Can I confess something? I originally planned these features on my favorite scenes from novels in order to dog modern romance novels. I wanted to pit the language up side-by-side as a way to show how awesome classical novels were and point out the cheesiness of modern romances.
However, I remembered that most of the time when I did things like this as a teacher, the experiment would backfire. People tend to read what they want to read and see what they want to see. My showing them the light of truth won’t exactly convert Nicholas Sparks fans into fans of the classics. And you know what? That’s okay. (I have to pick on someone.)
I’m certainly not a fan of saying, “Hey! As long as you’re reading! Who cares what you read?” I think novels really can shape who you are. I also think reading works that are challenging is a truly great exercise for the mind. I don’t believe that reading the same kinds of formulaic novels repeatedly (*cough* Sparks *cough, cough*) can widen your world view or allow you to see compassion and empathy for a variety of people. However, I do believe that reading should be enjoyable. And you should read things that you like to read. And you know what? I like an occasional cheesy romance novel, too. It’s my reading equivalent of watching While You Were Sleeping with Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman.
So, there you go. My big confession.
Let’s conclude this romantic love fest with my favorite “Happily Ever After” stories. I’m just going to highlight a few couples and then show you my favorite “She said, YES!” moments.
1. Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester: Seriously, one of my favorite romances. These two love each other despite flaws and hardship. I love that Jane and Mr. Rochester only end up together once the tables are completely turned. Also, if you are JE fans, you have to see this: Texts from Jane Eyre.
2. Laura Ingalls and Almanzo Wilder: My favorite childhood romance. I have a couple of favorite scenes from these two. 1) The time Almanzo tried to rest his arm around Laura for a little cuddle action on their Sunday afternoon buggy ride, and Laura didn’t like it, so she “accidentally” bumped the horse whip, causing Barnum to freak out. Awesomeness. I love how Almanzo drives across America to get back to Laura on Christmas Eve, and Carrie had made an extra candy bag, and Almanzo comes in the house and kisses Laura on the face. So great. I especially love at the end when Laura walks into her new home and sees all of her things from her trunk placed about the house – her own red-checkered tablecloth on the kitchen table.
3. I have two favorite Jane Austen loves: Edward and Elinor from Sense and Sensibility and Emma and Mr. Knightley from Emma. These two couples are my favorite because in both instances, they were dear friends above all. They also have great proposals in the movie adaptations:
Here’s Edward and Elinor’s:
And here’s Emma and Mr. Knightley’s:
Do you have favorite literary couples?