OF THE BABY NAME CHRISTINE
Christine is the unlikely name of the spooky vintage auto in Stephen King’s 1983 horror novel, Christine, which was made into a movie of the same name that year, starring an uncredited 1958 Plymouth Fury (get it?) with amazing powers and a bad attitude in the title role. Christine becomes the beloved (and we mean beloved) possession of the class nerd, Arnie, with some unexpected results in the evolvement of his own personality. (Somehow, this doesn’t seem so farfetched in the 21st century, with the advent of such reality TV shows as “My Strange Addiction.) As Arnie goes about restoring her, he begins to become a “cool guy” – the horn rimmed glasses go, the clothes are sharper, and he’s just turning into a rocking guy, getting the pretty girl and having all the fun. But Christine is just like any high-maintenance dame – she wants all the attention to herself alone. So Christine begins to exhibit some of her nastier qualities – such as speed-killing, asphyxiating, crushing, choking, ramming – all followed by the great trick of self-repair. Christine is such a pretty name – it just makes us wonder if some pretty girl so named did Mr. King wrong in his youth.
Christine is the heroine of The Phantom of the Opera, a 1910 novel by Gaston Leroux, much better known in its incarnation as the hugely successful Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, first opening in 1986. Christine is a beautiful soprano at the Paris Conservatory, still mourning her beloved father, who used to tell her fairy tales, among them, the “Angel of Music”. Erik, the ghostly, disfigured “Phantom of the Opera”, having fallen in love with her, presents himself to her as that very angel, and begins tutoring her. Under his care, she begins to regain the passion she once had, not only for life, but for music. While she is in love with her fiancé, Raoul, she is enchanted by Erik, cleaving to him with a love that is nonetheless tainted by fear, and she is tormented by the pull in two directions. With the improvement in her singing voice, Christine eventually becomes a triumph at a gala at the Opera House. Shortly thereafter, the phantom, maddened by jealousy over her love for Raoul, captures her and tries to impose his will upon her, but Christine is moved by compassion for him. Tenderly, she kisses him, and in so doing, banishes the resentments and fears that have plagued him – he releases her to return to Raoul. It is evidence of the expansiveness of Christine’s own heart that she is able to cry with him before she leaves, and he stays behind to die. They will be singing “The Music of the Night” separately.