Chick Lit is Literature
Chick Lit is Literature
Formula fiction and its genres are recognizable as being literature. Chick Literature is a sub-genre of woman’s fiction. This sub-genre can be considerate literature since it reflects the 3 common points of literature. Those criteria are respected in Chick Lit because there is a reflection of society and human experience through the protagonist of the story. Also the author’s voice is unique and the story is always engaging the reader by discussing a universal truth. Each one of them is clearly represented in the plot of a typical Chick lit story. These conventions are analyzed in Helen Fielding’s “Bridget Jones’s Diary”.
First of all, in Chick Literature there is always a reflection of society and human experience. Effectively, in Bridget Jones’s Diary and in the movie Bride and Prejudice, there is a presence of the same universal conventions. There is a reflection of human experience when the protagonist is facing social pressure and struggle with insecurities. The social pressure, in Bridget Jones’s Diary, is the pressure faced by Bridget from her family and friends to get involved with a man. We recognize ourselves in the insecurities faced by the main character. This makes the story more realistic because we can relate to the issues of the protagonist. Also, each story takes place in a different context. In Bridget Jones’s Diary, the story is located in London whereas in Bride and Prejudice, the majority of the action happens in India. The conventions are adapted to the culture and the place where the story takes place. Usually, the conflict faced by the characters is slightly different. In Bridget Jones’s Diary, the protagonist is a career woman that is single, whilst in Bride and Prejudice, Lalita, the main character, is facing an arranged marriage organized by her mother. Also, the protagonist needs always traveling companions who completes her in some way. The companions in Bridget Jones’s Diary are a representation of what Bridget desires the most. The main plot in Chick lit stories is related to the main protagonist’s quest to find a life partner. The main protagonist is usually a woman in her thirties. The presence of the refection on human experience and society makes Chick lit adhere to the definition of literature.
Additionally, a reflection of the author’s voice is clearly present in Chick lit stories. The author writes about a theme that represents a universal truth using her own unique voice. In other words, she tells that story from a distinct perspective. So, we can see a foreshadowing of her outlook throughout the novel. In Bridget Jones’s Diary, the narrator is Bridget Jones herself. It is particular in this case because the entire novel is written in a diary format, so the whole story is written from her perspective. This is bringing uniqueness to the novel. Also, the theme of Helen Fielding’s novel is Bridget’s quest to self improvement. The book’s first pages are Bridget’s New Year's Resolutions which consist of all the things she wants to improve on during the next year. A part of those resolutions deal with her quest to find a good life partner: “I will not fall for any of the following: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobics, people with girlfriends or wives, misogynists, megalomanics, chauvists, emotional fuckwits or freeloaders, perverts.” (Fielding 2) We can easily infer that she had problems with men and love relationships during the previous years. The universal truth reflected here is a love dilemma. The author points out another universal truth when Bridget says the following: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.”(Fielding) By being a reflection of the author’s voice in a unique way, Chick lit fulfills another criterion of literature.
Furthermore, Chick lit stories are engaging. They are written in a contemporary world and they take on the theme of love, thus engaging their target readership. For a book to be engaging, it needs to involve the reader emotionally and mentally. Bridget Jones’s Diary does involve the reader’s emotions by intriguing him. As the pages go on, the reader tends to get more and more emotionally involved in the story. The plot is also particular since it is divided in 12 chapters and each one representing one month of a year of Bridget’s life. Also, the diary format creates an intimae relationship between the narrator and the reader since the reader is aware of everything she eats, smokes and drinks. In Helen Fielding’s novel, the conflict rises when Bridget finally gets the attention of Daniel. All thought the story the reader can see how Bridget improves herself by making mistakes and learning from them. Finally, the conflict is resolved when she ends up with Mark Darcy. The person who reads can easily imagine the events portrayed in the books. Again, the novel needs to be unique in its way. Bridget Jones’s Diary is remarkably well written because the story is told by the main character herself and in her own words. The reader can get as much information as possible because he is aware of all Bridget’s thoughts and events in her life. By engaging the reader, Chick Lit fulfills another significant criterion of literature.
In conclusion, Chick Lit is a genre in English literature because it respects all the criteria of literature. All Chick Lit stories have the same conventions in it. Helen Fielding’s novel is a typical Chick lit novel and it has all the conventions in it. First of all, there is a clear refection on human experience and society trough the whole book. Also, the author does tell the story in a unique voice by using a special format of writing to its novel. Furthermore, the book is indeed engaging. Basically by conforming to all these conventions, this novel should be considered good literature. Finally, a book could be a best seller and also good literature.
Fielding, Hellen. Bridget Jones’s Diary. New York: Penguin Books. 2001. Print