Dysfunctional Relationships in Literature

“In works of literature it is more interesting for the reader to be presented with failed or dysfunctional relationships rather than those that succeed.

“Josh SuttonA reader’s interest is almost always more captured by unconventional, failed or dysfunctional relationships rather than those that succeed. A dysfunctional relationship dramatically increases a reader’s interest due to the unpredictable and exciting nature that it entails, whereas a conventional successful relationship lacks predicaments and will often come across as cliche. This is evident in a number of different pieces of literature, more specifically within the poems “To His Coy Mistress”, “Love (III)”, “The Flea” and within the novel “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”.

Within “To His Coy Mistress the poet develops a conflicting persuasive metaphysical conceit, he spends the duration of the poem attempting to persuade the mistress that they should consummate the relationship ultimately with her losing her virginity and maidenhood. This creates this dysfunctional form of relationships and encapsulates the reader’s attention.The poem “Love (III) contains a slightly different relationship but dysfunctional nonetheless, it creates an embodiment of Love through God. The relationship of God/Love and the persona is then further portrayed throughout the poem dramatically creating a dysfunctional relationship that can be praised by any reader.

Contrastingly, “The Flea” creates a relationship that lacks appraisal by a reader but greatly captures the reader’s interest regardless, the poem expands on an extremely dysfunctional relationship that is portrayed through an extended metaphor of a flea, and the whole poem focuses around the persona’s attempts to bed the mistress through a metaphysical conceit. Additionally, in terms of “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”, this novel contains dysfunctional relationships, the obvious one being the relations…

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