More often than not it feels as if less attention is given to the darker, more realistic side of love. Time and time again, there are tragic ends to even the happiest, most fairytale of romances, breaking the hearts of the fictional characters involved just as much, if not more, than the readers suffering in the heartache right alongside. Throughout a constantly evolving society with ever-changing beliefs and morals, there always seems to be a new high and a new low for people in love. Tragedy strikes in a variety of ways, be it physical, emotional or mental. Sometimes, an evolutionary process beyond its time begins to take shape right before the eyes of the readers while still giving a glimpse into what life was like in an era long since gone. Yet no matter the timeframe, the one constant that rings true is that love will not always overcome all.
It didn’t take reading past the title of “Country Lovers” to be instantly attracted to this short story. Just knowing it was a story of love and romance was enough of a draw to this literary piece. No matter how the story played out between these lovers, the feelings that would most certainly be evoked from such a powerful story raised curiosity to follow the tragic-turned-morbid love story of Paulus Eysendyck and Thebedi (Clugston, 2010, sec. 3.1.). Gordimer’s short romantic story plays to multiple aspects of the imagination. Was it possible when at a time racism was running rampant throughout the world for an interracial love to thrive in a society that back then would never be tolerant to such a seemingly outlandish idea? Even in the 21st century, further removed and evolved on racism than ever before, couples of varying races still face copious amounts of harsh criticisms and insults, sometimes even succumbing to society’s unofficial standards and expectations on love. In a 2005 Cosmopolitan article from Kyle Spencer, he details some starting revelations about the stigma and negative emotions geared toward all interracial relationships, black and white specifically,
“Intermarriages between all groups are on the rise, but the pairing that seems to push the most hot buttons is black/white. ‘Many Americans are still threatened when they see blacks and whites in love,’ says Debbie Magids, PhD, a New York psychologist who has counseled biracial couples. ‘Forty years ago, most people chose partners from the same race, so the idea that racial background shouldn't matter is still a relatively new, hard-to-accept concept for some people’” (Spencer, 2005). While a hard concept for some people to accept, both outside of the relationship and those inside of it having to adjust to the judgments made by those around them, actress Julia Stiles, who acted in the movie “Save the Last Dance” in 2001, believes that “"Probably the white person in such a relationship would have to overcompensate in terms of not being racist, and the black person in the relationship would have to prove to other black persons that he or she wasn't selling out” (Portman, 2001). It would rest in the hands of Paulus to make the necessary sacrifices to fulfill his commitment to Thebedi. Would he be able to block out society’s disdain for what would be deemed as an “inappropriate” relationship? Their love would e put to the ultimate test once the evolved from childhood crush and romance to a more realistic, adult love. Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” delves into the shackled mind of Mrs. Louise Mallard on her rollercoaster ride of emotions through a horror that every married person’s worst fear; the unexpected and untimely death of a spouse. While initially revealing Mrs. Mallard’s heart condition and the severity that came with it, the story starts out in any other expected way when one has to break the news to another of the death of a loved one. This unfortunate task rested on the shoulders of her sister, Josephine. As one would expect someone to take such awful news,...
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