Most people have tried it before, and those that haven’t are either too young to have tried it, or simply just heartless. It’s terrible and beautiful all at the same time, which is probably why it’s such a great topic for stories. However, getting your heart broken at some point in your life is inevitable. For some, it happens more than once. This is the case for our main character in the short story “The Rental Heart”, by Kirsty Logan.
To begin with, the reader has no clue as to whether the main character is a boy or a girl. In my head though, I got the image of a girl. The story is about this girl, who gets her heart broken over and over again, by boys as well as girls (she is bisexual). It’s not really a problem for her, because she can just go to the heart rental place and get a new one right away, ready for the next person in line. It’s nothing but a piece of machinery, capable of loving another human being. When you’re done with that person, or the other way ...view middle of the document...
What the writer is trying to tell us is, that if you keep making bumps and dents in your heart, in the end it will break. And after that, you won’t be able to use it any more.
The writer uses a lot of symbols in the story, and you could even classify it as science fictional. The characters almost become robotic when they keep switching out their hearts like it’s nothing more than buying a new computer once the old when dies. But at the same time, the feeling that you get from the story is still that it is set in the present time. Maybe it’s simply a whole different world! She also uses many symbols, especially to express how love feels to the main character. “The heart was dusty and tarnished and utterly empty”. This shows the reader just how heart broken she was. Her heart hasn’t felt real love in a long time, so it is dusty. It has been abused many times, so it is tarnished. And because of all this, it leaves her with nothing more than an empty space. Maybe the island that she says she went to for a year isn’t really an island that she actually went to either. Maybe she just closed herself down mentally, unable to deal with the world with a broken heart. That could have felt to other people, as if she was actually away on an island.
What seems to be pulling this story towards science fiction the most however, seems to be the fact that even though it’s all clearly one big metaphor for getting your heart broken and mending it again, it’s nowhere close to how reality is. Heartbreaks come in all shapes and sizes. But in real life you can’t just go “well, tough luck, she wasn’t the one for me, so I’m not going to be sad about it”. Healing a broken heart takes time in the real, non-fictional world. Just changing it like it’s nothing, that’s the real science fiction in the story.
All in all, we should be glad that we don’t have these kinds of rental services available. It would be way too boring. What makes life exciting is that it’s fragile; you never know what’s going to happen. If you could go to a store and buy a different personality, you wouldn’t want to do that, would you? Our losses are what make us capable of winning even greater battles in the future. To conquer the greatest of challenges, you need an experienced, sturdy heart. Not a fresh one straight out of the rental place.