Monday, March 2, 2009

For the Love of Men

The theme for this week was cool love, but I'm not really sure that is what we saw in Jules and Jim at all. Catherine was such a flirt and tease that she was unfaithful to both men on multiple occasions. I couldn't believe they kept going back to her despite her behavior. So for her part, there was no cool love present at all. Jules was the man who showed what cool love really was- he was loyal without falter, and his love for Catherine really had no boundaries at all. He would have done anything (or let her do anything as the case usually was) as long as he could be with her in some small way. So while we spent most of class discussing whether or not women could be cool, as it pertains the theme of cool love, we did not see a heroine in this movie who fit into the idea of cool love at all.

A leading woman who does fit that definition in my opinion is Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth was a truly cool female character- she was independent, intelligent, defiant, and refused to marry someone she didn't ardently love, no matter what her mother had to say. Through Elizabeth's relationship with Mr. Darcy, Jane Austen showed her readers what cool love was all about. For starters, it doesn't have to be a perfect fairytale love story. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy suffered immensely before they ended up together, and she even rejected his first proposal. In the end though, we saw that they loved each other enough to do anything to be together. He had to right the many wrongs their false judgments had caused her family, and she had to defy the opinions of her mother and father to be with a man they deemed as a pompous ass. But in the end their true love and loyalty prevailed and they were betrothed.

Two other incredibly cool female characters came to mind when I was thinking about the concept of cool love, both from Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy: Arwen and Eowyn. The elf Arwen was madly in love with the human, Aragorn, and because of his mortality, her father refused to let her marry him. Even though it meant giving up her own immortality and not accompanying her people to their new homeland, she waited through the war against the dark lord Sauron to be with the man she loved. The devotion and patience she showed throughout the trilogy are both characteristics of a cool kind of love in my opinion. The other character I mentioned, Eowyn, was much more heroic in showing her love. When her people went to war to fight against Sauron her father ordered her to stay behind with the other women and children; instead, Eowyn disguised herself in men's amour and rushed into battle alongside her father and brother. She loved her people and her family so much that she was willing to risk her life to defend them in the most dangerous of battles. Once again, she showed what cool love really is. It's not about sex or money, it's about devotion and unconditional sacrifice to be with someone who mean's everything to you.


  1. Some interesting examples.

    Does all cool love require some kind of sacrifice? Or worse, does all of our love require some sacrifice?

  2. I really think you have something, Hayley. Most love does require some sort of sacrifice. It is not always a huge, dramatic sacrifice, but it usually is there in some form or fashion. Maybe that is cool love--love where both are willing to sacrifice for the other.

    P.S. Great movies!

  3. I think Emeileigh is right. Most love does require a sacrifice of some sort, usually from both parties. In any relationship both parties will make sacrifices for the other because they love them, and that's what makes any relationship work and last.

  4. this was awesome... i would love to be brave as eowyn