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Monday, February 8, 2010

February: Is Anyone Pure Evil?












In Copper Sun, the slave owner who buys Amari gives her as a gift to his son Clay. In his own way, Clay has complicated feelings for Amari. Both he and his father emerge as characters who have layered emotions -- they seem pure evil at times, but show vulnerability in some moments.

Have you come across complex people such as this, in fiction or in reality? Do you think there are people who are just pure evil, or is there always a human side to everyone, somewhere deep down?


12 comments:

Erin said...

I don't think there's such a thing as pure evil in a human just as there's no such thing as pure goodness in a human. Everyone has good and bad natures.

Melissa Walker said...

I agree, Miss Erin. Even though there were moments of pure evil in COPPER SUN, Sharon did an amazing job of showing us glints of their humanity as well.

JenFW said...

I wonder. With chemical and psychological imbalances, and in a desperate and hostile environment, maybe there is pure evil.

We know there are sociopaths. Would we consider sociopaths pure evil?

Shelf Elf said...

I like to believe that there isn't such thing as a person who is pure evil. I think someone can be evil for a really long time, and they can forget what it is like to do good or to show compassion. I think that evil thoughts and evil actions breed evil thoughts and actions, making it even harder to break out of that way of being.

drapersharon said...

I don't believe in pure evil--at least not in literature. A character who is completely bad is not realistic. My editor would strangle me if I turned in a book in which a character has no redeeming characteristics at all. It's the human flaws that makes us want to keep on reading. And the human strengths that make us cheer, even for the bad guy sometimes. Even the Wolfman started out as a real man who got caught up in circumstances beyond his control. I cried when they killed King Kong. He wasn't evil--he was probably more human than the evil guys who captured him.

drapersharon said...

About sociopaths--maybe some of them ARE pure evil. But all of them started out as innocent babies, who giggled and gurgled and loved. Something happened in their lives that changed them, that hurt them, that made them turn to evil.
In literature as well as psychology, we search for the reasons a character changes and does cruel things.

Why are evil characters so much more interesting that characters who smile all the time and never break the rules?

Melissa Walker said...

Sharon, I'm going to post your final question as a new discussion--great one!

Lorie Ann Grover said...

I thinks there's always a vein of humanity.

I agree that our editors would hate any pure evil character we tried to pass, Sharon. Mostly because they wouldn't be realistic.

Oh, and completely good characters are just plain boring! Pollyanna...

drapersharon said...

Characters with flaws are delicious! We love to see them try, and fall, and try again. We love to travel on their journey to something--redemption, maybe? Maybe just some success and happiness. But we love seeing them make horrible mistakes on the journey!
What does that say about us?

Melissa Walker said...

Ooh, Sharon, I love your questions within questions! I think it says that we all have a little bit of a craving for seeing others' dark sides, their flaws, their failures...

Cara Mengobati Kencing Nanah said...
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Setia Adi said...
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