Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine- More Than Just A Universal Day of Displeasure?

In this time of year we are raucously  “greeted” by the  sultry scent of soft roses, the taste of boxed chocolates, and the sight of  little candies with a heartfelt “u r cute” stenciled on it. And every year we think the same thing

“AWW Crap, it’s Valentine’s day again!


From a literary sense the view on love, romance and literature have a very satirical and humorous view, but before we look at that, how do we view these notions today? Did the role of "love" in a societal sense changed since, Oh let's say They're Eyes Were Watching God? What better way to analyze our outlook on "Love" than to view our views on the Holiday that celebrates it, Valentine's Day?

At first I used to think it was only single people that hated it; then I thought it was just me. But upon interviews with several people (in a relationship or not) everyone tended to express this same disgust. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, happy or sad, sober or drunk, Valentine’s Day holds the same unanimous feeling of disgust that churns in our stomachs every year it comes around.

For the taken it is basically an amped up date night; to do the romantic things you normally do (only add a little more “oomph” to the romantic factor…. because “it is Valentine’s Day after all) So for most of the people I talked to, they had a feeling of “obligation” on Valentine’s day; even more so than the annual obligations of Christmas. Our society has deemed it unacceptable to just “chill” or “relax” on a day like this. So we are obligated, boy or girl, to GO BIG! (Or go to the dog house) So for many this feeling of obligation is a trying burden on a couple.

For the "singles" it’s obvious why they dislike Valentine’s Day, they’re alone! Valentine’s Day is just an over glorified day to also GO BIG… at the bar. What’s more frustrating than being alone and everywhere you look you to see a couple? It’s a miserable time to be alone! I received many stories from the people I talked to that could easily become a tear jerking piano song to the tune of Only the Lonely. (I can recall many VDAYS where my only activities were sitting in a car, listening to music, smoking a cig, and sipping a flask)

With such a negative outlook on this day I can’t bring myself to realize why we even celebrate this? Who enjoys this day? Who benefits? Of course there are always the corporations… And I’m pretty sure ABC Liquor makes a killing… But apart from that, why do we even celebrate Valentine’s Day? What is the history?

Valentines Day’s origin is as mysterious as its purpose. But one of the more common theories is that it started as a pagan holiday of fertility in which a male in youth would choose a female by use of giving her a gift (hence the annoying tiny little cards that say “be mine”) Then later the Pope “adopted” the holiday (as is so often done in Catholic History) and used it to celebrate Saint Valentine’s life. However, later, the Pope denounced the holiday (probably due to its venture from purpose… like Easter), but the tradition continues.

The Triviality of Love and Romance In Literature- INTRODUCED

Now I know that was a pretty long tangent but the mechanics of my emotional vomit are standardized to pave the way into a road that can draw this back to my premise of my blog, “literature”. Culturally, the notion of love (at least up until recently) was a notion whose ultimate goal was marriage. I’m not so sure if that is the main goal of men and women today. In fact, I would argue a death of romanticism and even the notion of love in our society is taking place; but, once again, that’s a topic for another blog.

But because the notion of love was often to lead into marriage, it’s interesting to see the portrayal of marriage in some of our most recognizable works of literature. So, in honor of this V-Day (much like D Day), I would love to discuss the triviality of the notions of love and romance in literature. Countlessly the notions of marriage and love are poked fun at and ridiculed in such famous works as Pride and Prejudice, The Importance of Being Earnest, Romeo and Juliet,etc. And that is where my next blog will be focused around.

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