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The villain - Essay Example

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VILLAINS Villains are often complex creatures. Many people believe that even in the worst person there is some good. Indeed, depending on the situation, good people may do bad things and bad people may do good things. It is hard to paint a person entirely with the label of villain…
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VILLAINS Villains are often complex creatures. Many people believe that even in the worst person there is some good. Indeed, depending on the situation, good people may do bad things and bad people may do good things. It is hard to paint a person entirely with the label of villain. Indeed, in the works studied in this course, there are a number of example of villains who are not as simple as they first appear. These characters show us that villains are often only villainous relative to the other people they are around. We must look closely at these people and see them for what they really are. The story of Eric from The Cape is a great example of fluidity between definitions of hero and villain. As a child it is clear that Eric wants to be a hero. He feels his cape gives him special powers. He likes what is good and wants to work hard to support it. Once he loses his cape, even though he leads a life of incredible good fortune with Angie, he seems lost. He is no longer a good person. He is certainly no hero. Left to his own devices, is the true character of Eric a person without any redeeming qualities? Does Eric need a crutch (i.e. his cape) in order to be good? Doesn't goodness come from within? These are questions for a longer paper. 3:10 to Yuma illustrates this dichotomy a bit more effectively in the personages of Ben Wade, a villain if there ever was one, and Evans, a hero. Wade shoots innocent people and feels nothing, as we see at the beginning of the story. The contrast between Wade and Evans is key. Without the good of Evans it would be harder to see the bad of Wade. Nevertheless, we see people change. At the end, Wade effectively saves Evans' life on the train. Is he a cold-hearted killer after all? He does seem to live by some kind of code. What does it mean that it is Evans he saves? Does he see the good in Evans and feel like he is worth saving for that reason? These are curious questions that the story leaves us with. A final complex villain is Lengel from Updike's story. It is hard to call Lengel a villain, since he is not especially malicious or evil. He is out of touch and prudish. He is a somewhat unpleasant man, especially in contrast to Sammy. He tells the girls in the story to dress properly, which is not really a bad thing, just bad in Sammy's opinion. In the end, it is clear that Lengel does have a conscience in the way he talks to Sammy about his parents and how they will feel if he quits his job. Lengel is a bad character only in superficial contrast to Sammy, who is a somewhat irritating character. He is not really a villain. He is certainly not one-dimensional and shows the ability to express various feelings. Each of these characters in their own way present to us an important perspective in the ways that good and bad people interact. The lessons that they teach us are ones that are important to learn. Not all villains are perfectly bad, nor or all good people perfectly good. Work consulted Hill, Joe. The Cape.  IDW Publishing, 2010. Leonard, Elmore. 3:10 to Yuma. Harper (reissue), 2006. Updike, John. Pigeon Feathers. Knopf, 1962. Read More
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