Saturday, 21 February 2015

Love Webs

Most main stream fiction has an element of romance to it. Boy meets girl or Girl meets boy and falls in love. However you then have the love webs that form when its not quite as simple as all that. I have observed three different types which I want to explore a little here.


Yes I am starting with this triangle between the human, the vampire and the werewolf. Its a classic where two boys are in love with the same girl and despite herself, she can't help having feelings for both. As this is a teen book the adult option of just having both of them is ruled out straight away. Trust me there are more than enough fiction out there that handles the adult option.

In a young adult world the choice is tougher. You have the werewolf who you could have a normal life with, have a family (I am ignoring the fact about the later "vampire baby" on purpose), and grow old with.

Or you have the romantism of marrying the eternally young vampire and becoming like him. Living an eternal life seeing everyone else around you grow old and die.

The main drama in this type of triangle is the two men fighting for the attention of the one woman, that the young men do not like each other and try to make the other look bad. Its entirely unfair on the poor girl especially if they are both hot.

What I didn't like about this triangle in particular was the way Bella kept insisting forever that Jacob was just her friend only then to admit that she was in love with him too. It seemed to me like she just wanted to have her cake and eat it, or was using the admission to keep a friend rather than lose him, which I don't deem as entirely fair on the friend.

Mortal Instruments

The romance structure here is different from the triangle above for two reason. One it involve more people and two the other two love interests are unspoken and there for ignored by the principle couple. Clary falls for Jace almost instantly and their burgeoning romance is very intense. She having lived a very normal life is being drawn into a dark world which Jace inhabits and she too should have been a part of if not for the actions of her mother. Coming off from this normal pairing, we have the unspoken loved interests.

On Clary's side we have her best friend Simon. A geeky young man that has never had the courage to Clary how he felt about her and she is completely oblivious to his attention because she herself has never seen him that way. A willful blindness as it were. Only when someone else comes into her life does he decide that perhaps its time to let her know but its already too late.

On Jace's side is Alec. Alec's attraction is unspoken because of the general taboo still existing about same sex romances. His attraction has never been noticed because its never been overt, its always been a secret and gone unnoticed by Jace because he doesn't think such a think possible. I think Cassandra Clare was very brave to include a gay character in teen fiction as it could so easily have gone bad. Not from the teen audience themselves who are far more open to the possibilities and acceptance of same gender feelings but from ultra conservative parents.

The crux of this web is though that the main characters are going to be together and eventually the two unrequited piners will drift away seeking to become part of their own pair rather that a spare wheel.

Anita Blake

Here we enter the world of the adult options. We have Anita Blake, Animator and her two beaus. Once again we have that vampire against werewolf dynamic with Jean-Claude the Vampire and Richard Zeeman the Werewolf. Although Anita often claims to want to be a one man woman in the first novels the fact is she develops feeling for both and ends up having a relationship with both of them.

However this is not the end because she ends up having meaningful relationships (and by meaningful I mean more than just sex) with several other men. At first its blamed on the metaphysics but eventaully Anita come to enjoy the pilgamist lifestyle and spends more time defending it as not being wrong.

All these romantic scenarions however bring up the old question of can you really love more than one person at once? I don't mean physically, you dirty minded people ;) but the connection of hearts that for most of our lives we are taught should be between just two people. Of course these days there is a far more flexible attitude to whether that be one man, one woman, two men or two women - which I have to say I am thankful to see. It means we're evolving. The exploration of love in fiction should continue. Books and movies are one of the ways we are first introduced to the ideas of love and relationships, no matter who they are between.

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