Literature

The “Nice” Guy Mentality

I just stumbled upon this piece last night when I was struggling to sleep. (Toothache, don’t ask.) Anyway, I realized there were many times that I paused and wanted to jump up and down (if I could) to say, “Exactly!” Although the majority of my blog seems to be dedicated to the entertainment world than real literature or more meaningful topics, but through all of that, I actually mentioned this from time to time (either in reviews or other random discussions). It doesn’t matter if it’s in literature or in movies or TV series. What frustrates me to no end is the “nice” guy being shoved toward the heroine all the time–because of how many things he’d done for her and never gave up on her. It was never about her. It was always about the “nice” guy. As if it wasn’t worse enough that the characters in the story forced the heroine into choosing that “nice” guy, the readers or other times viewers (if it was a movie or TV series) often sided with the “nice” guy, calling out the female protagonist to be the monster, ungrateful, blind idiot (you get the gist) for not choosing the “nice” guy. Oftentimes, I would side with the main guy and perhaps that was why it had weakened my point in the argument. But  had pointed out that she wasn’t siding with anyone and this was just the case of arguing against the “nice” guy. Speaking of “ungrateful”, I think Maddie nailed it (and I actually mentioned it at various points on my blog too) when she mentioned the exchange between Jo and Laurie regarding to how she had to accept him/marry him just because of gratitude. By that concept, we might as well marry all people who are rescuers instead of focusing on feelings. Well, people do marry for all sort of reasons–whether in the end it will eat them inside or not, but seriously?

I read somewhere long ago that Louisa May Alcott actually wrote the first version as letting Jo be with Laurie in the end, but it was turned down so she changed it. But I can’t find that article anymore so I can’t verify sources. Looking back, I have to agree with Maddie that it would be too much to have Jo and Laurie end up together–regardless of who she actually ended up with later.

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