1. jccfuture
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    jccfuture Member

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    'The Surrenderer'. What does this character title make you think of?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by jccfuture, Feb 17, 2015.

    I have developed a character called 'The Surrenderer'. I wanted to ask what people thought this character would be like with only the this name/title to go on. The project is an experiment where I don't want to explain the character's back story so I am hoping you can let me know what sort of expectations it sets up, what attributes they might have, what they might look like, anything that springs to mind would be really useful.
     
  2. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    My first thought would be a person who doesn't like head-on confrontation, will try to escape if he/she doesn't think he/she can fight and win. I imagine other characters would find this person cowardly.
     
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  3. Gawler
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    Loser!
     
  4. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    May as well paint his belly yellow and call him a chicken. That's the impression I get.
     
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  5. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    Someone that waits around the corner for a long, long time, until everyone's almost fallen asleep, at the right timing he jumps from behind it, and shits himself right away, his hands in the air and going "Aaah!" Maybe he just drops what he was holding so it's not very frightening at all if he had a knife or planned to show you incriminating photographs to threaten to blackmail you. But yeah, maybe he scared you anyway and his whole plan didn't fall in the water after all and all was not for nothing.
     
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  6. Shadowfax
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    Sounds like one of the early Batman villains, before he and Robin had toughened up enough to take on the Joker.

    Why does he have this title? As villainous names go, it's pretty unscary, so it's surely not what he'd call himself - unless he's got serious self-esteem problems.

    And it's not even catchy - 4 syllables, and the last two are repeats, so it'd be easy to lose count and add an extra one in!
     
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  7. Some_Bloke
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    As it's a title, then I think it's a leader who surrendered but for a good reason, like the casualties of the battle/war were too high. The opposing army/force took over and they're pretty brutal so everyone resents the character, dubbing that title as a means of calling him/her a coward. I have a character in my stories similar to this who has gone into isolation due to the shame and resentment.

    The other images I have in my mind are an actual coward, someone who in a difficult time surrendered to the enemy to save their own skin. The third image is that of the "last man standing" in a conflict, he/she saw the death of pretty much everyone they fought alongside with, couldn't take it anymore and laid down their weapons.
     
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  8. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    Just call him The Sobriquet. Okay?
     
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  9. jccfuture
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    Thanks everyone, I guess this character is not very popular! Its good to hear your thoughts on why they might be like this and how they might have come by such a title.

    I was asking because it seems that surrendering is bad for fellas, but more often desirable for the ladies, in love or in the bedroom for example, and it is also a good thing in religion. I wanted to know which angle stands out most without any prompting.

    I don't know what form the story will take yet, although I think it might have the cartoonish feel. At the moment I am thinking of a character that travels through time, turning up at different surrenders and playing part or observing the events, some sort of mix between Voltaire's Candide and Quantum Leap.
     
  10. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I don't know. I know that's often thought - I like human who stand up and fight, gender has little if anything to do with it for me.
     
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  11. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    A requirement for sainthood is that you must have died for your faith...sounds more like fighting to the last than surrendering.
     
  12. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    I don't mean this pedantic, but one can also just be holy because of legends or miracles.
     
  13. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Had to google to try to support my original statement, and you're right - martyrdom isn't an essential prerequisite for sainthood.

    However, first step towards sainthood is being "Heroic in Virtue"...which is kinda my point - being Heroic doesn't imply any kind of surrender!
     
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  14. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    If it's considered some kind of failure - there can still be nobility in there. But guess nobility shouldn't be mistaken for heroism, although being noble could be the first step to being heroic. It's kind of what you said, no?
     
  15. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you mean that surrender is considered some kind of failure? But I'm not sure how nobility fits in with that - it's certainly not an essential concomitant of surrender, or failure.

    heroic
    hɪˈrəʊɪk/brave, courageous, valiant, valorous, intrepid, bold, daring, audacious, superhuman, Herculean, fearless, doughty, undaunted, dauntless, unafraid, plucky, indomitable, stout-hearted, lionhearted, mettlesome, venturesome, gallant, stalwart, chivalrous, noble

    Noble is the last thing mentioned in that list of synonyms. Most of them relate to behaviour that one would find hard to equate to a mentality that would countenance surrender.

    So, I'd agree that nobility shouldn't be mistaken for heroism.

    I could also agree that being noble (unless you mean of noble blood) COULD be a step on the road to heroism.

    But that's not what I said, and I'm at a loss to understand what it was that I said that could have led you to that conclusion.
     
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  16. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    Then I didn't fully misinterpret "Heroic in virtue", although I not totally sure what you meant.
    See, nobility as a trait or quality is a virtue.

    On the other hand, there is this book called 'Nobility of failure', and I have no idea what it's about as I've only seen it's backside between others on a shelf that isn't mine.

    All these themes are related.
     
  17. jannert
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    Yep. Kinda like spelling 'banana.' You got to know when to stop.

    For the OP, I'd say it's somebody who always gives in, maybe too soon? However, sometimes it makes sense to 'surrender' if you're in a fight you can't win. Live to fight another day, and all that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2015
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  18. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    He's called "the Surrenderer" in the actual story?
     
  19. kfmiller
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    :unsure:
     
  20. Chinspinner
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    As others have said it doesn't roll of the tongue as a nickname. It has too many syllables, two of which are a repetition.

    Surrendering is generally going to be seen as a negative attribute even if it is sometimes sensible. However, this could be motivation for the character. Hitler was nicknamed "Screamer" after having a testicle shot off in the first world war (which seems a little unfair given that it must hurt like hell); but no doubt this nickname had a negative effect on him (I am obviously not trying to attribute all his actions to a nickname).

    In terms of the gender divide, I am a little lost by this. Why would you consider it okay for a woman to surrender in love or in the bedroom and not a bloke? I also find it an inappropriate term. "Surrendering" connotes a power differential; in that one person in the relationship is controlling and the other weak and put-upon. I generally would not see this in a positive light even in the context of love.

    Here is an example of when surrender is a positive, and a negative. Conversation turned to WW2 in another thread so I will use France as an example: -
    • France surrendered to the Germans, which effectively prevented the decimation of their army, the death of civilians and allowed the Free French Army under Charles De Gaulle to escape to Britain and fight another day. This was a sensible time to surrender.
    • The French Navy refused to surrender (to anyone), and given the imminent risk that French warships would fall into German hands, the British were forced to destroy them in Naval battles, putting the British Navy at risk. This was an occasion when not surrendering was bloody stupid. For clarity, their options were to surrender to the British and give up their warships, surrender to the Germans and scuttle their ships, or to refuse to surrender and force the British to destroy them to prevent the Germans capturing them.
     
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  21. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Uh....

    No. As a woman, I can assure you that we, too, value our free will.

    Jeff: I see women as people in their own right.
    Patrick: In many ways, they are.
    (Coupling, Season One)
     
  22. Shadowfax
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    1/
    Ivan Ira Esme Morris (29 November 1925 – 19 July 1976) ... was a friend of Yukio Mishima; he wrote The Nobility of Failure (it's sub-titled Tragic Heroes in the History of Japan) partially to place the circumstances surrounding Mishima's death in historical context.

    On November 25, 1970, Mishima and four members of the Tatenokai, under pretext, visited the commandant of the Ichigaya Camp, the Tokyo headquarters of the Eastern Command of Japan's Self-Defense Forces.[15] Inside, they barricaded the office and tied the commandant to his chair. With a prepared manifesto and a banner listing their demands, Mishima stepped onto the balcony to address the soldiers gathered below. His speech was intended to inspire a coup d'état to restore the power of the emperor. He succeeded only in irritating the soldiers, and was mocked and jeered. He finished his planned speech after a few minutes, returned to the commandant's office and committed seppuku.

    I'm guessing that it's about it being better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all.

    2/ But this is drifting away from the OP. My response (about saints being martyrs) was to the suggestion that surrender was OK for religious people.

    3/ My belief that saints had to be martyrs was a misunderstanding of the process of canonization, which basically has 4 steps:

    Servant of God: Begins no sooner than 5 years after candidate's death (this was waived by the Pope in the case of Mother Theresa, and others) and is a collection of the "good works/words" of the candidate, on the authority of the Bishop of the diocese where the candidate is buried.
    Venerable/Heroic in Virtue: The Pope is petitioned to recognise that the servant "exhibited the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, and the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance, to a heroic degree". The congregation prays for a miracle to be wrought by the servant's intercession.
    Blessed: These fall into 2 categories:
    Martyrs, who merely require the "Pope to make a declaration of martyrdom, a certification that the venerable gave his or her life voluntarily as a witness for the faith and/or in an act of heroic charity for others."
    Confessors, whose intercession has wrought a miracle.
    (This was what got me thinking that saints were automatically martyrs. Edward the Confessor - King of England before Harold of Hastings fame - was a notable "less than saint")
    For Blesseds, a feast day is announced, but generally only celebrated in his home diocese.
    Saints: Here, there needs to be a second miracle - after the elevation to Blessedness. Now, the feast day can be celebrated anywhere and parish churches named for him.
     
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  23. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    Is there going to be a Surrenderererer, the helper's helper?
     
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  24. jccfuture
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    With regards to religion, I was referring to the notion of surrendering to God. I am not religious but my understanding is that this is something to be aimed for and doesn't cause a perception of weakness or cowardliness in the same way as surrendering in military battle.

    As for the gender issue. When I was doing initial research with google there was a split between military surrender, surrender to God, and then a sort of sexualised romantic surrender which generally involved a woman giving in to desire or to a resisted love. This sort of surrender wouldn't make you think the person a coward in the same way as a military surrender would and isn't so negative. Giving in to desire or love, or leading an army isn't and shouldn't be the preserve of one gender but by and large it seems to be imagined as such. I think it is perceived as not very macho to give in, and not very feminine no to.
     
  25. Shadowfax
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    When the prisoners captured by the Admiral Graf Spee were brought back to Europe by the the Altmark, the ship was in neutral waters, and an attempt by the Royal Navy to intervene was resisted by the Norwegian navy. Ultimately, the Norwegian vessels allowed sailors from HMS Cossack to board the German vessel and free the prisoners because "according to international treaty, a neutral country was not obliged to resist a vastly superior force".
    A "surrender to God" could be construed as "not resisting a vastly superior force"
     
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