According to Bantam’s Soft Romance, Specs, the writer insightfully claims that the ideologies of the hero and heroine balance each other out so their conventional roles are clearly defined. This basis is portrayed in many works of fiction including novels, television, and fairy tales. In these romantic depictions, the hero and heroine often complement each other; he is usually defined as godlike and from the heavens, while her character is relatable, down to earth, and of mother nature.
This system pays off because it gives men a feeling of masculinity to be the heroic one who holds greater power than the heroine. Although the roles are not equally fair, the fantasy works because the heroine gets to look glamorous, avoiding the dirty work, while the hero gets all the glory. However, he earns the recognition for doing the hard work and rescuing the heroine.
The roles of the hero and heroine are clearly defined otherwise they would be competing with each other and falling for versions of themselves rather than completing each other. Additionally, it would be too insipid and one dimensional if their characters were similar to each other. The heroine receives support from the hero who assures her of her value through his praise, his fixation on her and deciding that she is worth saving. Both get their happy ending because the hero feels needed, and the heroine realizes that she cannot fulfill the hero’s roles so she waits to be rescued.
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