Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Heroes and Villains

Keeping with the theme of characters, today's WriYe blog is about villains and heroes.

Nobody likes a know-it-all, or a goody two shoes, and someone who appears pure evil isn't necessarily the most interesting villain.

Take Adolf Hitler, for example. I don't think I've ever seen him portrayed as anything other than a one dimensional man intent on world domination. Now I don't want to get into any political debate, but I'm sure the man must have had more to his personality than being a Nazi.

He must have had hobbies, or friends. Maybe he liked to listen to music in the evening. And surely he must have fallen in love at some point.

What if you wrote a story about Hitler making the decision to open concentration camps while looking at a picture of the woman he loves, or while carefully tending his garden? Doesn't that instantly make him a more interesting character and a more intriguing villain?

The same is true of heroes. A perfect hero is boring. Give him a fault, a flaw or an irritating habit, or load him up with lots of problems in his personal life. Then when he triumphs in spite of all his problems we can really cheer for him.


  1. You make a very interesting point. I can't imagine Hitler gardening, and thinking about mass genocide at the same time, but if someone wrote about it I might find it to be interesting/informative.

  2. I think if Hitler was gardening when thinking of genocide, I'd probably think he really did not like flowers.

    Ok, joking aside. I apologize for such dark humor. It was an excellent example! It may be...nicer to think of these things in regards to made up characters but to bring it to the real world as you did makes me think about it even harder.

  3. You know, I have never really thought of Hitler as more than the one dimensional Nazi. In all honesty. The History major in me knows that he was probably one of the world's greatest leaders, but the horror's of what he did (or ordered to do) in the concentration camps really bothers me.

    On that same note, it is rather hard for me to see Hitler in any other light. Great example!