Wednesday, April 2, 2014
B is for Bad Boys
In my younger day, I had an unfortunate penchant for men who walked the dark and shadowy path of mystery, moodiness, and madness. During my single years, I found myself attracted to bad boys and witnessed my friends commit emotional suicide with ill-intentioned and unscrupulous men.
I think of the literary "heros" who fit this category such as Heathcliff (I mentioned him in yesterday's blog--quintessential bad boy--dark, swarthy, and you just know devastatingly handsome). Hamlet also comes to mind. I am currently reading A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchison (a modern retelling of Hamlet from Ophelia's point of view). Hutchison portrays Hamlet as the brooding, melancholy, self-consumed bad boy I always imagined. Finally, I give you...Dracula. They don't get any "badder" than that. I mean, come on! For loving that man, you get death!
Sadly, as a fourth grader, I had a massive crush on Barnabas Collins from reruns of Dark Shadows. Yes, I know. Very strange. Later, I fell in love with Gary Oldman's portrayal of the fiend (a little more understandable). Since then I've watched the whole vampire phenomenon explode in the culture with the Twilight book series, The Vampire Diaries television series, and so many other instances of vampirism glorified.
I love reading about bad boys in literature. There is something intriguing to me about the women who figuratively or literally dash themselves upon rocks at the bottom of an emotional or real cliff for the love of an evil man.
So what is it about the bad boy that appeals to women's hearts? The nature of our souls suggests that we are attracted to darkness and evil and the desire to somehow master it. For many women who fall in love with "bad boys" I think they harbor an innate desire to "tame" them. "Perhaps I will be the one to change him," they muse, and the man becomes a sort of project. In my experience, in real life this usually ends badly--especially for the female. In literature, however, it makes for great reading.
In my ignorant youth, I used to pray for an amalgamation of Heathcliff, Hamlet, Dracula, and Lord Byron, but mercifully the Good Lord did not listen to a word I said and gave me none of these types. I married a much saner sort, and I'm forever grateful that God knew what I needed much better than I did.
-- For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves...Colossians 1:12-14