How do you picture your ideal romance? Do you see yourself lying out under the stars with your significant other, or would you prefer romantic dinner dates complete with candles, roses, and music? Where do you think those ideas came from?
Many of those ideas are based on what we’ve read. See survey questions 16, 17, and 19.
Romance novels have the potential to shape our views and expectations of romantic relationships. Whether they are fantasy or realistic novels, in reading them we stockpile their content in our minds. Their ideas then seep into our subconscious, forming expectations for our lives. Because of that, the novels have the power to shape societal expectations over time. In turn, the content of the novels is shaped by those same expectations. This can be seen through the evolution of the romance novel and how romance writing has changed over the course of time.
What kinds of ideas do these books plant in our minds? That’s the question we are trying to answer in this section. We will look at how the concept of romance has been portrayed throughout history and compare that to modern-day romance writing.