I took a break from analyzing Fifty Shades of Grey but now I’ll continue on.
Here are the previous entries: The not so sexy side of Fifty Shades of Grey–Part One, Part Two Boundary Violations, Part Three–Control, Part Four–Lack of Consideration, and Part Five–Blinded by Sex
All quotes are from James, E L (2011-05-25). Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, Book 1). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Throughout Fifty Shades of Grey, Ana repeatedly decides that she wants to give up on Christian because he’s too controlling, demanding, crazy, etc…. She even tells him that she’s done or that she needs time to think, but he does not respect her wishes. Instead, he invades her privacy and bombards her with attention and gifts. This is typical of a narcissist. If they keep you flattered and distracted, it’s easier for them to push you into staying in a relationship you don’t want to be in. They keep you from having alone time to think or a chance to say no. When I was involved with a narcissistic sociopath, there were multiple times that I asked him to stop calling me or to leave me alone. I told him I wanted to end the relationship. He ignored that boundary and called me again like nothing had happened and I hadn’t said a word. Christian Gray does this to Ana as well.
At one point, they are e-mailing and Christian tends to answer immediately as though he is just waiting for her to reply. She tells him “Okay, I’ve seen enough. It was nice knowing you” (p. 188). So what does he do? The lunatic sneaks into her bedroom! Ana states, “I don’t know why I glance up, maybe I catch a slight movement from the corner of my eye, I don’t know, but when I do, he’s standing in the doorway of my bedroom, watching me intently.”(p. 189). Isn’t he sweet when he says “Well, I thought I should come and remind you how nice it was knowing me”(p. 191)? Christian shows up for sex, forcefully, then leaves, and Ana is still miserable. She repeatedly reminds herself that he is not what she is looking for and he doesn’t want the same things he wants, yet she is still attracted. She goes back and forth between wanting him, (a normal version of him,) and being repulsed.
Ana goes back to Christian’s home to discuss their potential “relationship” contract and she states “I’m feeling railroaded. I take another large sip of wine and treat myself to another oyster (p. 220). She feels like she is being pushed to make a fast decision. Narcissists push you so you don’t have time to really consider your options. They give you ultimatums and tell you if you don’t jump in as fast as they want, you will lose them. When my ex sociopath was trying to push me to marry him six weeks after we started dating, he told me if I refused, he would move on to another woman. I should have said “buh bye,” but instead I fell for the trap. But of course, narcissists and sociopaths are charming and convincing. As Ana says at one point, “he’s charming the pants off my dad … like he did you, my subconscious snaps at me. His power knows no bounds” (p. 243).
And here’s something else that’s interesting: Christian was berating Ana early on for getting drunk and making bad decisions. Yet, knowing this, he keeps giving her more wine while he’s trying to push her into a quick decision about the BDSM contract. She even realizes what he’s doing and says “Christian rises gracefully and collects the bottle. He fills my cup. Is he getting me tipsy? I eye him suspiciously” (p. 253). She should be suspicious! A few pages later, she says “My brain is beginning to fog … hmm, alcohol” (p. 258). Christian knows what he is doing. Ana asks him “Did you get me tipsy on purpose?” and he replies “Yes” (p. 271).
Christian outright tells Ana what most sociopaths don’t specifically say, although it’s true: “I like the control it gives me, Anastasia. I want you to behave in a particular way, and if you don’t, I shall punish you, and you will learn to behave the way I desire. I enjoy punishing you (p. 287). Yes, they do feel this way. They might not typically say it, but they live it.
In chapter 18, Ana decides to visit her mother so she can have some time alone to reflect on the situation and be true to herself. Christian becomes furious. Narcissists and sociopaths love to keep their victims away from other people because other people will see through what is going on and warn the victims. A sociopath cannot have that happening! When she leaves for her visit, he stalks her to find out what flight she is on, upgrades her seat to first class and buys an empty seat next to her which leaves her nervous and wondering if he will show up. He doesn’t. But, soon after Ana arrives to visit her mother, she and her mother go out to eat…and guess who’s there? Yep. Sociopath Christian. This isn’t romance. This is “love-bombing” and violating boundaries. So, instead of spending time with her mother–when she might clear her mind and get good advice, Ana ends up in bed in Christian’s hotel room. Then, he takes her parasailing the next morning. Finally, he returns her to her mother’s house…without even asking for directions. “Of course he doesn’t ask me for my mother’s address. He knows it already, stalker that he is. When he pulls up outside the house, I don’t comment. What’s the point?” (p. 459).
Well, so much for visiting someone other than Christian…. Christian makes sure he is dominating Ana’s time, (and getting her tipsy,) so she has no chance to be alone or be around outside influences that might help her escape Christian’s thrall and enforce her personal integrity and boundaries. He barges into every corner of her life and uses his wealthy to upgrade her plane tickets, follow her to her short break from him, get her in his hotel room, take her out for the day. It seems like Ana barely got to see her mother…which was the point of the trip!