by Kiersten Hallie Krum
This weekend, I was amused to watch romance writer Megan Mulry tweet read of Jane Eyre in snippets that went like this:
It was that last one that got me thinking. Ultimately, Rochester is a misogynistic shit, but he’s still considered a classic romantic hero. Why is it we love characters in fiction we would drop kick to the curb in real life?
Dark, brooding, trapped in a marriage with a crazy woman, Rochester has the moody hero trifecta. He tunes in to Jane partly because he has complete control over her. She plain, she’s low-born, she has no one to fight for her, so she is the perfect victim. Now we all know Jane can fight for herself and it’s her sense of self and her core of strength that draws Rochester in and eventually makes him fall in love with her. But really, he’s one move away from a restraining order and an episode of 48 hours.
Or how about Mister Darcy? Self aware enough to know his faults, he doesn’t regret them. He’s proud and arrogant and happy to tell anyone about it. He believes it not only his right but his duty to be so and to inflict his will over those around him. Truth is, we love Colin Firth as Mister Darcy more than Mister Darcy. Let’s face it, on his own, Mister Darcy is a bit of a wanker.
I have a great deal of affection for Nelson DeMille’s character John Corey, but he is a smart-ass, jackhole prick of the first degree. He’s also screamingly funny, takes no shit, and keeps going long after many other “heroes” would quit. I love to read him and be entertained but I’d want to slap him upside the head if I had to deal with him in person.
What is it that makes us not only put up but actively enjoy the kinds of people we would kick to the curb in real life? Is it because it’s fiction, so there’s no consequence for a little indulgence? And is it only male characters or are there heroines who we love on the page but would throttle if we had to spend time with them in real life.
What are some of character you love in fiction who you know would drive you crazy in real life?
Follow Lady Smut. Fiction or real life, you’ll love how we drive you crazy.