The modern dating scene may be a far cry from the courting in classic romance literature, but the variety of routes available in our tech-centred society would offer our favourite literary characters a whole host of ways to meet each other. No longer would being from completely different cultures, locations or fictional worlds be obstacles to finding their match. When considering the options that modern society has to offer, the possibilities for literary love are endless.
Sick of watching Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver peacock for her attention, Bridget Jones takes the plunge and makes an appearance on First Dates. In her chat with Fred before her date arrives, she rapidly runs through the drama so far, leaving both the host and the barman somewhat speechless. Upon Fred’s heads-up that her man has arrived, she downs the last of her gin and tonic and aims for a movie-esque slow motion spin, complete with elegant hair flip. Instead, her hair sticks to her lip gloss and the wobbly bar stool tips over, sending her tumbling on national television to the feet of the next brown-haired smooth talker to ruin her life. Maybe online dating will fare her better.
With a short and simple bio informing people that he is only on the app to try and catch his cheating girlfriend, Othello resorts to stalking his wife on Snapchat Maps
On the topic of online dating, in a bid to forget Daisy, Jay Gatsby turns to Tinder. With the bio “give me the green light and I’m yours”, he swipes right on every unattainably pretty girl, super liking those with vaguely floral names. Hastily swiping left on Jordan, he freezes on the next profile. Rosalie Cullen: impossibly beautiful, with a look in her eyes that suggests he would regret ever attempting to attain her, but would inevitably try anyway.
Also scrolling fervently through Tinder is Shakespeare’s Othello, but not in search of a match. Rather than take Iago’s word for it, Othello’s investigation into Desdemona’s fidelity would venture online. With a short and simple bio informing people that he is only on the app to try and catch his cheating girlfriend, Othello resorts to stalking his wife on Snapchat Maps. As soon as her Bitmoji crosses paths with Cassio’s, he takes the deadly screenshot and Tweets it with the justification that she must be exposed, “else she’ll betray more men”.
Baum’s Wizard of Oz, stuck in his identity-forging ways, finds his opportunity for more trickery in the various online dating sites. He scrolls through famous fitness model Achilles’ Instagram page and chooses the best shots for his catfishing Tinder profile, tactically avoiding any with Patroclus in.
Leaving her teenage romance with Romeo behind, Juliet is drawn in by the impossibly sculpted Greek hero and just as naively as she fell for Capulet, she’s head over heels. The Catfish episode that arises after the Wizard avoids any Facetime calls is a tragic one, as Juliet bursts into tears at the sight of Nev walking out with a sheepish old man instead of her Greek demi-god.
Holden Caulfield draws his dates in with his slight bad boy vibe, leaning on the wall in the smoking area with a careless smirk
In the event that Elisa Esposito (of the novel accompanying critically-acclaimed film The Shape of Water) avoided her untimely death, she moves away from the waters and looks for love on dry land. For some reason, she finds herself drawn to the dating site ‘Plenty of Fish’, but is left feeling pretty disappointed by the match suggestions she’s given.
Delving outside of the fantasy world of Lord of The Rings, Gollum’s first dates don’t go quite to plan. Aside from the fact that he tells the little white lie that he’s 6 foot 3, aggressively demanding a ring upon meeting someone for the first time doesn’t tend to go down well. Similarly, Holden Caulfield draws his dates in with his slight bad boy vibe, leaning on the wall in the smoking area with a careless smirk. However, once he starts his rant on the futility of life, the appeal of his cynicism dissipates.
While far removed from the scenes of your classic romance novel and lacking in soliloquies of infatuation, the modern world would provide literary characters with a whole host of ways to meet their one true love outside of their fictional sphere. Whether our favourite characters would have more luck manoeuvring the minefield of matches and find their happily ever after, however, is another story altogether.