Sunday, February 09, 2014

The Four Loves of Literature

Yeah, yeah, I know, this is an uber-recycled idea that someone does every year, and better versions were already published here and here. Forgive me?
Contrary to what the media tells us, there are four main types of love, not just the mushy, we-just-met-so-let's-sleep-together-and-then-sacrifice-our-lives-for-one-another-isn't-this-so-legit type, of which the films Titanic and Shakespeare in Love are prime examples. The Four Loves are Eros (man and wife, "I am in love with you" kind of love), Philia (the love of friends), Storge (dutiful, family-type love), and Agape (unconditional- think God's Love for us). And where are the best places to find these loves? Books, of course (and real life, I suppose, but let's stick to books; they're more comfortable at present). Here are some of my favourite fictional loves (references to the television adaptions will be used, especially in the case of Sherlock and Watson).

Darcy & Lizzie

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

I know it's super cliche, but let's consider this: Darcy is a total jerk, a terrible person, and calls his future wife, "barely tolerable" on the night they met. Lizzie is the, "I don't need him, or any man for that matter, and things should just stay as they are so I'll never have to encounter him again" type. Their love story is interesting, because it tests just how far their pride and stubbornness are willing to go- by the end of the book, both of them have grown and matured into better people. True love brings out the best in us, and as we can see, both of them discover the best in themselves through one another- Darcy gets down off his high horse, and Lizzie becomes far more forgiving (let's also have a round of applause for Darcy being an introvert and proving that we aren't all weirdos, but just in hiding). 
And FYI, the 2005 version FOR THE WIN. 

*le swoon*

Sherlock & Watson

{Google Images}

"We solve crimes, I blog about it and he forgets his pants. I wouldn't hold out too much hope."
No, actually, they aren't gay (you want proof? Fine, tell me what would stop BBC from making them into a couple other than they are just friends who are both interested in women; if this has changed since Season Two, I have not heard.). They are just best friends, and if girls in television are allowed to hug, cry, and have their lives changed by their best friends, why does the same not hold true for the male leads? Because of warped views of relationships, that's why. Sherlock and John both sacrifice and work hard to help each other, and then take their romantic love elsewhere (I'm hoping Molly?!). And let's add some points for Benedict Cumberbatch just being himself. Do you wanna play deductions? 

Elinor & Marianne

"Always resignation and acceptance. Always prudence and honour and duty. Elinor, where is your heart?" 
"What do you know of my heart? What do you know of anything but your own suffering? For weeks, Marianne, I've had this pressing on me, without being at liberty to speak of it to a single creature. It was forced on me by the very person whose prior claims ruined all my hope. I have endured her exultations again and again whilst knowing myself to be divided from Edward forever. Believe me, Marianne, had I not been bound to silence I could have provided proof enough of a broken heart, even for you."

Storge is most apparent in Elinor throughout Sense and Sensibility. She, not her mother, is the strong pillar of her family, the sensible one. Marianne is the fluffy, light-hearted, overly-passionate, somewhat silly one. Who keeps silent about her own turmoil so as to support Marianne throughout her heartbreak? Elinor. Who gives up hope of marrying the man she loves for the sake of his honour and integrity? Elinor. Everything she does is for her family, and those whom she considers a part of her family. Now, that is a family love. Added points for the sweet bonnets and Empire waists they wear.

Joe & Pip

"But I did mind you, Pip," he returned, with tender simplicity. "When I offered to your sister to keep company, and to be asked in church at such times as she was willing and ready to come to the forge, I said to her, 'And bring the poor little child. God bless the poor little child,' I said to your sister, 'there's room for him at the forge!'"

Joe. Joe is the best character from Great Expectations in almost every way; not the cold Estella, not the bumbling Pip, not the charming Herbert, or the destructive Miss Havisham, but simple, honest, Joe. His wife is abusive, so he shelters Pip. He trains Pip in his own profession. Pip is snobbish and superior, rude and greedy, and still Joe loves him. Joe comes to his aid. Joe knows that Pip has faults, and he knows that he can't fix all the problems, but he is always there for Pip. I just can't even do him justice. He is a great example of unconditional, compassionate love for his 'son'.

Pip, m'boy, you need Joe. 

What are your favourite examples of the Four Loves in literature/television?

"North with the wind in your left eye and a blessing on your footsteps!"


  1. *shriek shriek shriek* JOE. <3 <3 I LOVE JOE SO MUCH. <3 Oh my gosh. "Best of friends, eh, Pip, wot larks!" <3 Joe is amazing. (And so is Biddy. <3) But seriously. So much love. And for the record, season 3 of Sherlock actually builds (magnificently) on their philia. :) Which is lovely.

    1. *squeals* I cannot wait for Season Three!!! "On the rampage, Pip, and off the rampage, Pip, such is life!" <3 Joe. And Biddy. <3 God bless you, mellon!

  2. This is so cool... and so true. Thanks, Grace! I love it!

    ♥ aspirer

    1. You're very welcome, dear! :) Have a very blessed afternoon.

  3. *Clap Clap Clap* Nicely done! I loved all the pairs you chose to illustrate your point. Pip and Joe? Darcy and Lizzie? Very nice. But Sherlock and John? Yay!
    I cannot wait to watch Season 3-maybe we should both do posts on it when we watch it?
    Great post! God bless! <3

    1. A splendid idea! We could have... A SHERLOCK BLOG PARTY. *brain explodes from nerdy awesomeness* Yes, we totally should do this. :) Thank you! God bless!

  4. Me being me, I immediately apply the Four Loves to relationships in Shakespeare. So many pairings for numbers 2 and 4, of course, but there are plenty for 1 and 3 too. My favorites are Antonio/Bassanio, Rosalind/Celia, Beatrice/Benedick, Portia/Bassanio, Phebe/Silvius (a bit impartial on that one, because I played her... :P), Hamlet/Horatio, Macbeth/Lady, and Romeo/Juliet (not for the obvious reason though...).
    I also immediately think of the Fairy Tale Novels. :D
    Fish/Rose, Bear/Blanche, Kateri/Rose, Paul/Rachel, Friars/Blanche...the list is extensive there, too. *sigh* (mostly Fish and Rose though... :P)

    1. Believe it or not, I have heard of Fish and Rose. :) Which book are they from? I'm going to step up my game and start reading these Doman novels you speak of. ;) YES! SHAKESPEARE! <3 God bless you!

    2. The Fairy Tale Novels are as follows, in chronological order: The Shadow of the Bear, Black as Night, Waking Rose (my favorite book in the world), The Midnight Dancers, Alex O'Donnell and the 40 Cyberthieves, and Rapunzel Let Down (don't read this one unless you can handle very mature content--it's great, but it's really an adult book). Yes. Waking Rose is the best, by far (in my humble, biased opinion :P) but you need to read books one and two to appreciate it in its full glory. The first three are kind of a trilogy, too, because they are about the same family. So...yeah. You REALLY need to read them :D You will know me a lot better after reading them too--Rose basically describes me to a tea, minus her love of tea. :P
      Have fun!
      (Ooooo-I'm SO excited for you.... :D :D :D)

    3. Can't wait!! Thanks for bringing them to my attention.

  5. Oh my goodness, I loved this post! And yes, the 2005 version of P&P for the win!! :-D
    From your newest blog follower,
    Shannon :-)

    1. Hey, Shannon! Thanks for commenting (and following!). :) I love the 2005 version; so good. <3 God bless you!


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