|My view of the Belle Femme- |
in my daydream, of course
As writers, we develop a tension between our hero and heroine, then throw them together in a situation where they must deal with each other under less than ideal circumstances and yet they eventually fall in love. As I consider this, I'm reminded of the old saying, "Familiarity breeds contempt." So why then do we assume that our couple will fall in love with each other after they are thrown together? Is it the familiarity that allows it to happen? But then what of the contempt?
That old saying was actually the moral to an Aesop's Fable, THE FOX AND THE LION.
When first the Fox saw the Lion he was terribly frightened, and ran away and hid himself in the wood. Next time however he came near the King of Beasts he stopped at a safe distance and watched him pass by. The third time they came near one another the Fox went straight up to the Lion and passed the time of day with him, asking him how his family were, and when he should have the pleasure of seeing him again; then turning his tail, he parted from the Lion without much ceremony.
Moral: Familiarity Breeds Contempt.
It is true that when we first meet a person, generally one of the opposite sex, we set an impression in our minds about that person. We might dislike him/her, we might be enamoured of him/her, or we might even be intimidated by him/her. No matter what we first think of someone, as we get to know them better, more familiarly, our impression tends to change. Sometimes for the better, and unfortunately, sometimes for the worse.
Our heroes and heroines, like most men and women, are usually attracted physically to each other yet there seems to be something that almost always keeps them apart from the start. It isn't until they're thrown together, when they have no other choice but to become familiar with each other - i.e., that they get to know each other better - that they fall in love! Our hero usually gains a respect for our heroine and our heroine usually decides he's not such an obnoxious arrogant SOB after all. So why doesn't this newly discovered familiarity drive them apart rather than together?
I pondered this, for too long, I think, but I think I understand, at least in respect to Aesop's Fable ... well, I hope I do. In the case of the Fox and the Lion, the Fox was terribly frightened by the Lion. He feared the Lion would eat him straight away. It was only after the Fox discovered the Lion could be considered a friend rather than foe that he turned 'his tail, he parted from the Lion without much ceremony." It didn't mean the Fox wouldn't return another day to pass the time with the Lion only that he no longer feared the Lion. The Fox was then capable of actually turning his back to the Lion without fearing the Lion would leap upon him and devour him. His familiarity with the Lion led him to have contempt for his own fear. Ta Da! Well, I guess that's right!
|Kathleen was ready to take that knife to good old Joe Fox. |
Fox ... F - O - X
So ... does familiarity really breed contempt? Or is that Aesop was completely off base when it came to relationships? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter because I'm still feeling lost. Or perhaps it's just contempt for Aesop's moral.
Happy Reading Everyone!