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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ashoka chapter.

Edited By : Vrinda Rastogi 

Within the mosaic of love, threads of happiness, contentment, and companionship weave together, forming a foundation strengthened by the crucial element of unconditional support. Yet, amid this congenial blend, a territory emerges, entangled in the intricate webs of danger, darkness, and obsession.  This form of love where the borders of love and hate seem to disappear and blend into a symphony of feelings of passion and obsession remains without name ingrained deeply in some or the other form in love. This article unfolds as a symphony of narratives, art, and love, an exploration of the complex and enthralling facets that reside within the realm of love’s tale.

Philomela ( Metamorphosis, Ovid ) – Thracian king, Tereus marries Athenian princess, Procne. In order to please his wife he brings her sister, Philomela, to Thrace. Not long after Tereus lusts for Philomela, raping her, cutting out her tongue to silence her and keeping her in her agonizing state, hidden, deep into the wood. Philomela weaves the tale into a tapestry, and sends it to Procne, who then discovers the dark truth of her beloved husband. Seeking vengeance, Procne kills their son, Itys, serving his dismembered body to Tereus, revealing the horrifying truth only after he devours the meal. This narrative stands as a symbol of the perils inherent in love—a sister’s unwavering devotion juxtaposed with the betrayal of a once-beloved husband, pushing Procne to unimaginable extremes in her quest for justice. This story is a symbol of the hazards of loving and being loved. 

Lolita ( Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov ) –  This tale is a journey through the mind of Humbert Humbert, a middle-aged European man who becomes infatuated with a twelve-year-old girl named Dolores Haze, lovingly called Lolita. Humbert’s obsession with Lolita is intense and all-consuming, and he goes to great lengths to be near her, even marrying her mother to stay close to the object of his desire. After a series of events, Humbert takes Lolita on a cross-country road trip, during which he continues to exploit her youth and vulnerability. He justifies his actions by convincing himself that Lolita is a willing participant in their relationship and during the course of her exploitation, somewhere Lolita too starts to believe the same. At its core, Lolita is a profound exploration of the complexity of human desire and the intersection between the concepts of love and consent. Nabokov challenges us to confront the uncomfortable reality that even the most despicable actions can be driven by deeply human emotions such as love, desire, and longing as he blurs the line between exploitation and love and challenges us to look at Lolita not just as victim of Humberts desire but also of her own love. 

Venus ( Venus and Adonis, Shakespeer )  –  Venus, the goddess of Love, finds her divine heart entangled with Adonis, a mere mortal hunter. Defying the constraints of convention, she ardently pursues her desires beyond heteronormative boundaries. However, Adonis, impassive to her advances, remains steadfast in his love for the hunt. Venus, consumed by longing, transcends conventional norms, compelling an intense union with Adonis, who struggles to resist. This narrative delves into the complicated interaction of love, lust, and power, blurring the lines between the natural and the unnatural. Drawing parallels with Lolita, the story unravels the complexities of consent amid burning desires, exploring the perilous territories where passion transforms into exploitation. In this tale, a goddess’s desperate love clashes with a man whose heart yearns for nothing more than the untamed pursuit of a wild boar. It unfolds as an exploration of love’s inherent dangers, where the boundaries between passion and hazard become as blurred as the desires that bind Venus and Adonis in their tumultuous embrace.

The Second Mrs. de Winter ( Rebecca, du Maurier ) – Daphne du Maurier’s haunting tale unfolds at Manderley, a Cornish estate, where the unnamed second Mrs. de Winter grapples with her predecessor, the unforgettable Rebecca. The novel begins with a dream of Manderley, and the narrative is woven through flashbacks. The second Mrs. de Winter’s insecurities intensify as she feels overshadowed by the glamour of the deceased Rebecca, perpetuated by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers. The story delves into the depths of jealousy in the face of desire and creates an exploration of obsession and self doubt. It brings to light an interesting interplay between hate and love wherein the second Mrs. de Winter’s hatred towards Rebecca caused her to spiral into thoughts and acts of extreme obsession, the kinds that one would only relate to with love. A revelation at a costume ball unveils a shocking truth about Rebecca, transforming the power dynamics in the marriage. Which brings into exploration an even more fascinating concept of the power play that is influenced by love. This novel is an arresting exploration of the various forms of obsession amidst desire, ranging from that of a lover towards her beloved to the one that manifests itself in the form of her hatred towards his deceased wife and finally the one that transforms itself into power. The question that this novel leaves us with is that of jealousy. Is jealousy just another form of admiration, or in other words is jealousy also love? 

Amy ( Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn ) – In the bustling streets of New York City, writers Amy and Nick find solace in each other’s words, swiftly falling into a whirlwind romance that leads to marriage. Yet, when adversity strikes and they lose their jobs, their once-strong bond begins to unravel. Relocating to Nick’s hometown for his mother’s care, their discontent festers, leading to infidelity and manipulation. It starts getting twisted when Amy orchestrates her own vanishing act, framing Nick for her supposed demise. As the twisted tale unfolds, both engage in a battle of wits, crafting narratives to control the narrative. With a shocking revelation and a child on the way, their saga takes a dark turn of power and manipulation. This cinematic masterpiece delves into the profound depths of revenge, prompting contemplation on the lengths one would go to seek retribution. It raises an intriguing question about the intricate interplay between love, desire, and the searing pain of betrayal. Can the anguish of losing a loved one to betrayal metamorphose into extreme hatred, compelling one to embark on a journey to dismantle their and their lover’s life? Does the pursuit of revenge serve as just another expression of an enduring obsession, a manifestation intricately intertwined with the complex fabric of love? This narrative invites us to unravel the enigmatic ties between love, desire, and the compelling allure of vengeance.

As I make my way through the multiplicity of love that manifests itself in various forms,  I am baffled with the extent to which one would travel for the fulfillment of their desires. There is much to learn for these women in love. 

Isha is a freshman at Ashoka University and is a part of the content team at Her Campus. She is an aspiring psychologist and an amateur filmmaker and photographer. She cares deeply about the wellbeing of wild animals ( especially tigers ) and is a huge dog lover. In her free time she can be seen exploring the ancient ruins of Delhi , listening to Sufi Bollywood songs and gorging on the kebabs from Chandni Chowk. She has strong opinions on Zoos ( against ) , Gender equality ( for ) and being human towards our strays .