Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2) Clockwork Prince discussion


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Why are all protagonists good guys?

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Sophie I was just thinking, why are all the main characters and protagonists good guys? If you think about it, there are next to no books where the "bad" guys are the protagonists. Why doesn't anyone write books in that style?

What are your thoughts on this, and do you know any books where this is the case?


Keiley Well, in City of Lost Souls, we do get small glimpses into the head of Sebastian, who I think definitely counts as a bad guy. But on the whole, not a lot of books do this because they want to depict the bad guys as being well...bad. If a writer showed the inner workings of their head, revealed their inner motivations behind the way they acted, then we'd feel a lot more sympathy for them. They would cease being 'bad' and become 'troubled' or 'misunderstood'.
Which in some cases is a good thing, but on the whole, a lot of people don't do it because of one of the two reasons:
-They don't know how to write a character like that.
-They think it would be detrimental to the plot/story/reader's view of the characters.


Sophie Keiley wrote: "Well, in City of Lost Souls, we do get small glimpses into the head of Sebastian, who I think definitely counts as a bad guy. But on the whole, not a lot of books do this because they want to depic..."

I understand what you mean, but like, rather than trying to save the world, what if the characters are trying to destroy it, and think they are right - a bit like Valentine, or Jace when he is possessed. I think that would make an interesting story.


Erin If I remember correctly, though it has been years since I have read it, the MC of Lolita is a "bad guy". He's a pedophile and a rapist.

I think it is because a lot of people don't want to read about a bad guy. They can't relate to them and just want to slam the book shut and say fuck that guy/girl/monster. It's much more rewarding, in my opinion, to see good people overcome obstacles and grow. I know there are people who like hearing the bad guys side but I think they are in the minority.


Keiley Erin wrote: "If I remember correctly, though it has been years since I have read it, the MC of Lolita is a "bad guy". He's a pedophile and a rapist."

As someone who is presently reading this book, I can confirm this. Be warned, all those who seek to read this novel, it is disturbing not only in the sheer amount of paedophilia content, but the fact that the entire thing seems to be written in flowery prose.


message 6: by Nurlely (last edited Dec 20, 2012 07:25PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nurlely Sophie wrote: "I was just thinking, why are all the main characters and protagonists good guys? If you think about it, there are next to no books where the "bad" guys are the protagonists. Why doesn't anyone writ..."

Theoritically, most of the main characters are good guys because while giving away information, books are supposed to give moral lessons too. Like the religion lessons in school. The good always wins.

Wish some exceptions:

- Dracula in Bram Stoker's Dracula
- Dorian Gray in Portrait of Dorian Gray
- Jean Baptiste in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
- Light in Death Note manga is not the good guy. He was, at the beginning, before life changed him.
- I can't say that Wuthering Heights has good people as its main characters.


Sophie What about "Throne of Glass" by Sarah J Maas? This is one of my favourite series, and the protagonist is an assassin. I really like that series because although she's a killer, it show's what life is like when she's not on assignment. By the way, I really recommend this series and all the novella's before it - they were amazing! :)


Nurlely I haven't read that but have the ebook. Will read it in 2013.
Katsa in Graceling series is the good one, even though she is an assassin.


Sophie Nurlely wrote: "I haven't read that but have the ebook. Will read it in 2013.
Katsa in Graceling series is the good one, even though she is an assassin."


You really should read it - I personally loved it! Shame the next book doesn't come out for ages though. I have also read Graceling, and while it was good, I didn't love it that much. :(


Nurlely Sophie wrote: "You really should read it - I personally loved it! Shame the next book doesn't come out for ages though. I have also read Graceling, and while it was good, I didn't love it that much. :( "

I enjoyed reading Graceling. Not so much for Fire. And I have Bitterblue ebook. I think I might love the last book better...


Sophie Nurlely wrote: "Sophie wrote: "You really should read it - I personally loved it! Shame the next book doesn't come out for ages though. I have also read Graceling, and while it was good, I didn't love it that much..."

I normally enjoy books that have the same protagonist through the series - the fact that each book in the Graceling series had a different main character put me off a bit.


message 12: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin Keiley wrote: "Erin wrote: "If I remember correctly, though it has been years since I have read it, the MC of Lolita is a "bad guy". He's a pedophile and a rapist."

As someone who is presently reading this book..."


Yeah the flowery prose is probably the only reason that the book became so popular. It is well written with a horrifying plot. I heard that Nabokov wrote the whole thing on notecards, a new one for each sentence. I don't know if that's true or not but it helps to explain why people find Lolita and Nabokov so intriguing.

Nurlely wrote: "Katsa in Graceling series is the good one, even though she is an assassin."

I really like Kristen Cashore's series. I never thought of Katsa as a bad guy, though she certainly could be seen that way.

In The Fallen Blade by Jon Courtenay Grimwood and the next in the series, The Outcast Blade, the main character could certainly be seen as a bad guy kind of trying to be good. I wouldn't really recommend the books though, they are depressing and confusing and disturbing. The author seems to have an obsession with having people shit/piss their pants in every single battle scene. It was rather strange. I don't know why I went on to read the second one. I guess I had hopes for it that didn't come to fruition.


Sophie Erin wrote: "Keiley wrote: "Erin wrote: "If I remember correctly, though it has been years since I have read it, the MC of Lolita is a "bad guy". He's a pedophile and a rapist."

As someone who is presently re..."


lol


Alexandra Macbeth was a villain. But only Shakespeare could pull that off.

No one wants to read about a villain because...well...doesn't everyone read because they see some resemblance of themselves or who they would like to be in a character? Reading is fun because we can launch ourselves into the character's life, and be so thrilled and fascinated by it that we don't want to leave it. If the character was a villain, truly a villain (because it's obvious that characters like Celaena from Throne of Glass and Katsa from Graceling were never really villains), then we would only be disgusted by them. They wouldn't, also, partake in any of the parts of novels that are most interesting (bravery, comedy, heroism, etc.)


Sophie Alexandra wrote: "Macbeth was a villain. But only Shakespeare could pull that off.

No one wants to read about a villain because...well...doesn't everyone read because they see some resemblance of themselves or who ..."


Touche.

That is an excellent point, and you're right - only Shakespeare is awesome enough to pull it off. But still it's nice to have some evil/bad-ass element to it! :)


message 16: by Jeni (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jeni Dexter and Riddick come to mind as bad people that we love to root for.

The very definition of Protagonist is the person readers empathize most with. So, if you want us to empathize with a bad guy, you need to give us a really good reason.

Dexter is a serial killer. Riddick is a murderer. We love them both, though!


Caitlin Douglas Just get a dictionary and you will know.
8th grade english


message 18: by J.C. (new) - rated it 5 stars

J.C. Well, to be honest every book you read is going to be about the 'good guy' because that is what the believe. Lets say for instance that the Mortal Instruments had been from Valentine's point of view instead, we would have thought he was the good guy because in his mind he believed that he was. It's all about perception.


Shirley interesting thought. i have to say, there are some books where i wish we could get into the bad guy's head. those villains are usually written to be sympathetic though, so readers might actually like them. it happens more with tv shows where the "bad guy" is the favorite character. then again, there's really no POV with tv...


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