In The Wings of a Dove, the topic of money and its power over humanity arises time and time again. How far will someone go for money? In the case of The Wings of the Dove we see that people will sell their friends, their boyfriend and even their own daughters to make a buck. I found this quality about Kate extremely disturbing in the book and this made it hard to sympathize with her character; however, the movie helped me to see where Kate was coming from. At 16:20 Kate has recently learned that her Aunt Maud disapproves of the one she loves and she has been forbidden to converse with Lionel. It is at this point in the movie we witness Kate curled up in a fetal position on her bed, releasing meek cries of despair.
It is at this time that we can see how desperately Kate wants to escape her situation, the same way her father and her sister desperately want to escape their own situation and poverty due to the meager amounts allocated to them from their mother’s will. Lionel, Kate and Kate’s father are all in the same boat- they do not have any money, this causes them to act desperately and to look inwardly which forces them to use things and people to make ends. In the book we hardly hear Kate’s father speak about anyone expect himself:
“It’s just your honour that I appeal to. The only way to play the game IS to play it. There’s
no limit to what your aunt can do for you.” (James 7)
We see that most of the statements that Lionel makes in the book correlate directly with himself. How can he get what he wants? How can he win?
Kate’s father is always using words such as, “what your aunt can do for you,” “you should be thanking me,” he is constantly thinking how he can win at the expense of others, this attitude may have rubbed off on Kate as well. In many books, money is described as the root of all evil – another book says that the love of money brings a snare to all men. The Wings of a Dove epitomizes those statements as we see Kate’s father sells his daughter to Aunt Maud, and Kate sellsout her best friend Milly, to gain monetary pleasures. Kate could have run away with Lionel at the beginning of the novel, but she did not because of money. Aunt Maud could have blessed the union between Kate and Lionel, but she did not because of money. Money, money, money. Kate could have even asked Milly to sponsor her and Lionel, but she did not and why this is, is open to interpretation. At the beginning of the novel, would Kate have been happy with some of Milly’s money – enough to live comfortably? Or did she want all of it? This novel certainly brings up the sad question: How far will people go for money, and the answer is far indeed.