The character of Anna, in Act II of the The Jeweler’s Shop, displays the contemporary understanding of love and relationships; no doubt men and women have always had to dwell in the “borderline between selfishness and unselfishness” (p. 49, Ignatius edition) and make do, ascending to authentic love or descending deeper into the narrowness of their grasping as they make choices over time. But we have discovered new rationalizations for the descent and new excuses for failures to ascend.
Anna expresses it this way:
“Isn’t what one feels most strongly the truth?” (56) or again
“is not ove a matter of the senses and of a climate
which unites and makes two people walk
in the sphere of their feeling? – this is the whole truth.”
Love is a matter of feeling; indeed truth is a matter of feeling. If feeling is absent, love can not be. As a result, Adam observes in act ii that love cannot bear the pressures of reality.
And truth also must conform to or flow from personal feeling. Guilt can little make its way into our consciousness if this is so.