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ERIC Number: ED207086
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Oct
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Persecutors, Victims and Rescuers in Harlequin Romances.
Hassencahl, Fran
Based on a pattern of interaction, in which the interactants fulfill the roles of victim, persecutor, or rescuer, a study of ten Harlequin romantic novels was undertaken to determine what factors provided for the readers' identification with the Harlequin characters. It was found that Harlequin heroines manifested their status as victims by suffering from inferiority complexes and a lack of control over their emotions, and that the majority performed low status, traditionally female jobs, waiting for a man to rescue them, all of which reinforce the notion that for a woman, fulfillment comes from having a man rather than a career. It was also found that the Harlequin hero alternated between being a persecutor and being a rescuer. All were handsome, wealthy, powerful, single, older, sexually experienced, and in control of their emotions. The heroes often failed to notice the heroines' efforts to please them and tended to be condescending and insulting, preying on the heroines' inferiority complexes. Inevitably, the hero rescued the heroine from some accident or disaster, usually of the heroine's making. The hero never doubted that he would capture and tame the heroine's heart. The study concluded that the major issue in these stories was one of power and control, and that the roles of victim, persecutor, and rescuer exist in real life and are reinforced by the role models provided in the Harlequin stories. (HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Harlequin Romances
Note: Paper presented at the combined Annual Meeting of the Midwest Popular Culture Association and the Midwest American Culture Association (Kalamazoo, MI, October 23-25, 1980).