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Obstacles to love

 

Disciplines > Storytelling > Plots > Polti's Situations > Obstacles to love

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Previous: Discovery of the dishonor of a loved one

Next: An enemy loved

 

Description

Elements

  • Two Lovers

  • An Obstacle

Summary

Two Lovers want to be together, but they are prevented from doing so by some difficult Obstacle.

Variants

A

  1. Marriage prevented by inequality of rank
  2. Inequality of fortune an impediment to marriage

B

  1. Marriage prevented by enemies and contingent obstacles

C

  1. Marriage forbidden on account of the young woman's previous betrothal to another
  2. Marriage forbidden on account of the young woman's previous betrothal to another, complicated by an imaginary marriage of the beloved object

D

  1. Free union impeded by the opposition of relatives
  2. Family affection disturbed by the parents-in-law

E

  1. Free union impeded by the incompatibility of temper of the lovers

Discussion

In some societies, marriage is not just two people moving in with one another -- it is a joining of entire families. Thus when a richer person marries a poorer person, then the poorer family may be delighted by the kudos gained, whilst the richer family look on in distain and whisper about 'gold-diggers'.

Union across boundaries often creates tension, whether it is inter-national, inter-racial, inter-religion, inter-class or other combination where people on either side of the divide who are associated with one of the lovers

Readers of such stories may well sympathize with the lovers, although they may also nod wisely at the ignored pleading of the kin. Perhaps also they will wonder what it would be like to be marry outside of their normal social boundaries.

In practice, cross-boundary unions often fail as much due to the ingrained values of the lovers as external influences. The deep love does not last and the relationship will be gradually affected by underlying differences of opinion.

'Obstacles to love' is the 28th of Georges Polti's 36 Dramatic Situations.

See also

Involuntary crimes of love, Discovery of the dishonor of a loved one

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