Short Story Review: "Love is a Fallacy" by Max Schulman

Updated on May 3, 2018
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Kate likes ideas that challenge societal norms and natural order. As a reader, she deems to share her newfound ideas to the world.

In his short story, “Love is a Fallacy”, author Max Schulman narrates the attempt of a young man to use logic as his advantage to pursuit love. Ironically, however, he falls victim to his own fallacies. Through his use of sophisticated diction and satirical tone, Schulman proves that in certain cases logic does not apply.

"Organic chemistry is the study of organs; inorganic chemistry is the study of the insides of organs." - Max Schulman
"Organic chemistry is the study of organs; inorganic chemistry is the study of the insides of organs." - Max Schulman | Source

The foreshadowing was clear from the very beginning, that the protagonist’s arrogance and narcissism will inevitably be his downfall. Although the protagonist is not a very likable character, Schulman’s display of haughtiness turned mocking makes one read ‘till the very end to see if the protagonist will succeed in his endeavor at all.

The way the protagonist thinks that because he is well comprehended, he can easily be an eligible boyfriend and husband, is a logical fallacy in itself. This further proves that even the smartest could be outwitted when it comes to love and romance.

The irony and hypocrisy of the situation in the story is so brilliant and well constructed. I like the way Schulman demonstrates how logic and emotions, especially love, does not coexist. Both love and logic may hold truth but merging the two ideas so that they may justify each other is simply not possible.

Is love a fallacy?

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In a logical sense, it may be concluded that love is a fallacy. Not in the way that it is purely a fabrication but because of how the way it works. Love sometimes disregards clear indications of error. It usually fails to recognize the most obvious warnings because it is blinded by what it only wants to see.

Source


Though it has all the qualities of a fallacy, love is definitely not a fallacy. Nor is it a mere deception. It is so much more than having someone to complete our pieces. For a lot of people, it could be their lifeline, their surrender. Because in this tumultuous world, love is the only thing that could bring us happiness and stability. It would be unfair to conclude it a fallacy just because of how unexplainable and unpredictable it is.

In the short story, the protagonist must understand that it takes more than knowledge, logic, or reason to create an emotional connection. Love and logic are two incomparable ideas. One cannot live without both, but it would be a futile attempt to be logical about love.

Source

Questions & Answers

  • In Max Schulman's "Love is a Fallacy," what is the narrator's reason for wanting Polly?

    The narrator wanted Polly for show. He liked the idea of having a partner so that he could be formidable in society. Having a wife could mean that a person is capable of responsibilities outside himself which is a quality associated with respect and power and success.

  • Is "Love is a Fallacy" by Max Schulman a poem or a novel?

    It's a short story.

© 2018 Kate Galvan

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    • profile image

      Jiya 

      3 months ago

      What does polly mean in her las sentence -"because he got a racoon coat"

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