While deliberating on the concept of love, many definitions come to the forth. Love can be a physical sensation, chemistry between two persons that can be explained logically. At the same time, people are aware of impossibility of staying apart from their bellowed; they become frustrated and even depressed.
Therefore, love can be defined as something that stands beyond logic and emotion. It is a complicated mixture of both combined with other intangible senses. Perhaps, the hidden sense explains why people consider love irrational or even fallacious, as well as reveals individuals’ hidden possibilities.
At the same time, love cannot be subject to a false dichotomy because there are some many examples demonstrations crazy deeds of beloved trying to stay together forever. In particular, a Chinese famous love story called Butterfly Lovers accounts on the reading for self-sacrifice for the sake of love. The author depicts the feeling as something eternal and not subject to logic. It is an overwhelming feeling that contradicts the laws of logic.
Hence, the story has nothing in common with Max Shulman’s funny and ironic narration Love is a Fallacy. Specifically, Shulman shows that a relation between a man and a woman can be based on logic; while deliberating logically, the protagonist believes that it is possible to find a woman that would fit his position and requirements. Moreover, he compares himself to Pygmalion who is able to find a girl and make her fit the established standards.
In contrast, the legend about Chinese “Romeo and Juliet” provides an idea that the union between a man and a woman is created beforehand and, therefore, it cannot be the result of logic deductions. Moreover, it presents that there is no reason and logic at all to live if the person whom you love dies.
Shulman presents the protagonist who believes that his perfect match should be a woman with a number of obligatory qualities, whereas the main heroes of the Chinese legend do not try to adhere to specific reasons and standards to fall in love with each other.
In the short story Love is a Fallacy, there is no place for romantic relationships but for the educating process of a girl being a potential wife for the protagonist. Using examples of improper reasoning, the main protagonist applies to logic as the main instrument for building relationships.
Hence, the main hero firmly believes that being smart and intelligent, possessing grace and beauty are the main attributes can are worth of love and attention. Assuming this, he fails to conquer the attention of Polly –the object of his courting. The main protagonists of the Chinese legend – Liang and Zhu – feel a strong affinity to each other, although Zhu is a young woman disguised in to a young man.
Here the logic is beyond the relations because it fails to explain the emerged feelings. Unlike, Shulman’s main hero, Zhu does not pay attention to appearance and character traits that make her fall in love with Liang. The only description that is possible to track is the one associated with emotions and sensations of the main heroine.
Despite different angles of discussion presented in the both texts, both narrations represent the idea that logic and love as incompatible notions. Thus, the main protagonist is contrasted to his roommate Petey whose judgment are more based on emotional perception. Similarly, Polly, the hero’s object of attention, is also more concerned with the things generating such emotion as joy, pleasure, and happiness.
Her behavior is nothing but a splash of chaotic feelings that serve as a reaction to the narrator’s actions and talks. Such an emotional behavior cannot be explicable, which irritates the hero and makes him think over the ways to make the girl think and reason: “I wanted to find out just how much work I had to do to get her mind up to the standard I required” (Shulman n. p.).
So, the hero tries to reveal the qualities that he would be fond of and that would be worth of his love. While comparing, the hero’s attempt at changing Polly’s mental process, and subject her to reason, Zhu does not even try to change his beloved because her utmost and committed love manages to hidden all the disadvantages, if any. Zhu does not need to discover the reasons for her love; neither has she established specific standards for a person whom she loves.
An interesting interpretation of relationships between logic and love can be found at the end of the story when the narrators cannot find logical reasoning for Polly’s refusal to date with him. He fails to conceive the logic of preferring Petey to him merely because the former has a raccoon coat.
Once again, the logic is defeated by emotions when it comes to personal preferences. Similarly, the story of Zhu and Liang has also proofs that logic cannot prevail over emotion. Even if when Liang dies, Zhu do not want to marry another person and follow the rules of logic. She would better die than stay alive and live without her beloved. So, neither of the stories provide logical reasons for choices made by the story heroes.
Finally, both stories provide different perspectives of false dichotomy. Hence, a reasoned action represented in Shulman’s narrations provides a false dichotomy created by the protagonists. Specifically, the main character creates an imaginary ideal woman that would be a perfect match for his position in life.
He relies on stereotypes and logic while thinking over the “model” of his future wife: “successful lawyers … married to beautiful, gracious, intelligent women” (Shulman n. p.). Thus, a false dichotomy based on logic has been created. In the Chinese legend, the established dichotomy was far beyond logic. Zhan believed blindly in her feelings and sensations and struggled against the logic and reasons imposed by her parents.
Judging from the above-presented narrations, both stories have similarities and differences in representing their outlooks on love and reasoning, as well as their connection to a relation between a man and woman, between a heart and a mind.
The established relations and false dichotomies have revealed that logic and love are two incompatible things that cannot co-exist together. Hence, the attempts of Shulman’s hero to find logic in relationships with women have failed, just like the attempts of Zhu’s parents to make their daughter to marry a person whom she does not love. In addition, there is also contradiction between logic and emotion when it comes to searching for a perfect match.
In this respect, Shulman’s story presents searching for a woman with specific qualities predetermined by stereotypic reasoning whereas Zhu and Liang do not confine their affinity to personal qualities that stand beyond reasoning. In such a way, it is possible to believe that a true love is the one that do not conform to the standards of logical reasoning whereas a fallacious love is an attempt to match a person with the desirable qualities.
Shulman, Max. “Love is a Fallacy.” n. d. Web 2 Mar. 2012 < http://www1.asknlearn.com/ri_Ilearning/English/631/elang-ilearning/page3a.htm>