let me tell you the truth. i came across the popular “romance” novel through newspaper article on a Sunday morning, ages ago, extolling about the sudden rage in sales of books with explicit content. what was different this time was that the conventional media was not afraid to talk about it without any moral preaching and even discussed some more future projects in which classics like “pride and prejudice” and “Jane Eyre” will get those similar make-over to attract the readers and increase the sales. that was how i came across these three- TWILIGHT, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY and GABRIEL’S INFERNO.
the most curious observation is the prominent fixture of a male-figure( they are not much of a character) who is there for our plain as a day heroine( brown-haired, petite and pale!) for anything and everything. no really! they are her best friend and are willing to slide into the role of boyfriend in a snap of a finger, and are willing to be perfectly friendly even if ( inevitably ) our Mary sue-z will reject his romantic attention for someone else. i mean, we noticed the whole debate of “team Edward” versus “team Jacob” t-shirts and opinion polls everywhere. and Stephanie Meyer kick started this phenomenon in Y A literature , as well as many more genre which touches romance. i cannot even say that she might be the first one but she unwittingly repeated what has already happened in the first known novel in the history of English literature PAMELA by Samuel Richardson. here, Richardson has more of stick figure of a Jacob in 1740 called Mr. Williams( like a cave painting. very crude. get it? no? oh well 😛 ). Mr. Williams is trying to find someone to save our eponymous heroine from her captivity ( yes, you read correctly and not to mention the author is clear that this is a women whose virtue will be rewarded by her kidnapper. happy ending!)
MILD TO RUTHLESS SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO STILL HAVE NOT READ THESE “GEMS”.
i guess i should start with the most baffling, condescending and idiotic of the trio of “Jacobs” – i present you Paul Norris. a notorious rabbit lover and cow enthusiast ( but not a PETA enthusiastic mind you) ; who promptly categorizes women in petting zoo animal- he nicknamed our mary sue “rabbit” after his first day of college seminar.the guys is fast!.he is also, what i have observed in Pamela, is a victim of instant-noodle style affection:
[…] I should think myself but too happy, if I might be accepted. […] Don’t think this a sudden resolution. […] the moment I saw you, [I] wished to serve so much excellence.”-Pamela.
“…, [Paul] knew, without doubt, that he would do anything to keep someone from hurting her. Even if it meant his academic career. Even if it meant dragging Emerson out behind the Department of Italian Studies and giving him the serious ass kicking that he and his pretentious posterior so richly deserved.” -Gabriel’s Inferno Sylvain Reynolds. do note that he is apparently ready to railroad his life after meeting our heroine and knowing her for about five days. woah! clingy much?
he is just ready to take brunt of anger on our heroine-Julianne’s, behalf from his irate thesis doctorate supervisor but also keeps calling her “little rabbit” just because he feels that or heroine is frail and spooks easily like an animal( he might be right considering , how many times she judges people on casual sexual assignations and feels “ill” and “disgusted”…but full discussion on Julianne Mitchell in future 😉 ). he is also into respecting Julia’s boundaries of relationship unless it is with men he considers beneath his standards.he feels BDSM is disgusting since his personal motto is “lovers should be gentle with each other” and ” ..should care enough to respect them and not treat them as objects” ( that is a great piece of advice really. yay!) and also be “..careful and never , ever hurt them. even if they’re fucked up enough to beg you to”-wait! whaa..at?. yes you read this right, he ( and probably the author as well) feels those who enjoy pain in their sex life are not right in their mental capacity or else why would they ask for it? there no other text reference to say that Reynolds is being objective here but he is not because everyone agrees with him .in the text. all this is not even in a casual conversation , in a relaxed, candid environment but whispering right next to Julia while making puppy face and promptly making me and Julia uncomfortable.the one and only redeeming quality our writer seems to have infused in Paul is that like a self-respecting gentleman, he realizes he could be a potential nuisance in the life of julia after she dangles with his romantic aspirations by kissing him( knowing all the while she is still pining after her lost lover), so he drops contacts to mere acquaintance-level when she leaves and marries away and asks him to be friend( the dreaded friend-zone, not once but twice.)
the next in line is our eponymous Jacob black!. a normal teenager , who was perfectly nice and was a sweet friend to our heroine Isabella swan. things take for a dive when he develops feelings for her and our depressed heroine( numbed after her forced separation with Edward) does nothing much to dissuade him from his futile torch bearing except for a token warning once on how she will be never be good enough for him( poor you, idiot) instead of saying that i might never like you. sheesh .to top off all the pain on this guy, meyer steps up and makes him a werewolf who hates his “ancient enemy” aka vampires who is also the chosen one of our virtuous Bella.
so what does our Jacob do? will he leave Bella alone? will he respect her choices? will he stop being an ass to Bella and just tussle with Edward alone??…………no! of course not silly you!. i think very few people notice that however problematic and an icon of domestic abuser Edward Cullen is, Jacob Black is also an emblem of those guys we fall for during our teenage years. he is into bikes, uses his good credentials to take us away on adventures and is sometimes a surrogate brother but he also can be a bully, a condescending menace and just plain assaulter- do remember he forces to kiss Bella not once but twice in ECLIPSE and the disturbing thing is no one on text names it anything more than being “forward”. he also hangs around our Bella until someone from Edward’s side does something to make him punch them and finally(!) Meyer throws a mutant-baby at him to make a Mormon ending of it.
i am saving the last and the least( no, really he has the least of all figure making material compared to even stick-figure Mr. William!) Jose Rodriguez, who has frankly the most unoriginal Hispanic name and also takes after his literary inspiration Jacob black in terms of sexual assault.sometimes, i feel e l James is being intentionally sarcastic towards Meyer and twilight. take our (jacob-3) Jose for example, where Meyer just stops caring about sexual assault by Jacob and makes Bella confess love to him( which is “less than Edward”.phew!), James on the other hand makes sure anastasia does not give a dime about his intentions lest we gullible readers find a way to stick up to Jose ( you know a “team Jose!” mania won’t help 😛 ) .he is there just so we could see how naive and low self-esteemed our Ana is , and what an idiotic, jealous, teenager-adult christian is and makes sure by the conclusion of the series , christian is nothing but gentleman to him by talking about manly sports such as fishing.he really has no purpose of himself except for serving as a token diverse friend in the book along with Ana’s best friend Katherine Kavanagh-my favorite, she is.
so the conclusion is………watch out for william-jacob-jose-paul because they end up in the plot just to decrease the grey matter in the heroine’s brain, so they can waffle with their torch (which “jacobs” burn for them) and create a lame tension in the love affair.they have a penchant for insta-luv and seems to have no idea of boundaries when their place is finally relegated in the friend zone.they also hammer in the fact that a guy and girl can never be great friends with each other unless he turns out to be gay or bisexual(offensive? YES!) they serve sometimes as a punching bag for our hero and a crying shoulder when our heroine is alone and sometimes, exceptionally , manage to become the central of attention( Peeta from HUNGER GAMES anyone? but only after he managed to become condescending and manipulative in comparison to the good ol’ Gale .of course Katniss will dump Gale ). beware!