What are some texts (of any type or genre) disproving the theme 'Love is not enough to protect the people you care about'?What are some texts (of any type or genre) disproving the theme 'Love is...

What are some texts (of any type or genre) disproving the theme 'Love is not enough to protect the people you care about'?

What are some texts (of any type or genre) disproving the theme 'Love is not enough to protect the people you care about'?

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lmetcalf's profile pic

lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

This is a challenging assignment because so much good literature is tragic in nature, and therefore the love between characters isn't enough to save them, but I think that Darcy's paying off of Wickham in the hopes of saving the Bennet family reputation may fit the bill.  Darcy does this because he realizes he loves Elizabeth and he can't stand the thought that he and his past association with Wickham have brought Lydia and the Bennets to this situation.  He also knows that if he has any chance with Elizabeth he needs to save them from this scandal.  He would never be able to marry someone from a family that had a daughter run away to "elope" without the benefit of marriage.  He has no guarantee that Elizabeth will appreciate his gesture and at first he doesn't even intend for her to know his involvement in the resolution of the scandal.  It is fortuitous that Elizabeth does find out and makes her feelings for Darcy clear.  Their happy ending happens as a result of the love they have for one another.

creativethinking's profile pic

creativethinking | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted on

When I saw your question, I thought immediately of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. In his quest to become an honest and true man, Jean Valjean adopts a little girl, Cosette, from indentured servitude to honor her dying mother's request. This in itself is a saving act of love. Cosette truly becomes his daughter, and Valjean makes many sacrifices to keep her safe and cared for. When she falls in love with a youth named Marius, Valjean also risks his safety to save Marius' life. Valjean keeps this a secret, never asking for anything in return. He also "saves" his mortal enemy, Javert, by refusing to kill him when he gets the chance (which ultimately drives Javert to suicide, but not before repenting for his misdeeds). I think the final line that Valjean utters before his death confirms this as a perfect fit; he says to Cosette and Marius, "There is scarcely anything else in the world but that: to love one another." Valjean, who himself was a lost man, devoted his life to loving others, and I think it could be argued that he saved some in the process.

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I would want to start by talking about a classic by Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, which clearly shows the redemptive power of love and how love is shown to be enough to save others that we care for. I think you would want to focus on two characters in particular who show this: Sydney Carton, who famously sacrifices his own life so that another man could go free, and then Miss Pross, who confronts the terrifying Madame Defarge to ensure the escape of her beloved mistress, Lucie Manette. Both of these characters show that love is the principle strength that allows the protection of their loved ones to occur.

I have just also finished reading for the first time The Bronze Bow, which is an excellent example of historical fiction which explores the destructive power of hate, and also shows how the principal character, Joel, is only truly able to save both himself and those dearest to him when he embraces love instead of hate, demonstrated most profoundly in the end of the novel when he invites the Roman solder into his house.

Both of these texts can effectively be used to argue against the them you have quoted above. Love, according to these texts, allows us to protect those we care for and also liberates ourselves. I have included links below to the enotes study guides on these two texts. Hope this helps and good luck!

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