Monday, April 18, 2016

Modern twists on classic tropes

"The lie" trope shows up everywhere. A character pretends to be something she or he isn't, and keeps the act up, often falling in love in the way, only to have it disastrously revealed at the worst moment--and somehow things turn out okay.

Often it's a Prince and Pauper lie, where the protagonist is pretending to be wealthy, elite, amazing. Sometimes there's also a corresponding pretend pauper, who's inevitably learned a life lesson, but usually the focus is on the real pauper pretending to be a prince. Because let's face it, more people relate to the pauper over the prince.

Yes, of course I'm a real princess.
Why do you ask?
Of course, the pauper also ends up with a nice hefty bonus that leaves them no longer worrying about money, but hey, that's just how fiction goes.

In the age of identify theft, Facebook, social media, would a real prince-and-pauper story turn out so well? How much longer will this trope stay current--or will it always be a dream we have, as a society? I think it speaks to something universal, myself, that wish that everything were easy--and the realization that "easy" isn't always what it seems. But maybe the face of it will change.

What twists do you think we'll start seeing in Prince and Pauper tales in the future, as technology changes?

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