Books are filled with characters who know exactly what they need to do. They have a defining moment and understand the truth of their situation and respond without hesitation.
Is that how life’s supposed to work? Then, my hero sense must be broken.
Why isn’t there a story with a protagonist who is, um, not wishy-washy, but undecided. Someone who wavers between what is right and what is easy (because it wouldn’t make a good story?)? The story about hard decisions and agonizing, crippling doubt?
The depressed hero. That’s who I want to read about. …Er, on second thought, that might be a little too emo for me.
Maybe someone who struggles with their identity and beliefs. Someone who isn’t self-assured or confident. Or do those only work as side characters and comic relief? Yet, we don’t even have mothers forbidding their children from entering Jurassic Park or fathers staring at a Hogwarts acceptance letter and asking, “Have you tried no being a wizard?” [To be fair, however, nothing anyone said would keep me from them either.]
If life imitates art, shouldn’t more people be confident and know the right answer the moment they need it? Shouldn’t we instinctively know the right course? (Maybe we do.)
If art imitates life, where are all the hand-wringing, nervously sweating, lip chewing heroes? Would Superman rush into a burning building to save Lois’ cat, if he knew Kryptonite waiting inside (probably)? Would Captain America save the life of a stranger, if he knew that same person worked for Hydra (again, yes)?
I suppose, every writer can’t be Emily Dickinson…it’d be too depressing.
Or maybe, I’m just not reading the right books or watching the right movies.