Pride, Prejudice, & Deceit

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the love triangle trope is as popular now as it was when it was first invented. No matter how many versions, how many different settings, and situations—it never grows old. We like it when the heroine feels torn between two different men and must make a heart-wrenching decision. Jane Austen was perhaps the queen of the love triangle since it featured so often in her novels. My favorite of hers is in Pride and Prejudice, because the Lizzy, Darcy, and Wickham are so closely linked. The introductions of Darcy and Wickham propels Lizzy’s story forward, and it’s a catalyst for Lizzy’s prejudice against Darcy and preference for Wickham. Continue reading

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Heart vs. Head in Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights is essentially a story about a girl who has to decide between her heart and her head. Catherine grew up with Heathcliff, who is so much like Catherine there are multiple times in the novel where they yell that the other is a part of themselves. Catherine famously declares she “is Heathcliff.” She says “whatever souls are made of [Heathcliff’s] and [hers] are the same.” In addition, when Catherine dies, Heathcliff tells Nelly, “I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul.” It’s all romantic and makes the reader—perhaps a bit guiltily—swoon. Continue reading

Collapsing a Triangle

I’ll be honest. I took way too long to settle on a topic for this issue, “Love Triangles.”

I sat and stared at my blank computer screen, racking my brains for something—anything!—yet coming up empty. Finally, I complained to a dear friend (and fellow Femnista writer). “Where have all the good love triangles gone? Why, oh why, can’t I think of one?”

Her response was immediate: “Sense and Sensibility! Your favorite Austen story!”

And lo, out of darkness, there appeared a great light… in my brain, that is. “Oh.” Continue reading

A Siren Call: Love in The Pirates of the Caribbean

Have you ever wondered why a heroine makes the romantic choice she does, because you would have chosen someone else? That difference of opinion has often happened to me over the years, but never more than in the first Pirates of the Caribbean. Seated in the theater, my hands in a popcorn bucket and eyeballs glued to the screen, I knew if I had been lucky enough to be in Elizabeth’s shoes, I would have picked not the dashing and romantic Will Turner, but the witty and reliable James Norrington! Continue reading

For the Love of a Musketeer

The BBC’s take on this classic work of fiction by Alexandre Dumas captivated me almost from the start with its gorgeous cinematography and costumes, historical time period, and strong bonds of brotherhood that make for interactions both poignant and hilarious. Most importantly for this article, however, are the abundance of romances it gives audiences to fall in love with, all of them playing out in the form of triangles. Divided into three distinct types, the showrunners cleverly wove each one into the fabric of the show. Continue reading

Nonsensical Geometry: The Two Love Triangles of Jane Eyre

The central romance in Jane Eyre resolves happily. (Do I need to mark that as a spoiler? Surely not! Surely, if you haven’t read Charlotte Bronte’s triumph of a novel by this time, you’ve at least watched a movie version?) Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre overcome every obstacle, including those within themselves, to meet as equals at last in the eyes of all, marry, produce offspring, and live happily ever after. Good for them. Continue reading

An Unconventional Life

The particular relationship between Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire, her husband William, Duke of Devonshire and Lady Bess Foster has fascinated historians for generations. While married women often had to tolerate their husband’s mistresses, it was unheard of to place her in the same house as the wife. The scandal was even more juicy because Georgiana and Bess were best friends… or could they have been something more? Continue reading

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

One reading subject dominated my growing-up period–The Hardy Boys. Most little girls I knew were reading either Nancy Drew, which I get because my mother is a huge fan even today, or Goosebumps, which was not up my alley. No, my passion was to be one Frank and Joe’s “chums,” off on crazy and reckless adventures with them. Continue reading

Fight the Nothing: The NeverEnding Story

Experiencing stories not only exercises a child’s imagination, it also progresses their emotional development. When a child reads (or watches) a tale that touches them, they can learn more about the world around them and how to deal with the things in it. Particularly the difficult things. Many children’s novels do this. One of them is The NeverEnding Story. It serves an important purpose by providing kids with a fantastical way to process true life problems. Continue reading