Van Til Tool

Using the Van Til Perspective as the tool to discover what life means and how it ought to be lived.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

WHY ARE "GOOD" CHARACTERS IN LITERATURE SO OFTEN "DULL"??

WHY  ARE  "GOOD"  CHARACTERS  IN  LITERATURE

SO  OFTEN  "DULL"  ??

Have you ever wondered about this??  I belong to a C. S. Lewis email discussion group where I just now read an answer to this given by a member named Dimigtry Zarechnak in a post he sent to the group yesterday, April 3.  I have a hunch he may be right.  What do you think??  Here is his post:


From a letter from Lewis to A.K. Hamilton Jenkin of Jan. 22, 1939:

"I have a theory why the "good" characters in literature are so often dull. To make an interesting character you have to see him from the inside, all agree. Now to imagine from within a person morally inferior to yourself you don't need to do anything, you only need to stop doing something -- to take the brake off and give all your usually suppressed vanity, or greed, or cruelty, or envy a delightful holiday. But how to make one better than yourself? Well, you can make him a little better by making him actually do what you only try to do, or do often what you only do seldom. That is, you can give him the sort of virtue in full which you have in some degree yourself. But for anything beyond that you simply don't have the material. Not only do you not actually behave as a hero would, you don't even know what he feels like. Hence in most literature ideally good characters have to be made 'from outside' and accordingly look like puppets."

Posted by: Dimitry Zarechnak   [SpareOom] Creating "good" characters

This is one of the most thought-provoking ideas on this subject I have ever seen.

Please mull this over and tell me what you think.

Sincerely,

Forrest