Broken Hearts in Literature

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The Valentine’s Day that Hallmark sells is the sugarcoated, Hollywood version of love. The universal stories of love – spun in literature, verse and film end – in rejection, revenge and ruined lives.

The failed love affairs of Eugene Onegin and Emma Bovary ring more true than Cinderella or Mad About You. Miss Haversham and Heathcliff wreak revenge on the ones that spurned them. Ophelia and Lucia D’Lammermoor go mad from unrequited love.

Love destroys Tess of the d’ubervilles. Hester Prynne is banished when her lover fails to claim her. Jay Gatsby’s love affair with Daisy ruins him. Isabel Archer thought she was marrying for love and instead grew to hate her husband.

Love stinks, love hurts, love is a battlefield, love’s overrated, love is misguided, love’s ephemeral, love is dead, love is blind, love is a sickness.

But then again, everyone knows it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. In this hour of The Connection, we’re talking about the darker side of love.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)