Subject: RE: characters who reverse images of good and evil

Ven vendersleighc at
Sun Dec 19 21:29:51 EST 2004

On Fri, 17 Dec 2004, jackie e stallcup wrote:
|My student is also arguing that Harry is not the

classic "hero" but I
|think that he's just the classic "underdog" and 
that there are lots of
|characters like him.  He points out that 
Hermione is not the "ideal"
|female as traditionally depicted, but I think 
she's a classic "studious

Katta wrote
<In a non-fantasy genre, Agatha Christie's books 
are for obvious reasons full 
of villains that seem to be nice people and nice 
people who seem to be villains...>


This is true for detective novels and thrillers
in general, to say nothing of romantic thrillers.
And in SF there are whole alien races who appear
like this.

Katta again
<I just thought of another example from dwj -
what about Erskine? He's quite ambiguous, both as
the goon and once his identity is
<.....And though it only really shows if one
knows the myth, Eight Days of Luke 
does portray the villain (Loki) as more 
sympathetic than the heroes (the 
rest of the gods).>

Loki has always struck me as an archetype of the
anti hero - many of the tales about him,
especially, his adventures with Thor show him as
a crafty Odyssian kind of hero, nicely contrasted
with Thor's honest strong man type. He's even
rather admirable in the Lokasenna

when  he crashes a divine dinner party to tell
the Aesir what he thinks of them all and only
Thor can shut him up -- he's got a lot of nerve.
I always felt very sorry about Loki's eventual
fate and never  warmed much to goody goody Baldur

In 8dol Astrid is another example of a character
who starts out unsympathetic, lumped in with the
rest of David's awful relatives, but who turns
out to be nearly as much of a victim until she
changes sides.

Jackie, the problem with your student's idea is
that it's just plain wrong is it not?  It must be
quite hard to deal with this without making the
student in question feel an absolute fool......


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