In the wide world of ideas the anti-hero is gaining ground.
I find stories that admire anti-heroes repellent, unless the anti-hero grows beyond their selfishness. Anti-heroes have a major weakness, namely, that they never grow stronger. Instead they fail, make themselves victims, and revel in their failure. (Anti-hero and anti-heroine is synonymous here.)
After they are knocked down, they don’t get up again, not in any true sense. That is repellent in any person, and most of all in a story, which most readers go to for encouragement, enjoyment, and a guiding ethos. (I had to look that word up. Ethos is a Greek word that refers to the character of ideals and beliefs of a community or ideology. It includes the idea of alignment of passion and caution. –Loosely paraphrased from Google.)
Great fantasy books show us the beauty of justified self-sacrifice and the ugliness of it’s opposite, the unjustified anti-hero. How fantasy explores what is worth dying for and what is worth living for opens worlds of choice and myriad possibilities before our eyes.
In The Fourth Scroll, Karen Grunst takes the lead character down the path of a true heroine. When she refuses the path of the anti-heroine, Sarah discovers that the life she expected to live must die (figuratively). And she grieves that loss. Suddenly she is forced down a completely different path with only the vaguest notion of what her new life will entail as the novel ends. Though I have not read this book, this is a great point. This is true of many things in our lives, as it is of Sarah in this clean fantasy.
Amy Earls in Forbidden Reign gives us another truth in this quote. “Elohim walked with me in those frightening places, and maybe the darkness as well as the light is a part of His plan. Sometimes things must die before the world sees the life they can bring.”
Dying and living can both be dangerous and deadly. That is the nature of choice in life. For whenever we live to one thing, we always die to another. Dying for the sake of hope often brings life. As it does in [the above books]. Paths divide and hearts choose. It is odd that it is often necessary to die, sometimes literally, in order to truly live. —Fantastic Journey pg. 197
Freedom from the tyranny of self is freedom indeed. Doing what is right brings freedom, even if it brings the death of something dear to us.
The weakness of the anti-hero, and his very real despair, propagates a lack of strength and whining, to put it bluntly. We are all weak and complain at times. The anti-hero stays there. See the end of anti-heroes, in more ways than one, and turn from emulating them.
Give your admiration to heroes, to simple people who strive for truth and light and good. Imperfectly striving, but still heroic, still fighting for something far beyond themselves. Follow those who refuse to stay down under the weight of darkness.
Crossover – Find the Eternal, the Adventure
Have a great week!