Sunday, 30 March 2008

Narrowing Things Down

So this week I've been doing some serious thinking about narrowing things down, and also minimizing the amount of work I need to do as far as research. This is, in a way, a very confusing idea for me because I often think of research as doing as much work on a subject I don't know about as I can possibly do. It's possibly a holdover from when I had to do research projects when I was younger... and I didn't know as much as I know now.

For the more immediate research project that is due at the end of the semester, I have a fairly good idea about what I want to do it on. I want to research how Louisa May Alcott objectifies men in her stories. I'm also thinking of after proving that she does objectify men, either try to express that it is, in a way an expression of repressed desires in her life. Maybe. That might be stretching it a little, but my gut is telling me it's all there to be proven.

As for next semester's independent study, I'm still debating. A large part of me would like to look at male archetypes in a certain romance author... I'm leaning towards Nora Robers just because she has a lot of different types of heroes, lots of books, and I've read a bunch of them. Springing off the idea of male archetypes, I've always had a resentment toward the term Alpha and Beta hero in books, and I think Roberts does a good job of writing male characters that would be sometimes termed "Beta." I think there is a better term for having male heroes that aren't perhaps as pushy as Alpha heroes, but are still assertive, perhaps in more subtle ways. I feel like there might be an argument somewhere in there that might be worth investigating.

However, it has been pointed out to be that research on male archetypes isn't quite cutting edge as say, the way males are objectified in Romance Novels. Now while this would be an interesting topic, and also would be spring-boarding more off of Louisa May Alcott's research paper this semester. But I also don't want to just do something if it is easier. And I am more interested in the first topic. But I'm wondering if there is a way to incorporate these two ideas, and I'm also wondering if I've been thinking about this too much.

Meanwhile, I've been getting some books on Alcott on Ill, and also getting the ones in our library that we have... it's unfortunate that her children's books and young adult (Little Women and Little Men) books are so much more well known than her thrillers. I like the thrillers.

Also, on a random side note... Louisa May Alcott's thrillers bear an eerie resemblance to some of the early Gothic romances in the middle of the 1900's. I'm starting to wonder if there was any crossover. I'll have to look at the date that Alcott's thrillers were published, and see if there's any correlation.

Later this week, more.


Laura Vivanco said...

"I think there is a better term for having male heroes that aren't perhaps as pushy as Alpha heroes, but are still assertive, perhaps in more subtle ways."

Maybe you're thinking of what AAR call a "gamma" hero?

JC said...

Huh. I'll have to check that out tonight. Thanks for pointing me to that.

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