Adventure and Romance

From the beginning of history, man seems to have liked a varied life. The poor cultivator and ploughman, the shepherd with his sheep, felt a glow of pleasure on the day when an encounter with a wolf or a panther added a touch of excitement to their daily toil. In fact they went out to search for such excitement, for they would hunt the wolf and other animals purely for the joy of hunting. This persists to this day. The man who goes out with his gun is not in need of food, and may be sitting in the safety of a machan, but he likes to feel that he is matching himself against a dangerous animal that has the power to hurt him.

In early times there were great areas of the earth unmapped and unknown. Explorers went boldly into the trackless jungles of Africa and South America, facing many dangers and often losing their lives, in the search of fresh knowledge and experience. Shakespeare tells us in Othello and the Tempest that sailors returned from voyages into strange ocean bringing back stories of wonderful tribes they had met, of magic islands, fairies and witches. When man become bored with routine of life, with the daily tram ride back and forward to the office, they search for a kind of various adventures of others.

The demand for this kind of adventure is met by the modern novel, the cinema and the theater. The imagination constructs adventures and shows them on the screen or in a book, this is what we call Romance. For the time being the spectator or reader is far away from his familiar environment and is assisting in the undoing of American gangsters, or driving a team of huskies across the snowy plains of Alaska.

Much of this is healthy and natural romance. It is a clean thrill to see on the screen an exciting series of events, or to read Greenmantle or Treasure Island. Buried treasures, thwarted love that is successful in the long run, the supernatural, discovery of unknown lands with strange tribes ruled by she, all are from the very store house of adventurous romance. But unfortunately there is un healthy kind of romance in our times, in novels and films which show the doings of American gangsters with deadly revolvers and which makes the police appear slow and stupid in their efforts. Then there are novels appearing in which sexual sin is condoned and virtue and chastity are made to seem old fashioned and out of date qualities. These are poisons for the nation and by their glorification of evil, set an example which may well lead young people on the wrong path.

 By Rehana khan(111/10)


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