Relationships in Literature

Something I’ve always wondered whenever I had read a book during my English Literature courses or even some books I bought. Almost every relationship between a man and a woman in literature has one cheating on the other. I understand this can make for interesting conflicts, but after a while I began to wonder why relationships aren’t given a positive perspective? Why is it that I haven’t found a novel where someone may be trying to seduce the protagonist, but she resists and refuses to betray the person she loves. I use “She” on purpose because the books I’ve read seem to portray the unfaithful partner as female most of the time. Whether this is a coincidence (for some reason I doubt this) or if it just happened to be that way, I can’t help but wonder why?

Working on my own novel, I came across this situation as well. I considered a few of the relationships in my novel and wondered if an affair would make sense. But I couldn’t see it making any sense or being necessary at all. But the thought process did help me consider a new use of relationships in literature. I began to consider shaping the plot line to throw in disagreements and conflicts between two lovers and write about how they can maintain their own beliefs, but still find a way to compromise because they love each other. Personally I would prefer to read about how two people fight to keep their relationship alive against anything that may come between them.

There appears to be so much individualism when reading about relationships. I’ve often read stories where the protagonist is often written as though they were alone and their partner was just another person. In some situations this makes sense, but in my experience, being in a relationship means being able to rely on the other to help and being willing to help them as well. In a way, you could say it’s like almost being one person, sharing struggles and joys and working together to make each other happy.

Maybe its not a popular theme, but I believe it would be nice to read about how relationships can work and can be this really beautiful connection between two people.

– Raphael

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