11 November 2008

In Defence of Chick Flicks...

Only good chick flicks, of course, along with Jane Austen, Anne of Green Gables, Disney princess movies, and every fairy tale in which the knight in shining armor saves the day. Westley may be a fiction, but why shouldn't we set the standards high? Ideals need not blind us to reality.

"If what mothers mean by a good match, is the alliance of a man of position and means-- or let them throw intellect, manners, and personal advantages into the scale-- if this be all, then we grant [that] the daughter of cultivated imagination may not be manageable, will probably be obstinate. We hope she will be obstinate enough. But will the girl be less likely to marry a gentleman, in the grand old meaning of the sixteenth century? ...Will she be less likely to marry one who honours women, and for their sakes, as well as his own, honours himself? Or to speak from what many would regard as the mother's side of the question-- will the girl be more likely, because of such a culture in her imagination [that is, images planted by The Princess Bride or Pride and Prejudice], to refuse the wise, true-hearted, generous rich man, and fall in love with the talking, verse-making fool, because he is poor, as if that were a virtue for which he had striven? The highest imagination and the lowliest common sense are always on one side."
-George MacDonald in "The Imagination: Its Function and Its Culture"

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