Forbidden Love in The Great Gatsby, Romeo & Juliet, and Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

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Forbidden Love in The Great Gatsby, Romeo & Juliet, and Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Forbidden Love in The Great Gatsby, Romeo & Juliet, and Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock


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Home Page > Education > K-12 Education > Forbidden Love in The Great Gatsby, Romeo & Juliet, and Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Forbidden Love in The Great Gatsby, Romeo & Juliet, and Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

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Stephanie Meyers’s Twilight series has resuscitated popular interest in stories about forbidden love. Around the globe, Twilight readers have been buying out copies of books like Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and the Undead Hair Handbook.

However, Meyers’s series has been criticized for giving impressionable teens and tweens unrealistic expectations about romance, to say nothing of that whole vampire-baby-eating-its-way-through-your-uterus thing.

With Facebook groups such as “Why Isn’t Edward Cullen Real?” and “Twilight Has Ruined Any Chance I Have at a Realistic Relationship” becoming increasingly trendy, many scruffy, poorly-dressed teen males fear that their chances at romance are dwindling. (To even the playing field, every other media outlet has kept its inverse female-beauty / female-clothing ratio at an all-time high.)

This bombardment of unrealistic expectations is more than many of us can take. For those who prefer their forbidden love oldschool – agonizing, embarrassing, and possibly fatal – here are some classics that should come as a breath of fresh, depressing air.

Painful Scenario Number One: Mutual Destruction. Forbidden boy meets forbidden girl, forbidden boy and girl wed secretly, forbidden newlyweds accidentally die in an elaborate plan to skip town. This is the Romeo and Juliet strategy to love and it happens… well, not all the time, but it happens.

Reasons We Like It: You know how fairytale always end right after the beautiful damsel and the charming prince get married? That’s because nobody wants to hear about diaper changes or mortgage payments. A violent end cuts out all the boring stuff, plus it taps into the primitive, reptilian part of our brain that links sex with danger and death. Which, by the way, is not the same thing as un-death.

Painful Scenario Number Two: Silent Longing. Boy meets girl, boy decides girl is out of his league, boy swallows his feelings and vows to die alone. This is the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock approach to love and, according to our secret diary research, it does in fact happen all the time.

Why We Like It: We’ve soooo been there. Avoiding confrontation is a great way to not only protect your dignity, but also keep the fantasy alive: we’re betting that special someone doesn’t ever burp, fart, or drunk-dial your mom. On top of it all, the scenario also appeals to our depressive fatalism. It’s not like this self-pity’s gonna wallow in itself.

Painful Scenario Number Three: Self-Destruction. Boy meets unattainable girl, boy embarks on a lucrative life of crime to impress girl with fancy mansion, boy gets totally shafted. Er, shot. Make that both. This is the Great Gatsby wooing strategy and, though appealing in its own right, we don’t recommend that you try it at home.

Why We Like It: Dying for a cause can be very noble – and getting filthy rich along the way has its perks as well. Then, when your love interest turns out to be selfish, entitled, and so not worth your time, you can enjoy the special satisfaction that comes with knowing you’re a superior being. This feeling will last several whole seconds before that bullet thing becomes an issue.

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Paul Thomson
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Shmoop is an online study guide for Great Gatsby,Romeo and Juliet and many more. Its content is written by Ph.D. and Masters students from top universities, like Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, and Yale who have also taught at the high school and college levels. Teachers and students should feel confident to cite Shmoop.

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Shmoop is an online study guide for Great Gatsby,Romeo and Juliet and many more. Its content is written by Ph.D. and Masters students from top universities, like Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, and Yale who have also taught at the high school and college levels. Teachers and students should feel confident to cite Shmoop.

Now, I’m not one to hate on the twilight series. I have not read the books or have seen the movies. I am, however, one to hate on the fans. Why? Because more Twilight fans than many other book/movie series take it “too far”, as evidenced by this video I shot. This is my friend’s sister’s room. I close in on a contact case at one point in the video, and it’s unfortunate that my phone’s video is so poor, otherwise you could see what she wrote on the case. They were the contacts she was wearing when she got to meet Robert Pattinson when she camped out for two days in Vancouver at the filming of “Eclipse”. See what I mean? Too far.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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