Money VS Love
Google’s Ngram Viewer tells a fascinating story when the mentions of the words “love” and “money” in literature from 1700 to 2008 are compared graphically. The line of money, cold and blue, and line of love, red of course, vie for the hearts of writers over three-hundred years of telling literary history.
In the pre-capitalistic days of the early 1700s, love pours from pens. While, money, inaccessible to most, is barely mentioned. But as capitalism brings the possibility of wealth to everyman, suddenly money is on everyone’s mind, and by 1760, money mentions surpass those of love.
Money’s reign is short-lived, however, as the era of Romanticism dawns in the early 1800s, and mentions of love surge, reaching historic heights through the mid-1800s.
Money slips a bit and bides its time, waiting for the Industrial Age and the hopes of modernism, where it resurges in the early 1900s. Love meanwhile, slips like a fading dream. Money, too, finally wanes, as 20th century postmodernism takes its toll all on the old idols.
Then, around 1990 or so, both love and money make a comeback, money modestly, while love soars. Perhaps the beginning of another Romantic age, or too many Twilight novels.