Love in Literature and Reality

It is well established that love in movies has happy endings and the reality is far different. Nonetheless, allow the contrast of this literature and documentary to warm the love inside you, and once more hope that fairy tale endings still happen in real life.

The Love that Triggered a War

They loved each other – but one unfortunately died fighting for it. 

There are romances that endure the test of time and remain just as intense. The love between Helen of Troy and Paris, a timeless Greek mythology literature, has been a symbol of everlasting and predetermined love, although short lived and a lot of lives were sacrificed. They stayed together, no matter the cost, even if it meant starting a war. 

Helen of Troy, formerly known as Helen of Sparta, was considered to be the most beautiful woman in the world, and was married to Menelaus, while Paris was already promised to Aphrodite. When Paris visited Sparta to attend a wedding, as destiny works, Helen and he fell in love with each other, leading them to escape to Troy. The Greeks were unable to tolerate such an insult and as a result, all the Greek kingdoms joined forces and launched an attack on the city of Troy. And thus, the Trojan War, one of the most renowned battles in history, began. 

In the end, was the love they shared worthy of the decade-long war? One of them died (I leave it for you to find out who), which made this destiny-twisted love story even more painful. No one succeeded, not Helen and Troy, nor their love for each other. 

‘Fire of Love’ A Volcanic Romance

They love the same thing and they both died chasing it – the fiery earth. A romance shadowed by tragedy. Okay, this isn’t really a spoiler. This fact is established early on. The devotion of Maurice and Katia Krafft, married French scientists, to their work and to each other might look reckless, nonetheless, it is a true inspiration of what love really is. 

Maurice was a geologist and Katia was a geochemist, which sometimes led to playful teasing between the two professions. For instance, Maurice jokes that a geologist is someone who ventures into a lake of sulfuric acid in a rubber raft, whereas a geochemist is the one who stays on the shore and conducts studies and gathers samples with more caution. Although they had a lot of personality differences, their similarities stood out in their relationship even more. The couple eagerly scale forbidding mountains to reach their goal: a stunning view of the Earth exploding. Isn’t that love, sharing the best and worst the world has to offer, even if that worst is shooting hot lava into the air? As if responding to the Earth’s high temperature, their personal fire is also evident: they’re mad, and mad for each other.

A volatile setting of love, yet a magical romance. Inevitably, the Kraffts were killed doing what they loved. Yet, beside each other, feeling fulfilled. Katia declared that ‘I follow him because if he’s going to die, I’d rather be with him.’ Whether you find that sentiment sweet or certifiable, ‘Fire of Love’ offers up what may be the ultimate in marital consummation.

The Reality of Love

Movies have a way of making us feel that the love they portray is far from reality. But why don’t you go out and allow your heart to be warmed by true life stories, and that once more, believe that fairy tales happen in real life? You might not find it in front of volcanoes, but perhaps just in a small alley in a small city in the middle of a cold winter. 

Photo by Xyza Vasily Dela Peña