1. Paul Lee says:

    I know—but part of the appeal of stories is that in real life, we rarely know what to do about evil when we’ve seen it. If we try to stand up and stop said evil, we are soon disabused of our heroic ideal. In real life we don’t get to be superheroes, we rarely even get to be legitimate troublemakers without causing other kinds of evil. There is rarely any sense of reality or validity about trying to do the right thing—it’s so fake, so awkward, so forced, so inconsequential.

    • Not sure we must be “superheroes” who confront end-of-the-world events or alien invasions. Only eyes to see hideous realities, and voices to condemn them for what they are—and refuse to cease in the face of rolled eyes on other faces.

  2. notleia says:

    Y’know, we can loop this back to the robot discussion from earlier and the nature of humanity. Put a face on a robot, and people tend to act as if it has personality: in some subconscious wibbley-woo way, the face is the symbol of humanness, humanity. To destroy or to take someone’s face is to dehumanize them. To do it to yourself means you no longer place yourself in the community of humans, you are literally making yourself inhuman.

    • That’s a great thought. I had not thought of the converse effect.

      As villains hide their own faces and dehumanize other human beings by stealing their faces, likewise they also glue false faces onto things that are not human and claim that they are human.

      And yes, by doing this the villain is refusing to concede that he/she is a human being or belongs in the community of human beings.

      Perhaps this also is a truth that great stories reflect: that the hero in fighting or even violently punishing the villain is not automatically becoming “like him” (though the hero may also face this temptation). Instead the hero is simply fighting to fulfill a kind of law of nature (and to the Christian, of nature’s God): Villains who declare themselves outside of humanity also declare themselves outside the love of humanity’s Maker. Therefore they must be opposed and ultimately consigned to some kind of punishment.

What do you think?