Friday, January 17, 2014

Five of the best fictional clichés

At The Barnes & Noble Book Blog Molly Schoemann-McCann tagged five of the best--and more familiar--tropes in fiction, including:
The Love Triangle

Lack of hoverboards aside, one of the great failures of modern science is our continued inability to combine two different yet equally compelling individuals to form one perfect superperson. (On the day we are finally able to do this, I look forward to getting better acquainted with a combination of my husband and Tom Hardy cuddling this pitbull puppy.) The cliché of having to choose between two dashing romantic partners is well-represented in fiction, and it’s been around even longer than Archie’s perennial Betty vs. Veronica conundrum. In the turn of the century New York society of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, Newland Archer was forced to choose between the bland but lovely (and socially approved) May Welland and the fiery, provocative Countess Olenska. These days, we have Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games vacillating between thrilling risk-taker Gale and doggedly devoted Peeta. And don’t even get me started on Bella Swan’s dilemma between hothead Jacob and cold-blooded Edward in Twilight. These kinds of impossible choices keep readers guessing and also keep them invested in the story—and who hasn’t had to make a similarly difficult decision at some point in their lives? Although for me it’s usually “Coke or Sprite?” and not “Dreamy vampire or sexy werewolf?” Oh, well.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue