A while ago I had a discussion with a friend–the chap is a real cynic–in which we argued why evil doesn’t win out over the good guys in novels. Why can’t the villain, the bad evil doer, Dr. No, Dr. Doom not triumph and kick the snout out of the goody-two-shoes and rule the world? It doesn’t happen very often, if at any time. And yes, there are anti-heroes that win out by the time the last word is written, but they tend to side on the side of good albeit using less scrupulous means to do so.
Well, this very question was addressed at Suvudo.com–a really cool site devoted to all things fantasy and sci-fi. I check in on the site a couple time a day. Any how, on Friday a article asked the question: “Should Evil Ever Win?” I was surprised that a number of literary alumni weighed in on the question, from Terry Brooks to CS Friedman and a couple of more.
Check out the article in more detail HERE.
I especially liked Brent Weeks’ comments. He basically believes that evil tends to win out in subtle ways because in the end the journey the hero takes to vanquish evil (and win) changes he/she and leaves them with emotional and mental scarring. To quote this great author, “… in The Lord of the Rings, Frodo wins. But that victory takes so much out of Frodo that he can never again be that simple hobbit from the Shire. He stays for a time, not truly connected to anyone except the other wounded warriors…”
I like Weeks thoughts on the subject. In those words a bell rings clearly with truth and clarity, for me. Read the article and stew over the question. I myself lean toward Week’s argument. Think about it for a second… in terms of our everyday, real lives. Every experience we have in the real world shape us. Events that shape our lives tend to get written on the huge wall inside our heads. Each day after that, we tend to refer back to that wall when making decisions and looking out upon the world moving by in front of us. This goes for the good and bad stuff, unfortunately.
How do your opinions and insights weigh on this issue?