In this penultimate discussion of the eight essential elements of a romance novel, we’ll explore the Recognition. According to Regis, the Recognition is a scene (or more than one) in which “the author represents the new information that will overcome the barrier” (p. 36). In Pride and Prejudice, for example, the Recognition occurs when Lizzy “recognizes” who Darcy really is, who Wickham really is, and who she herself really is.
The heroine is the central figure in the recognition scene of the romance novel. It is she who overcomes the barrier. This barrier can be external or internal. Interestingly, as Regis points out, the barrier in contemporary romance novels is often “an interior barrier, in which case the recognition scene consists of the heroine understanding her own psyche better” (p. 17).
Next time we’ll explore the last of the eight elements: the Betrothal.