Read any of the romantic classics and also you’ll find it’s nearly all the time the usual story, writes Rachel Feder in “The Darcy Myth: Jane Austen, Literary Heartthrobs, and the Monsters They Taught Us to Love” (Quirk).
It almost all the time goes, “Girl meets boy. Boy creates a way of mystery and connection between them. Boy is conceited and judgmental of others. Boy and girl are thrown together, repeatedly, by likelihood. Boy and girl consummate their crush, and girl thinks it’s the start of something.”
But, Feder asserts, “Darcy isn’t real, that guy was only a horny jerk, and that is the top.”
An Associate Professor of English and Literary Arts on the University of Denver, Feder teaches a course on Jane Austen and, every 12 months, she says she ruins “Pride and Prejudice” for her students.
“I don’t mean the best way you may, say, damage a silk shirt by chasing a cat right into a juniper bush,” she writes. “I mean by mentioning how literature trains women to spend their time changing assholes into sensitive men as an alternative of overthrowing the patriarchy.”
She might need some extent.
From the Duke of Hastings in “Bridgerton” (which is “super complicit on this bull—t”) to Connor Waldron in “Normal People” and Chuck Bass in “Gossip Girl,” there are a succession of leading men that every one too often fit the bill.
She even cites the “intense lumberjack appeal” of the Beast in “Beauty and the Beast.” “We’re not only taught to like a beast, but told from a young age that turning a beast right into a prince is precisely what love does, and what love is about,” writes Feder.
It’s a standard fallacy repeated time and time again, argues Feder, and one which so many are vulnerable to.
“We expect that if we’re sufficiently docile, patient, charming, useful, and/or conciliatory, we are able to melt the guts of any standoffish love interest, turning them into a loyal and attentive suitor.
Why will we imagine, against all evidence, that somebody who’s continuously low-key negging us and only texts back after midnight is suddenly going to show into Mr. Darcy?
“We expect this due to f—ing Darcy, that’s why! Literature is filled with lies.”