So let's talk about themes. Let's talk about self-sacrifice and suicide of a main character in a pleasure novel because it's more widespread than it sounds. Matter of fact, I've read two books in a row with this irritating little undercurrent. Kate Mosse offered Leonie Vernier in her novel Sepulchre up to the alter of tragic under- achievement. Leonie was strong, intelligent, adventurous, and a virgin when she ended what should have been a life of suares, operas, and courtship in 18th century France. Her stupid brother and his stupid lover got into a ridiculous amount of trouble ending in their deaths, which meant Leonie spent her time locked away in the countryside playing mommy to their son. Fine, fine. Familial duty above all else of course. Then she died letting some crazy Visigoth demon thing murder her in the sepulchre on her property so that her nephew and the house staff could escape a band of marauders led by none other than the guy who killed her brother and sister in law. Next I read The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. It's highly forgettable, and I don't reccomend it. His character, Marianne Engelthal has apparently been installed with an excessive number of hearts which she is to give away one by one until the last which she is to bestowe upon her lover from a past life. Then, she can only go ahead on her trip to heaven (1300 years after originally receiving the hearts as a pennance for mercy killing) if he allows her to kill herself without a fight. In the end, she dives off naked into the sea and her man doesn't stop her. He then lives the rest of his life pining for her and wishing he stopped her even though he knew it would have been "wrong" to stop her. Novelists. Please quit killing off main characters with suicides. It's exhausting. I get all attached to them. I want them to be my little literary buddies. I start knowing their little habits and being able to think in their frames of mind. And then you kill them off. Worse than that you have them kill themselves off at horribly tragic times. Leonie had done NOTHING with her life yet except mommy someone else's kid, and Marianne spent some 700 years wandering about giving out hearts and trying to find this guy she loved so much so that when she finally did find the guy she offed herself moments after their first kiss. what. the. hell.
Here's another one I really like. Death of a main character in children's books and movies. Please explain to me what is to be taken from the Velveteen freaking Rabbit. The little kid loved his toy, abandoned his toy, and then once he needed its comfort again, his mother had to burn it. Please tell me what this teaches my child. What message should I help him understand from this book? Life sucks and then you die? ps don't get scarlet fever or i'll have to burn your blankey. How ridiculous. Or here's a good one. How about Lilo and Stitch. Did you see that crap? That poor little mongrel child lost her mommy and then her sister who is stressed out and busy has to put up with her antics. What message is there for my child? Well, little Nicky, if Mommy dies, be a good boy or karma will send you a little blue alien to get you in trouble all the time, befriend you, and then be taken away back to the mother ship.
I refuse to watch movies that I know end tragically. ie Marley and Me. Are you kidding? I'm going to watch some idiot dog make trouble followed by his untimely demise and the torture of a family? Yeah. Right. Dogs die in real life okay? I don't go to the movies for that crap! I paid 4.27 to rent this trash from blockbuster so that i could cry for an hour after it was over? i think not. If i'm going to watch a movie, it damn well better end happily because it's not like I'm going to get that relaxation time back. I cry over news reports okay? I cry when Nick acts up in the grociery store. I do not need ammunition for sadness, and if I did I would read stories about Saint Jude's Children's Hospital or talk to burn survivors or something I don't know.
So here's my message to all venues of entertainment. Make it peppy or lose your audience in Mrs. Ratnesar.
phew. thanks for letting me get that out. i feel much better now :)