Romance Escape Motif Today

Romance escape motif today


American literature has adopted the motif of romance escape. Ernest Hemingway’s book A Farewell to Arms (1929) has the theme of romance with two types of romance. First, the hero Henry Fredrick portrays false romance of fleeing and secondly the real romance which he genuinely falls in love with Barkley Catherine. The false romance in this text covers up for the ugly picture of the war which is a harsh realty and that is why Lieutenant Henry eventually flees. Though in the text, we have to question what the real motive for the hero who escaped was. He runs away in an attempt to run away from war and death into fulfilling his hopes to his love Catharine and towards life itself. He succeeds partly but the story tragically ends as we discover Catherine is dead. Henry acknowledges that even though people escape to find love and life, death is inevitable.


The movie Legend of the Fall starred by Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins and Edward Zick is a movie with a romance escape motive. The three brothers in the play have fallen in love with Susannah the beautiful female character.  Samuel comes home with her only for us to find out that Susannah gets attracted to Brad while the third brother Alfred also falls for her. It is at the end where we see Brad and Julian Armand (Susannah) escape after the brother Samuel has been killed in the world war.


Easy Wedding advertisement based on honeymoon bookings for locations to visit and wedding guide connoted the theme of romance and escape.

The poems ‘Bait’ and ‘Passionate Shepherd’

The poem of John Donne, “Bait” is written to bring out the limitations in Christopher Marlow’s ‘The passionate Shepherd’ poem which is hyperbolic of euphonic love. The Bait is therefore a parody of Marlow’s as expressed from the point of view of Donne. This poem is structured logically just like Marlow’s poem with its progressive aspects that shows a more darker and serious tone that is adopted from Marlow’s light and simple tone. At the end of the stanza we see a proverb that tells of the happiness of love with unhappiness hidden within it.

We find that the first stanza appears like Marlows poem with imageries that are related and which talk about fishing such as hooks, brooks and sand but the hook giving a more unpleasant connotation. The second stanza is an exaggeration of warmth in which the sun is more inferior to it. As the poem progresses it provides a more cautious message as seen in the last line of the third stanza. The fifth stanza talks of what happens when caught up by the hook. Legs are cut and they freeze; the fish has been betrayed. The last stanza talks of how the fish has been deceived which is a paradox that it is ones own lust that draws him / her into a trap. This poem is therefore more realistic than Marlow’s ‘Passionate Shepard.’

Herrick’s “To the Virgins”

This poem focuses upon the idea of carpe diem. It is for the idea of marriage while love and flesh is still young or else, one may suffer in the last years of life loveless and alone. The poet says Virginity should not be wasted for it is a gift to the husband.

Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress”

Marvell presents the same literature theme of carpe diem meaning seize the day in Latin. A young man declares his love to a young lady. The lady is hesitant and playful. The young man advises just like in Herrick’s poem that youth passes swiftly and ladies should take advantage of the moment. However, from the poem To the Virgins we get the feeling of urgency and duty which is not present in Marvell’s poem.

The 1500 centaury

The phrase ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ in life in 1500 century connotes that aspect of urgency in belief that we as human beings are immortal and things should be done at the right time. The poems teach us that we should be realistic in view of love all and all of our activities by doing what needs to be done. The poems are also against procrastination of life stages. The poems talk about love and marriage.


Baym, N (2007) The Norton anthology of American literature. Seventh edition. W.W

Norton publisher. Issue number 393930572.

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