In Praise of Endings

“Perhaps the reason that I find endings so satisfying is because things do end. People break up, retire, and die. The hero of one battle is rarely the hero of the next. Yet the longer a series goes on, the hero becomes more and more central to the universe. Eventually the universe seems to revolve around them, and, when that happens, it becomes unbearable claustrophobic. The protagonist becomes the most important person in that world. No longer are they just a human being fighting against fate, but they are mythical in their power and influence. While there is a certain pleasure in reading about characters whose importance is of mythical proportions, I prefer when the characters start out mythic rather than becoming so through each new edition to the story. Perhaps the best example of this transformation is that of John McClane, which has been noted by many people. One of the pleasures of Die Hard is that John McClane is an everyman, a regular cop, who finds himself in an extreme situation and rises to the occasion. However, several movies later he has become the supreme bad ass. All sense that he is a regular guy is gone, which means the tension of the original is gone. We know he will succeed because he’s no longer is a mortal man. He’s something more. Also, the bit of escapist fantasy that is in the first one—a regular person winning against near insurmountable odds—is gone. I like John McClane, but I rather his story ended when his universe was big, and he was only one somewhat believable man.”

I actually liked that someone pointed this out. Though I love the idea of a protagonist being important the entire universe only depending on one person and not being able to move forward without them or worse being able to move forward without them but relegating their role as human as secondly important is actually something I am starting to dislike. I mean I have seen even in animes and cartoons like “Legend of Korra” where a team effort becomes really pushed to the periphery though I understand it’s Korra’s story and she is the avatar I am not always happy that she is either put so much in that position it become inescapable or so little about her is thought about that her humanity is forgotten.

There are other good observations in this post and I am happy someone can so nicely flesh it out. There might be spoilers for Die Hard movies here and the a big spoiler to the movie “Babadook” so watch out when you read. But one good read is this 🙂

Waiting Outside of Parnassus

My now complete copy of Because They Wanted To My now complete copy of Because They Wanted To

I have a habit, where, as I’m reading a book, I turn to the last page. I don’t read the last page, I just see what it is and calculate how many pages I have left to read. I do this whether I am enjoying a book or not. The other night, as I was reading Because They Wanted To: Stories by Mary Gaitskill, I noticed that the last sentence didn’t have a period or closing quotation marks. There was no flyleaf or an about the author page. My copy was missing the last four pages. Google books let me preview several pages, in fact a surprisingly large amount of pages—but not the last four. I’ve checked several libraries and have discovered that there is no e-book version of the text that I can quickly check out. They did have physical…

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