Fire with Fire

>> Monday, January 14, 2013

Remember back when books had struggles between light and dark, not grey with black?
It is a curious trend I notice springing up in most literature, especially YA. The "good guys" are grey and fighting against a even worse threat.
I'm not saying antiheroes are bad, but at least there was a time when these anti-heroes learned their lesson and changed themselves and their world for the better. That is becoming increasingly rare.

Nowadays books are not so strict on the distinction between light and dark.
What are they telling us?

"It's okay to kill fellow children if you're trying to survive."
"Doomed souls like vampires and fallen angels make good romantic companions."

Now, many good books I know have characters that do take a brief walk on the dark side. But once the lesson is learned they turn towards the light and abandon the dark--they even defeat the dark with their new-found light.
Where did that all go?

You remember the old books? I mean, look at The Dark is Rising! The entire series is a literal Light vs. Dark!
Believe me, if Tolkien had never written The Lord of the Rings, and if it were written today, it's be some story of how a hobbit fought evil with the aid a possessive ring. It'd be grey vs. black.
Tolkien avoided that. The ring cannot be used by anyone. It is evil and cannot be used for good in any manner, shape, or form.

I suppose what I'm saying is that I wish that books nowadays didn't focus so much on fighting fire with fire (although I do see the need to defend yourself from evil by fighting.)
I just wish there were books nowadays where love, compassion, and truth could conquer overwhelming darkness.

Give me less darkness. I want light.

1 Comments:

Marian January 14, 2013 at 11:11 AM  

You're so right! It's not just in YA, either, but in most genres.

I Am An Otter

You're an otter, mate! Another good friend of Redwall, you are a natural swimmer and a deadly fighter especially with a long bow or javellin. Camp Willow is your home, just as Redwall is your second home. You have a good heart and a strong sense of loyalty. You absolutely love Shrimp and Hotroot soup, living by the motto "Ain't nothing 'otter for an Otter!".

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