ClitLit – Women, Romance Fiction and Patriarchal Discourse

August 5, 2010

‘A Nothing Person’ – Quick Shots

Filed under: quick shots — Jodi @ 11:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

“The power of her love for Nicolas had terrified the life out of her. She wasn’t herself when she was with him. She became his slave, a nothing person with no will of her own. He only had to take her in his arms and she was reduced to a robot, incapable of saying no to him.”

– Lee, M., 2010, A Night, A Secret… A Child [Harlequin Mills & Boon] p. 17

There is something remarkably self aware about this statement. This is exactly what I find so troubling about a lot of romance novels – the heroine’s self is subsumed and she only exists relative to the hero. (This is particularly true in the virgin/playboy novels I’m so fond of writing about.)  She becomes a nothing person. Nothing else matters except his love. She needs his validation. She cannot live without him, and with him, she is a nothing person. This obviously has a lot to do with the quality of writing as well, but no matter what the quality, this kind of attitude is fundamentally quite unhealthy.

Of course, this happens to the hero too, and ultimately, you could argue that she reforms him. But it doesn’t make the initial act any less. And I actually think it is quite good that Miranda Lee has articulated this in her book. Once things like this are identified, it is so much easier to reshape and move forward.

…thanks for invading my psyche, Julia Gillard.

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