1. indy5live
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    indy5live Active Member

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    Flawed Anti-Heros

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by indy5live, Jun 22, 2012.

    What does the statement "Some of the best heroes are flawed anti-heroes" mean? In my story I have a character that is a police officer investigating a crime and instead of just going around and collecting clues to solve the crime, he takes matter into his own hands to solve it, physically beating people in some cases for information. In the end, he is the hero because he solved the crime and captured the killer, but that doesn't make him a good person really...Does my character fit the 'flawed anti-hero' title? What examples in literature would you say had a strong 'flawed anti-hero.' What does 'flawed anti-hero' mean to you? Thanks.
     
  2. Morwen Edhelwen
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    Morwen Edhelwen Member

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    About the statement, IMO it means that the best heroes don't have to be idealistic good, pure types, and can flawed morality that create an interesting hero. And another IMO your description is of an anti-hero.
     
  3. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    I think anti-hero already implies that the character in question has flaws, so to me the phrase "flawed anti-hero" doesn't make sense. Anyway...

    I believe this to be true because well rounded characters have flaws. Readers may not be able to relate with such characters (or the negative part of his character) but they surely will understand, simply because... let's face it... everybody has flaws. This phrase you mentioned is kind of a reverse of "well developed antagonists have good sides" (This phrase came out off the top of my head so correct me if I am wrong).

    Yes, your character fits the anti-hero tag. But see that good qualities of the character is not overshadowed by his flaws if you want the readers to root for him/her.

    BTW, your character reminds me of a character Vic Mackey in the critically acclaimed TV series The shield.
     
  4. spiffeh.mary
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    spiffeh.mary Member

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    Like others have said, your character would be considered an antihero. His character, based on the way you described it, is very similar to that of Batman and many other characters on modern police shows. The character you describe is at risk of becoming a cliche, so be sure to make him unique and your own in some way.
     
  5. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would agree that anti-hero as defined is already flawed. They are the protagonists who are not 'heroic', ie, not classic good guys. A hero who doesn't have flaws, however, is typically a flat character, and I would avoid them, but it doesn't necessarily make them an anti-hero. Your character would, IMHO, be an anti-hero.
     
  6. Terok
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    Terok Member

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    I wouldn’t see your MC as an anti-hero, he may be flawed and not do everything within the law, but he is still a cop and one of the good guys.

    Probably the most obvious flawed anti-hero that I can think of at the moment would be Lisbeth Salander form The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series. Apart from being flawed to an extreme, she is not really one of the good guys, she is just not as bad as some of the other people. And only really wants to help someone if it suits her situation not because it’s the correct thing to do.

    Another one would be some of the old Clint Eastwood westerns a lot of his characters were actually horrible people themselves. And would only help out because of self interests or he was getting paid.

    That’s how I see and anti-hero, a bad guy doing the right thing for the wrong reason. Not a good guy doing the right thing but taking short cuts.
     
  7. Morwen Edhelwen
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    Morwen Edhelwen Member

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    Does an anti-hero have to be bad though? IMO an anti-hero is a character who uses morally grey methods to do something good, or a sympathetic character who is morally gray.
     
  8. Terok
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    Terok Member

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    I guess I just see an anti-hero in more of an extreme. Someone who is forced into the situation or is doing it for a reason other than helping someone out of kindness.

    Someone above mentioned Batman as a flawed anti-hero, personally I see him as just a flawed hero. He may have started out looking for revenge, that would make him an anti-hero in the beginning. But most of the time he is there to help people in trouble, because they can’t defend themselves. Personally I would call that as just being a hero.

    That’s just the way I see it. Doesn’t mean I’m anywhere near correct though.
     

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