The Collector Author John Fowles English Literature Essay

Im not a big fan of reading to be honest. I havent read many books. Since I got in the 10th grade I actively started reading. It was mandatory and it was also part of the exams program so I had to. The books that I have read were mostly for Dutch. I had to read 5 books. I’ve read books like Gouden ei, Turks fruit, Het leven is verrukkeluk etc.


I have chosen to read the book The millstone. I have a few reasons why I have chosen this book instead of another one. The first reason is because of the title. The millstone is a strange and unusual title. It immediately got my attention. Then I started to read a short description of the book. It said that I was about a girl who got pregnant…. And it sounded interesting. So I said to myself sure.

Bibliographical entry

Title of the book: The collector

Author: John Fowles

First published by Jonathan Cape, London 1963


The story is about a young man named Frederick Clegg. He works as clerk in a city hall and collects butterflies in his spare time. Clegg is obsessed with a girl named Miranda Grey. She is a art student at the Slade School of Fine arts. He admires her from a distance but is unable to make any contact with her, because of his extreme lack of social skills. One, day he wins a large prize in the football pools. This allows him to stop working and buy a house in the countryside. He feels lonely and wants to be with Miranda. Clegg decides to add her to his collection of pretty objects. He hopes that if he kept her captive long enough she will grow to love him.

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After careful preparations, he kidnaps Miranda by drugging her with Chloroform and locks her in his basement. When she wakes up she confront him with what he has done. Clegg is embarrassed and he promises her that he will let her go after a month. He also promises to treat her with respect and wont sexually molest her and that he will shower her with gifts and presents on 1 condition. She can’t leave the basement.

During her captivity Miranda kept a diary. In it she writes about her previous life before she was held captive.

Clegg scares Miranda and she does not understand him at the beginning. At first, she thinks that he has sexual motives for abducting her, but later as his true character begin to reveal she realise that it is not true. Miranda starts to have some pity for Clegg, because of his hopeless obsession with her. Clegg tells Miranda that his first name is Ferdinand.

Miranda tries to escape several times but failed. Clegg was always able to stop her. Miranda also tries to seduce him in order to convince him to let her go, but this only resulted in him becoming confused and angry. When Clegg refuses to let her go, she starts to fantasize about killing him. After a failed attempt, she thought that killing Clegg would lower her to his level. She refrained from any further attempts. Before Miranda can escape again, she becomes very ill and dies.

Clegg found out that Miranda died. At first, he wanted to commit suicide, but after reading her diary in which she wrote that she never loved him, he decides that he is not responsible and is better off without her. The book ends with his announcement that he plans to kidnap another girl.

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Bibliographical entry

Title of the book: The millstone

Author: Margaret Drabble

First published by Weidenfield & Nicolson 1965


The story takes place in London in Cambridge in the 1960s. It’s about a 19 year-old girl named Rosamund Stacey.

The main character is Rosamund Stacey

Other important characters are the Beatrice ( the sister of Rosamund), Lydia (friend of Rosamund), Joe and Roger, George.


The most important events are that Rosamund got pregnant and she hasn’t told the father George, the family and friends except Beatrice and Lydia.

Yes the life of the Rosamund changes.

Both Joe and Roger think that she is sleeping with one another so neither one of them presses her to have sex.

In a pub Rosamund meets George Matthews. He is newsreader for BBC radio. She feels attracted to him and they end up in her flat and eventually have sex. Rosamund… When she found out that she is pregnant, a whole new world opens for her. While she decides not to tell George and her parents in order not to upset them, she did tell her sister, Beatrice in the hopes she will get some moral support

First personal reaction

The book is very interesting. You can relate to the events that happen in the book. The story is convincing and has a deep core.

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