The recent kerfuffle over JK Rowling’s admission that Ron and Hermione shouldn’t be together, made us visit some other literary romances.
The Internet (as is its wont) went into a bit of a tizzy last week when Ms. Rowling admitted that she was wrong in giving Hermione her happily-ever-after with Ron Weasley. The Harmoniacs (they exist, I am sure, even amongst our readership) jumped in glee assuming that this meant that Harry + Hermione = True Love 4 Ever, while all the kind thoughtful funny but slightly dim guys we know insisted that only Ron was right for Ms. Granger.
At MBRB we believe that Hermione deserved better than both a redheaded joker and a boy wizard with a messianic complex, possible mummy issues, and definite Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from all the fighting with Dark Lords et al that he’d been doing! In our version of how the book ends, she continues to study for many a years, becomes a professor at Hogwarts with a bit of a trans-Atlantic piece on the side in the form of a MIT Nuclear Scientist, becomes a renowned published expert in Spell Making, and finds all the companionship she needs with her two adorable Labradors.
But she’s not the first of the characters from great romances who’s settled beneath her station. Here are some more who can stand to grow a spine and find their bliss elsewhere.
Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre)
Unless Charlotte Bronte expected her novel to be a tragic feminist treatise on the lack of choices available to a 19th century women, we CANNOT co-sign how the book ends. Sorry Jane Eyre (and overly dramatic 12 year olds)- but Mr. Rochester is NOT a catch! We are talking about a man who kept his first wife hidden in the attic for years! What do you think will happen the first time you choose to do something he thinks is insane (and girls, if you’ve never done anything the world thinks is insane, you are missing out!). Granted, John St. Rivers isn’t a particularly better option, but surely with your newly un-earthed inheritance you can do better for yourself? Do you remember your terrible early years at the orphanage? And when you were not mooning after your employer you were a pretty good Governess! How about starting a school for them women?
Lata (A Suitable Boy)
Vikram Seth’s delightful mother Liela once mentioned in an interview that of Lata’s three suitors, Haresh was closest to her husband. And we like Haresh perfectly fine too, just not for Lata. You can’t make us read 1000 + pages of a girl finding herself through her relationships, becoming a better person with each successive encounter she has, and then ‘settling’ for what’s safest. No. There are flaws a plenty in each of her suitors- but if she must choose one, can it not be Amit Chaudhury, he of the poems and the witty banter and repartee, than Haresh, he of the shoes? To be clear here, its not Haresh’ mundanity we are against. It is how poorly he’s sketched as a character. The writer’s heart is clearly with the more charismatic male characters- Maan, Feroze, Amit and Kabir , then why saddle his heroine with the fate of spending her life with the one character he couldn’t bear to spend time with himself?
Bridget Jones (Diary)
Anyone who tells you that Bridget Jones loved either Darcy or Cleaver more than her latest pair of shoes is lying! Bridget loves the idea of Darcy and the sex (‘snogging’) with Daniel Cleaver (not that there’s anything wrong with either of those , but neither is sufficient for a lifelong romance). After all, how long can you stay happy with a man if you always feel the need to be perfect around him? Will she ever reach the ‘lounge-pants-stage’ with the pristine Mark Darcy? Where Bridget was happiest , was with her circle of friends- where she could drink as much as she wanted, be as funny and profane as she wanted, and not worry about keeping her lip gloss on! A happy end to Bridget Jones’ Diary would’ve been for her to realize that with friends like this she can be happy even without a man (and with those extra 5 pounds!)
Amy and Laurie (Little Women)
Our ten-year-old heart has healed from the disappointment of Jo not being with Laurie. In fact we have started agreeing with the feminist readers of the text that her choice of Freidrich Bhaer was just another instance of how uniquely non-conformist and idiosyncratic Jo was! It is Amy we worry about though. She was always the “not quite Jo” of the family (and keenly aware of it); and surely it can’t be healthy to marry someone who asked Jo out first? No wonder that the tart, funny, high spirited Amy of the first book almost disappears by the time of Little Men, and is replaced by a personality-less facsimile.
Bella (The Twilight Series)
We haven’t the faintest clue. And even if we did, would we ever admit to having read the ‘Twilight’ Series?
Which literary romance do you think ended depressingly? Vent and rant away in the comments section below!