It has come to my attention in countless novels the relationships that are displayed as love often have signs of abuse within them. This has an influence on readers, causing them to believe that an abusive ralationship is nomal or even more disturbingly love.
It can be traced back early in the novel format when you look at books such as “Madame Bovary” by Gustav Flaubert. Emma (who is Madame Bovary) falls madly in love with a man who she is not married to, he uses her for all his sexual desires and then promises her a new life in which all will be perfect. Wrong. Instead, he just runs off and leaves her. This is an example of a relationship which is so intense that it is destructive or toxic.
One sign of emotional abuse is a term called “gas-lighting” this is the idea of completely contorting someone’s reality and making them believe in the reality that is being made for them by the other member of the relationship. Madame Bovary represents this in many ways one of them being the unrealistic standards that some people have of love due to things like books (this can be seen in modern day with Hollywood rom-coms and the porn industry).
A more modern example of this is the best-selling “50 shades of Grey”. This book is basically a representation of an emotionally abusive relationship with a lot of sex thrown in. Many women around the time of “50 Shades” release would pine after a man like Dr Grey, who is portrayed as strong wealthy business man who will look after his women. However, this is just plain wrong. Grey is manipulative and controlling to the point of obsession, the clearest example of this is when he buys the firm that the protagonist works at, in order to know her full whereabouts at all times, as well as have full control over her life and he does all of this to sexually satisfy himself (as bleak as that is). Yet some women still really idolised him.
Emotional abusive in relationships has really only become a talking point in society over the last year or so, meaning that many readers are not fully aware of the damaging and long lasting effects a relationship like this can have. It is deplorable that even in modern society books are continuously released with this ridiculous romance and control merger. This is dangerous for any generation and really needs to be recognised or changed or else it will continue to cause a contortion on the readers mind and cause them to possibly be in a terribly damaging situation.
by Flora kimberly