Discussion: Where Did the Friendships Go?
Kel Monday, December 22, 2014 discussion
Elizabeth Bennet: For a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
Mrs. Bennet: Yes, he must indeed! And who better than one of our five girls?
I went to my library's book sale the other day. (Yes, again, but it was $1 for a whole bag!) The place was starting to look picked over, but even so, there were TONS of romances, especially paperbacks. Naturally, I couldn't help but think of Mrs. Bennet. Which led to other thoughts...
Tabitha had a great guest post from author Karina Sumner-Smith on Not Yet Read talking about women's friendships in science fiction and fantasy, or the lack thereof. And really, what happened to stories about friendships and familial relationships? We read lots of them as kids, but as soon as you enter the pre-teen/YA range, the vast majority of those stories turn to some form of romance, often as the key or most fulfilling relationship in the story. (Which makes no sense. Most high school relationships barely last a month.)
We're real people, right? And regardless of whether we're single, engaged or married, I imagine most of us have strong support structures in the form of family and/or friends. Why is this not reflected in fiction? I read mostly YA; that could be part of the problem. In the couple of older sci-fi/fantasy titles I read this year, there's been more focus on friendships. And I remember mystery books at least having less romance.
Still, I wonder if the glut of romance isn't indicative of more. What keeps people coming back to read it again and again? Are we in love with fairy tale-esque happily ever afters? Is romantic love considered the most fulfilling? Or is it just the best kind of fantasy to indulge in? Thoughts? :)