Friday, January 20, 2012

Escapism Through Fantasy

The idea of escapism encapsulated within romance novels is quite fascinating as pointed out by Radway. The denial of a present reality is achieved by a journey into a fictional world where love is discovered through an exciting romance. It is the hyperbole of the fantasy, which appeals to many of the women. Such stories are clearly unrealistic, but are understood as such. The fantasy world makes escaping easy and the comfort of a happy ending allows for the bleakness of daily news and family drama to be swept away.

It seems interesting that women (not all, but certainly far more than men) gravitate to romance novels for escape. Is it further evidence of a hegemonic system that begins when they are little? The escape to a place of a man’s love seems in a way misogynistic, yet this story line is aimed strictly at women. However, maybe it is okay to say, it simply does not matter. These particular women described happiness and relaxation when reading these books. If it truly does make them happy then who is to question their behavior? The authors are creating content their readers want, and they seem to have a clear concept of what that is. It is possible that examining the content of these novels as a reproduction of a hegemonic structure with man at the top is simply a case of over analysis.

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