Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Enter the Antihero

The social turmoil that the entire world as a community has been facing recently has disposed us to be skeptical of almost everything. As skeptics, we are accustomed to deliberation, evaluation of evidence, and the insistence upon extraordinary evidence in support of extraordinary claims. These traits are not important to the political process, which instead rewards appeals to emotion and the successful manipulation of human passion. It is no wonder that we skeptics are uncomfortable in the political world. It represents everything we reject in our search for understanding.

Enter the antihero. He may not really have any good or useful characteristics, but his character is a perfect example of the struggle that we go through in our daily lives when choosing between good and evil. One example of the antihero in literature is Gollum in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. The good side of him warns those who want the ring, but the dark side of him is infected by greed and makes him do evil things to obtain the ring. This eventually leads to his death.

If used skillfully, an antihero is much more interesting that the more traditional hero. He is represented as an amalgamation of both good and evil.  These darker heroes can be jerks, pathetic, hard, jaded, or mean. They can be used to represent many things at the same time, such as, social flaws, human frailties and political culture. Instead of having two different people represent two opposing extremes, an antihero combines both into one person and thus presents a more accurate and complete picture of human nature.

The character of Thomas Silverton has emerged in the first two books of my Legacy series with all the potential to become a bona fide antihero. He is selfish, ambitious, manipulative, prejudiced and morally corrupt.  But there is something about him that makes us think there is some redeeming quality there somewhere down deep inside him that will save him. We just haven’t seen it yet.  It’s what gives us hope. Perhaps it will show up in the final book of the trilogy.

Wanda DeHaven Pyle is the award-winning author of Windborne, The Stone House Legacy and The Steel Canyon Legacy. Her books are available on Amazon and Kindle at

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