The Parody Of Romance
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In Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature, Janice A. Radway studies the romance formula, identifying a set of generic criteria which offer its readers escapist purposes. Christian writers have established their own formula on the romance. In my thesis, I look at the parallel formulas found in secular and inspirational romance fiction, searching how inspirational romance evangelizes and gives spiritual instruction to its readers. Secular romance creates stories which explore the idea of everlasting love. They create a relationship between a flawed hero and innocent heroine who fall in love at first sight; out of this imperfect relationship forms a perfect love. Inspirational romance manipulates this premise, creating a parody of secular romance. How can perfect love be found in imperfect beings? Inspirational romance creates a split-focus. The characters find perfect love only in Jesus Christ, making this relationship primary to the love relationship between hero and heroine.