Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Bad Boy Syndrome

Okay, so I just read an AMAZING book the other day, but sadly I can't say what it was because I'm about to give away a big spoiler. Anyway, so in this the main character has this whole little budding romance thing with a guy that they work on throughout the whole book. And then near the end, they argue, they kiss, happy ending. Right? NO, because two seconds after kissing the guy, she finds out that oh hey, actually he's and agent for the organization that is basically out to kill all of your kind( which isn't human, in case you were confused). So she freaks out, and the guy is forced to pull out a knife and break open a window and basically run for his life and disappear. Okay, so we just find out that throughout the entire book, he has been lying to her and the others around her, and could very likely have just been using her. So we hate him. Actually... no. If anything, he just got hotter. Like, ALOT.

And it doesn't just happen in this book. I've read another book where the MC's love interest turns out to be the son of the woman trying to kill her. Or in another book, where it turns out that the MC's love interest was strongly connected to her brother's death, or in another book where the guy was a thief, etc. So, why is it? Why do us readers drink up all these stories about bad people who... actually aren't bad people? Why don't we hate them when we realize all they've done?

It's because we like to see a boy who's raised by people to think a certain way, to do certain things, and yet somehow rises above it a is a good guy. And even if he hasn't risen above it completely, then the beautiful wholesome girl comes along and his love for her convinces him to have a change of heart! Even better!

So why is it that we love to hear about redemption and all that other stuff I've already explained? It's because these people are showing us that we AREN'T a product of our environment, that just because were born in the slums doesn't mean we have to act like a slum ( or in this case, just because your raised by evil terrorists doesn't mean you are one), etc. And even if we don't consciously think/ feel it, when we see or read these stories of the bad guy turned good, we have hope that we also don't have to be a product of our environment. If they can do it, so can we( but our's would probably be alot less dramatic).

Plus, you know, there's just the fact that bad boys are hot. And everyone likes to read about that( ...well, at least girls do)

1 comment:

  1. Excellent observation! My favorite post yet.

    I do like characters that are able to rise above their environment, especially when the author gives it proper credit as being one of the hardest things we can do in life. Culture is quite pervasive.

    So yes, it makes for some very strong characters when they do that. So maybe it's not the "bad boyishness" that's appealing to me, but the strength of character? Hmm...