Because I am a mope and today is Valentine’s Day, I have listed down 3 romantic classics that are very much anti-thesis of romance, at least for me.
And because, I have no romantic gift-ideas or dinner-ideas to offer, take it this as a lovely warning: do not gift your beloved the limited edition of any these books on 14th February.
Book: Jane Eyre
Author: Charlotte Bronte
Genre: Classics, Romance, Fiction
Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life.
Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle.
Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard. But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall.
Mr. Darcy kicked it off. Edward Rochester carried it forward, only the baton to be picked-up by god-awful Christian Grey.
“What it is?” you may ask.
This is the trope of alpha-but-sourpuss men, flaunting attitude of sun-shines-out-of-their-you-know-what and harboring dark secrets in their bosoms.
Men to whom, the mousy heroines have been falling for eternally. Just like, our girl Jane Eyre did.
Oh, I know poor, little Jane is determined, wanted to make something of herself, and had steely resolve.
But what do you make of a woman who remained in love with a man- who locked his batshit-crazy first wife in the attic and waited till last to spill the beans to his newly-found lady-love?
Jane Eyre is a classic on its own merit but the romantic angle is so convoluted, that (for me) it is a major deal-breaker for Valentine’s Day.
Book: The Fountainhead
Author: Ayn Rand
Genre: Fiction, Philosophy, Classics
This instant classic is the story of an intransigent young architect, his violent battle against conventional standards, and his explosive love affair with a beautiful woman who struggles to defeat him.
I have a theory why The Fountainhead is so much revered in India while the wild, wild West has ultimately turned its face away from Ayn Rand and her school-of-thought ( May be, I should write a full-fledged post on it someday).
However, what made The Fountainhead such a rotten book of learning about man-to-woman relationship is –
Howard Roark raped Dominique Francon, which she admitted as a rape, and still clutched to him in a ‘perversely’ loving way.
The under-current misogyny, the violence (the mental one) and bizarreness of the relationship between Howard and Dominique made it very opposite to the spirit of Valentine’s Day.
Tip: Instead of reading the lives of botched-up architects, spend this day better by taking a heritage walk together in your city.
Author: Daphne du Maurier
Genre: Romance, Classics, Mystery
The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage… It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives…
Ta-da, drumroll. This is my romantic-mood-spoiler-on-Valentine’s-Day-number-3.
What is that shitty husband and classic love-story? No, seriously I would like to know the co-relation between the two.
Like Rochester from Jane Eyre, Maxim De Winter of Rebecca is another cold, manipulative first-class liar and a complete pain-in-the-ass.
He swept a gullible girl off her feet without giving her much time to ponder over ‘the marriage thing’, and hurled her into the sickening estate of Manderly and in the companionship of rowdy Mrs. Danvers.
It has all the psychological means like gaslighting; Stockholm syndrome, that the modern psychiatrists (or psychologists?) advise us to steer clear of.