The Modern Intimate Through Romantic Conventions the World Believes In
My argument is that language is a result of shared knowledge conveyed through conventions and that the existence of these concepts produce motifs, themes, character types and, most importantly, myths. Myth Criticism can be applied in all kinds of media, all types of literature, due to the omnipresent nature of conventions, especially romance, since it is highly popular because of many tropes. In “The Modern Intimate”, many social conventions can be read and character types can be depicted from its dialogue and narrative. Specifically, the bad boy trope and Carrie presenting herself as a needy girlfriend. As a result, applying Myth Criticism theory to “The Modern intimate” is useful in understanding the text because many romantic tropes can be found in this story which can help depict and understand the conventions and character types in the text.
“The Modern Intimate” can be classified as a romance and, in many forms of media, the romantic genre contains a plethora of tropes. Thus, by knowing the common romantic tropes, you can apply Myth Criticism to romantic literature by locating the common convention or character archetypes. What I mean by this is that once you understand the convention that is being told in the story, you are able to further understand the characters’ actions and the story itself. For example, a common convention or character archetype is the good girl falling for the bad boy. Specifically, a girl often falls in love or romantically pursues a boy who has a personality that is a complete foil to her, landing her in a lot of trouble and often being the basis of a subplot. Despite taking different forms, this trope can be found in a surprising range of romantic tales, from classic Shakespearean plays to modern animated series, anything from Juliet’s yearning for a forbidden love in Romeo & Juliet to Sakura’s relentless pursuit of an uninterested Sasuke in Naruto. By being aware of these universal similarities, the way in which a plot develops can be more easily observed with particular attention to how tropes affect character motivations and desires. As a result of the many common tropes in “The Modern Intimate”, this story, too, can be understood from a Myth Criticism point of view.
Northrop Frye claims that patterns and conventions in literature exist due to “[a] principle of repetition or recurrence” (18), meaning that stories repeat over time in literature, resulting in writers mimicking other people’s works to create their own. Mixtures of timeless archetypes create a “typical way in which stories get told” (49), a universality to all literature due to the sharing of common conventions. In application to “The Modern Intimate”, Eric’s character is much more relatable to the reader because it bears semblance to a typical bad boy personality that can be found elsewhere. From Carrie’s point of view, Eric is not only ignoring her emails but her entirely,...