Warning! Spoilers for both Fifty Shades of Grey and Tess of the d’Urbervilles (but not past where I have posted my chapter by chapter.)
I’ve recently posted the chapter of Tess of the d’Urbervilles where Angel Clare suffers a night terror. I thought it was interesting that both Angel and Christian suffer night terrors, and that Erika, being a student of Tess, would add it into her own book.
The night terrors experienced by Angel and Christian are quite different. Christian’s come from his own childhood experiences while Angel night terror was caused by Tess’ past. But the significance of sleep in Tess and in Fifty Shades of Grey can’t be ignored. Bad things happen to Tess when she sleeps – driving into a horse, having her virginity stolen and then being carried off by her sleeping husband to a coffin.
Meanwhile in Fifty Shades of Grey, Christian has spent his life sleeping alone, in part due to his night terrors. Interestingly, he finds that sleeping with Ana keeps them at bay. But his night terrors sometimes do involve Ana, usually in a negative way, such as thinking she had died. Just as the night is not always friendly to Tess, it’s also the time of day when the incident causing the breakup of Christian and Ana too.
Other times they come when she has left their bed:
This is after his confessions in Fifty Shades Darker. Christian’s nightmare was that Ana left. He ends up so thankful she is there that he wants to have sex (no, Christian doesn’t actually need an excuse.) However, Ana’s not so eager and Christian has to use his sexpertise and give up a piece of himself to change her mind, allowing her to touch him. This scene is one that brings Christian and Ana together, instead of pulling them apart like it did to Angel and Tess.
While E L James may have gotten the night terrors from Tess of the d’Urbervilles, either consciously or subconsciously she does it with her own flare. I think many have underestimated E L James as an author.