Making connections During life we may experience different forms of love; I have chosen to explore the theme of representations of difficult love. This theme is shown in the novels Noughts and crosses by Malorie Blackman. Before I die by Jenny Downham. Dreaming of Amelia by Jaclyn Moriarty and the film Romeo and Juliet originally written by William Shakespeare. I chose these texts and film as they all have strong different ideas of my main theme. “You’re a Nought and I’m a Cross and there’s nowhere for us to be, nowhere for us to go where we’d be left in peace…
That’s why I started crying. That’s why I couldn’t stop. For all the things we might’ve had and all the things we’re never going to have. ”- Sephy, Noughts and crosses. The idea of difficult love in this text is shown through characters Callum and Sephy, childhood lovers who are faced with challenges such as a strong sense racial discrimination and segregation because of their different skin colour. The book creates an alternate universe were crosses (blacks) supreme over the inferior race of the noughts (white).
Both Callum and Sephys families find their love inappropriate and socially unacceptable, Callum being accepted to Sephys almost all cross school creates immense tension and strain on their friendship and love as Sephy is faced with the difficult decision of risking her popularity and status for Callum. Throughout the book many unfortunate events occur and ultimately conclude in a tragic decision of the death of Callum or the death of their unborn child due to her father Kamal Hadley. You must choose sephy, that child or the man you seem to love”-Kamal Much like the film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, this also ends in tragedy, with a huge influence on the lovers in the characters families, similar to noughts and crosses. “Two households, both alike in dignity… From forth the fatal loins of these two star-crossed lovers take their life. “-narrator at start of film. In Romeo and Juliet although these two teenager’s love is the focus of the story, many other views of love are expressed and presented by various characters.
Two of these many views include Romeo’s love for Rosaline and the Friar Lawrence’s view of love. The difficult love and most significant is mostly expressed throughout the film in the characters Romeo and Juliet who are destined not to be together by their family’s ancient hate from one another. Unlike Callum and Sephy in noughts and crosses who have grown up together and known each other most of their lives , Romeo and Juliet rush more into their love with a sense of love at first sight having only known each other for a short time, The film ends with the tragic death of the two lovers.
Romeo and Juliet’s love is difficult and essentially spoiled by their families history and hate for each other and the inability to compromise or resolve their problems. “My only love sprung from my only hate”-Juliet. Dreaming of Amelia follows many stories of different characters told through memoirs written as part of the gothic fiction elective in the HSC English exam. The focus of difficult love is on the characters Amelia and Riley who both have had awful upbringings with Riley’s abusive father and Amelia’s stepfather sexually abusing her they both leave home and meet in a foster house at a young age.
After falling in love they begin a life of crime which slowly tears the couple apart. Riley’s deep anger issues due to his father’s actions cause both characters to transfer from an infamous bad school to Ashbury, a private school. The students around them are spellbound by their mysterious ways and by the end of the novel it is clear Riley and Amelia are more mysterious than previously assumed. Different to Romeo and Juliet and Noughts and crosses their love seems to withstand the difficulties they face rather than ending in complete tragedy.
Their love is difficult as both characters have deep emotional issues due to their upbringings which ultimately make it hard for them to love and trust one another “Absent dreams, Amelia collects them. Dreaming of her stepfather-she’s gone”- Riley speaking of Amelia and his difficultly to love her. Dreaming of Amelia is connected to the texts as much like noughts and crosses and Romeo and Juliet the characters families influence the difficulties in their love.
A different view of difficult love is shown in Jenny Downham’s ‘before I die’ Tessa a young girl diagnosed with terminal cancer knows she is going to die but as she continues to forget the consequences and live life to the fullest before it is over she meets Adam who she falls in love with. This love is difficult as both characters know of Tessa’s situation and how they cannot grow old together and continue a healthy relationship whilst Tessa is slowly dying.
Unlike the other two texts and film this love is made difficult not by Tessa or Adams parents but by her extremely unlucky circumstances, both characters must learn to accept what is going on and slowly let go of each other and their love. During the last stages of Tessa’s life she realises that for Adam to ever move on from her she must completely let him go. Much like Romeo and Juliet and Noughts and crosses this novel also ends in the tragedy of Tessa eventually dying. instructions for Adam, look after no one but yourself, go to university and make lots of friends and live your life to the fullest”- Tessa on her death bed In conclusion these four texts have shown me the effect of someone’s upbringing and family can highly influence their future decisions and their love for other people. Unfortunate circumstances do not necessarily have to ruin someone’s relationship and ability to love and trust and even if love gets difficult it doesn’t necessarily mean to people were not meant to be together.