How Less is More in Great Romances

Passionate love scenes! How they can thrill the reader and capture the imagination. Writers: explicit descriptions of body parts are an easy (and lazy) way to get your point across. Subtle intimations of what is happening are more difficult and require more thought and deft writing.

For example, in Gone With the Wind, there is a passionate love scene in which Rhett Butler scoops Scarlett up in his arms and carries her up a wide staircase. This scene id depicted brilliantly in the movie. As Rhett and Scarlett reach the top of the staircase, the scene cuts away; what happens next is left t o the imagination of the reader or in this case, the viewer.

When we think of great romances, there are those who would choose Rhett Butler’s love for Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind. There are others who would prefer the passion of Mr. Darcy for Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice or Mr. Knightley’s adoration of Emma in the eponymous novel by Jane Austen. However, many often overlook the tender, demure romance of Captain Frederick Wentworth and Anne Elliot in Austen’s less popular but equally romantic novel, Persuasion.

As a nineteen-year old, Anne is betrothed to the handsome naval officer; however, she is persuaded by her friend Lady Russell to break off the engagement; Lady Russell feels that Captain Wentworth is not worth enough–he has no money and no prospects. Anne suffers from a long-lasting regret.

Eight years later, she meets Captain Wentworth at the home of her sister. He has returned as a naval hero and a very wealthy man. Anne’s love has never wavered, but he treates her politely, even coolly. She is further wounded when she sees that his relatives are matchmaking, urging him to choose one of two pretty sisters for a wife.

Anne visits Bath and after many misunderstandings–including the appearance of a villain–Captain Wentworth writes to her. The letter is filled with the love he has always felt for her. He writes of his agony in thinking that he is too late to win her back. Anne is ecstatic as she reads his avowal, and she tells him that her feelings have never changed.

A satisfactory ending to a gentle, tender romance. The characters are physically parted for eight long years, and still their love remains intact. Their romance is further proof that less is truly more. Reads, do you agree? Or is this old-fashioned truth dependent on the situation at hand? Vote below!

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