I Was Wrong - The Character Arc
Last time I was here I talked about “The Old Warrior”. It's one of my favorite character types and story elements.
This time I'm going to go into another trope/theme that almost always works for me: The realization of a character that life is not ‘over’ or ‘set in stone’ as they have believed. They open up and realize that they can be different, that life can be different - and because it's fiction, the realization comes at the same time as life actually BECOMES different.
I realize that in broad strokes, this is every standard character arc. A character grows and changes and has a new world view.
What I'm talking about is a particular stodginess and stubbornness and closed-off…ness that stands out to me. It's not just the standard character arc where a hero learns new things - it's the strong belief that “I can't change and I never will” that sits in certain characters.
Funnily enough, Beast from Beauty and the Beast is my first example. That's where I first recognized this theme. It's even in the theme song from the Disney animated movie “wonderful and strange - finding you can change - learning you were wrong.” It's sung by Angela Lansbury as the teapot. She's also murder-solving genius Jessica Fletcher! Is there anything she can't do?
It was the lyric that hit me so hard - again, it's a pretty universal notion, and something that can apply to almost every human in some way I'd imagine.
Even in a series, this can probably be done with most characters under the right conditions.
The flipside of this trope - where the overly rigid character has the chance to change but doesn't do it - is just as powerful to me, but in a depressing way.
So here's to the extra stubborn, extra stodgy, arms crossed, head shaking types who get opened up at the end of their stories!
Have a good one!
-Occasionally changeable Banes
Banes at 12:00AM, Aug. 8, 2019
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