Authors and Their Books > Why do villians justify their behavior? Does the bad guy think he's the good guy?

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message 1: by Ross (new)

Ross Friedman | 2 comments I find this often in stories.

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message 2: by Feliks (last edited Oct 27, 2014 07:59AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Basic human psychology. Its part of a knee-jerk series of defense-mechanisms which surface in the maldoer whenever confronted/arrested/halted by the more powerful forces of society, religion, & law. When apprehended, they will immediately say that 'there must be some mistake' ..'they didn't really mean it'..'it wasn't really their fault'..'the victim really asked for it'..(and finally) 'they are doing society a favor'..

On the other hand, Goethe shows us (in Faust) that this devil's arithmetic can occasionally be turned on its head. The jaded hedonist Faust--given the run of the world by Satan--freedom to do as he pleases--confounds the Devil in the end by stating he has found satisfaction in doing a series of small, good, daily deeds.

message 3: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Jarvis (screalwriter) | 40 comments Most villains explain because they want the reader/crime solver to understand; in an odd way, they don't want the reader/crime solver to think badly of them. The exception is a sociopath. They explain to prove their superiority.

message 4: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) | 163 comments Ross wrote: "I find this often in stories.

Most real people think that their actions are for "a good reason," whether or not someone else might agree.

On top of that, no one is purely good or purely evil.
When you write a character who is one or the other, you risk creating a cardboard cutout instead of a believable person.

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