anger was not one solid block or rock but several blocks that had little or no relation to each other. When Ned said, ‘You were always angry, even as a small child,’ he had been right. And that anger, those sudden explosions that broke out, seemingly about nothing, were what troubled her the most. They caused guilt and remorse. With Teresa she could laugh and say ‘I should be shot at dawn,’ but under the laughter there was real shame.”
“…she was becoming aware lately that it was not as much a question of taking blame as of understanding that below an extreme tempermental rift there was a less accessible war going on, and that was the crux of the matter. And what was that war all about?
"The masculine in each of them at war with the feminine in each of them?”
“ ‘I know it will sound crazy…but I think that way down deep, personal relations may have in them the roots of war and peace. I don’t know how to say this…but Ned, there’s so much anger and frustration everywhere. I think every time two people achieve communion, it helps.’ ”