Themes in Fiction #18 – Everlasting Love

Image by wilB

Image by wilB

“Take it from me: love has all the lasting permanence of a rainbow- beautiful while it’s there, and just as likely to have disappeared by the time you blink.” ~ Jodi Picoult

About

Love is the endgame or the reward in so many stories. The hero gets the princess, the school girl gets her first kiss. But while in life we accept that love can be transient and fickle, the dream in so many books is of everlasting love – a love that transcends time and challenges and even death.

Examples

Evermore_(alyson_Noel)Evermore by Alyson Noel

Damien is immortal, and has lived for over 600 years. Ever is a school girl who has been reincarnating throughout the 600 years that Damien has been alive. Each time she falls in love with him, and each time she’s killed in an accident before they can truly be together.

The idea of someone waiting for you, making you fall in love with them over and over again is a romantic one, and it does take some of the creep factor of a 600 year old with a 16 year old out of the equation – after all, they were both young when they first met. Also, the idea that Ever falls in love with him time after time suggests a sort of destiny about their love – an idea I think most of us like to believe in.

twilight_coverEvery Vampire Romance

Vampires are the ultimate vehicle for everlasting love. They’re immortal, often portrayed as brooding and sexy and romantic. The girl is helpless to resist falling for them, and the vampire is able to reward her with eternal life. An eternity together deeply in love with each other. It doesn’t get more romantic than that, right?

I think it’s a lot of why vampire romance is enduringly popular. The bad boy turned good combined with the idea of love that lasts the ages makes for so much delicious story potential, and appeals to the romantic in us.

Everlasting Love in a Non-Immortal Context

220px-The_Adjustment_Bureau_PosterThe Adjustment Bureau

Not a book, I know, but based on one. The Adjustment Bureau plays with the idea of destiny, and how people might fight to thwart or maintain it. The Adjustment Bureau are responsible for keeping people on ‘Plan’ – interfering in their lives in tiny ways to make sure certain events never happen, such as spilling a cup of coffee on someone to make them miss a bus, and therefore never meet someone.

Matt Damon’s character was never meant to meet Emily Blunt’s, but they do, and through a timescale of several years they keep coming back to each other, despite much time elapsing between their meetings. Eventually, they come together to fight against the Adjustment Bureau and to forge their own destiny, as their love outlasts the attempts by the Bureau to tear them apart.

 

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