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The state of "too good for this sinful earth" characters nowadays

Throughout history, many stories have featured characters who are depicted as being "too good for this sinful earth" and therefore dying young. Charles Dickens, for instance, wrote many such characters into his stories; and Uncle Tom’s Cabin also depicts its most famous characters in this way. Such an idea, of course, has explicitly religious connotations, with the idea being that the character is so pure that they belong in heaven and not on earth. Do such characters still exist in modern, secular media? If so, what are some examples? How can a story that lacks a religious bent portray a character as too good for the world (if indeed it’s possible)?

  • Oh yeah, they exist. A lot of times, they're disabled, which smacks of ableism (or they have cancer, which is not the same thing but is in the neighborhood). A lot of Christian-based movies have these, and what's interesting is that the characters come across as too good for earth even if they ultimately survive (inspiration porn). But sometimes you'll find them in non-religious literature, too. The key is, "too good for this sinful earth" in itself implies the character has some kind of faith or at least a belief in heaven, so there is some overlap. – Stephanie M. 1 year ago
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  • This is an interesting topic! I immediately thought of "Clarissa" by Samuel Richardson as one of "too good for this sinful earth" protagonists. I don't think such characters are as popular in modern media anymore because of how people's tastes and social ideals have changed, at least, that is true in most western movies/tv shows. There isn't any purely "good" character anymore and I think we mostly veer towards portraying characters as more human and flawed. But maybe that in itself could be an interesting direction to take for this topic. – Kheya 1 year ago
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