marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

rebellion in fiction

Stories can contain rebellion as well as the "rebelliousness" and "subversion" that various people claim to be calling for when they want stories that conform precisely to their dogmas. . . .

The interesting thing is that it's often talked of as if it has to be a revolt against society and its strictures.  Er -- no.  There's many a situation where supporting such rules makes the character a rebel.  A jeered at and detested rebel.  While the jeerers are doing their best to destroy the society that permits them to jeer in the first place.

A society where the old stories of the knights' magical swords being able to strike down immaterial monstrosities, if the knights were pure of heart, were jeered at -- where the monstrosities came back and one knight proved the old story was true -- well, they would probably turn on him like a pack of wolves on a lamb.

So spake the Seraph Abdiel, faithful found
Among the faithless, faithful only he;
Among innumerable false unmoved,
Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified,
His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal;
Nor number nor example with him wrought
To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind,
Though single.
John Milton, Paradise Lost
Tags: conflict, heroes and villains, world-building: magic (effects), world-building: military matters

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