Topics: Sunni Ago

Filter Topics by Category


Happiness, a exploration of Nihilism.

Happiness is a vampire manga by Shūzō Oshimi. While on the surface it is a supernatural story it delves quite readily into not just other genre conventions such as science fiction body horror and coming of age romance, but examinations on the very concept of humanity, the nature and purpose of suffering and if meaning can ever truly be garnered from horror.

The protagonist is spared from death on the whim, his friend and his friend’s lover, not to mention her family, are much less fortunate. The protagonist and his love interest are subjected to grotesque trials for 50 years only for them to escape and resolve to live apart from humans, which begs the question, both textually and metatexually, what was the purpose of this?

  • I think the edits I made didn't process which is unfortunate. To clarify, Nihilism in the common understanding, is the belief that nothing in life matters, that nothing is really real. Within the plot of Happiness the Protagonist is subject to trials and tribulations that don't reveal a greater understand of the world to him within his story, his suffering doesn't better or worsen the world around him. Metatextually, the world of Happiness is similar and dissimilar to the real world, there are horrific science experiments done on people throughout human history that never yielded any medical insight. Suffering for the sake of suffering being all that was produce. What purpose does it serve to feature such a dispiriting element to the story when the ending amounts to, the main character being again isolated from humanity with the one who turned him into a vampire? – Sunni Ago 2 years ago
  • A digestible yet philosophical dissection of Happiness would be an incredible read, especially if one takes the time to draw real world parallels--it is difficult NOT to feel nihilistic in this day and age, and tapping into that very real feeling of listlessness, one that inspired the concept of nihilism in the first place, and connecting it with the narrative of Happiness would underscore the humanity (both conceptually and literally) the series appears to be examining. – alliegardenia 1 year ago

On the character and continuity of Superman

Analyze the variation versions of some of the mediums’ most popular characters and the narrative through lines (canon events) that define the character despite the other notable shifts between the character’s developments.

A good example of this is the contrast between Communist Superman in Red Son vs. Criminal Ultraman in Justice Lords vs. Tyrant Superman in Injustice vs. All-Star Superman va Mainline Superman.

What makes the character the character when a comic’s multiverse can extend infinitely? What traits define the character in relationship to their world and their readers?
What makes a Superman a Superman?
Strictly within DC of course, no pastiches such as Homelander and Omni-Man.
What is the distilled version of Superman and what does it mean when the character becomes alienated from that "ideal" ?

  • Topics like this are a little too broad. Pick one character, like Superman, and some particular aspect for writers to discuss. Provide some questions for writers to answer. – noahspud 6 months ago
  • I love this topic, Sunni. I might even undertake writing it. – Nyxion 4 months ago
  • You mention specific comics here which give a potential writer somewhere to start, do you have anything you would like to add about how particular writers have portrayed Superman? – Elpis1988 3 months ago

Alienation and Evil in Supermen

Superman is a hero routinely derided as one-note. A good boyscout who is always by the books. For this topic the writer should look into the myriad supermen.

Mainly focused on characters such as Man of Steel Superman, One Punch Man’s Saitama, and Watchman’s Dr. Manhattan.

Shared between these characters is a distinct sense of alienation. Not just from their friends but from the people they protect as "heroes"

Understanding the origins of each of their alienations and possibly comparing them to "evil" over powered characters such as Plutonian (Irredeemable), Homelander (The Boys) and Omni-Man (Invincible)

What elements make for a character’s alienation that wouldn’t lead into their collapse into villainy?

  • See also Ultraman from DC Comics' "alternate universe" stories: he's literally Superman with slight alterations in his backstory that made him a villain instead of a hero. Perhaps compare to mutants in X-men as well. Apocalypse and Magneto have superiority complexes pushing them to try to take over the world, similar to Omni-Man and some of the other evil Supermen. Professor X, on the other hand, is just as powerful but does not share that philosophy. – noahspud 12 months ago
  • Umm i think thats a bit too broadening. Marvel has a bunch of direct Superman analogues such as Blue Marvel, Hyperion, and Sentry. Bringing in Prof X and Magneto and Apocalypse is a bit off topic. – Sunni Ago 12 months ago
  • I enjoy how Lex Luther and Superman understand each other as being two sides of the same coin, in much the same way that Doomsday Superman can't -- being being an identical polar opposite they are literally two side of that coin in strength, etc and so can only annihilate and not triumph over the other. This is ultimately unsatisfying. Lex Luther adds the dimension of an unfortunate childhood, family, daily pressures and a superior mind which Superman can relate to though never condone. – anthonyzed 12 months ago
  • I think this would be particularly interesting if one touchd upon Arthur Miller's essay on Tragedy and the Common Man. This kinf of alienation (being larger than life, greater good, not strictly 'human' but more than human) is exactly what Miller speaks about - and why this kind of heroism might be losing its appeal because it's not relatable to the 'Common Man'. – Janhabi Mukherjee 4 months ago

Materialist Hell: What is the ending of the Sopranos

One of the most controversial endings in television is the ending of The Sopranos.

A jarring cut to blackness and silence.

Much can be speculated about the life that Tony has leading to a sudden and violent end vs. the contrasting position of a secularized hell. The core premise is, that Tony is in a constant state of death and undeath as he awaits the ending. The unending pain before it ends is as much of a torture as any demon could imagine putting him through.

The writer should probably include a synopsis of the plot of The Sopranos along with other interpretations of the ending.

  • Okay, you're on the right track. But from the topic title and setup, I was expecting something about how and why The Sopranos and other series choose endings like this. Consider using Tony Soprano as a character who was "left in the lurch" because of this sort of ending, as well as the positive and negative results of such. (E.g., fans get to speculate about what really happened, but then again, they'll never know, so cue the Internet trolls, the arguing, the potential for awful remakes...) Add a couple more example characters. I think you could have a really deep article here. – Stephanie M. 4 months ago

Uncut Gems: A happy ending?

Uncut Gems is a Netflix original film about a jeweler Howard Ratner played by Adam Sandler who makes a high-stakes bet that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime but simultaneously could end up in his death.

We see throughout the film, Howard takes numerous unnecessary risks as a gambling addict. In the end, even as he wins, he is murdered in cold blood. In a traditional story, this would be a sad ending, a tragedy.

But, viewing the film in the modern era, as a tale not about flying too close to the sun and instead about the greatest catharsis, an ultimate victory, and the immediate cessation of future suffering.

Howard if he continued living would have inevitably found himself in trouble, his addiction had led him to his death after all, but in the film during his greatest high, he is quickly and painlessly removed from any potential of that feeling to be lost by. He dies with his victory.

Is that not a happy ending?


    Whiplash, Black Swan and Tar: the triumvirate of obsession

    Black Swan, the obsession with being the best at the cost of all else.

    Tar and the abusive teacher

    Whiplash, the synthesis of obsession and abuse leading to a sort of harmony.

    The films concern the performing arts in their various forms, each taking a distinct POV. But all of them run a similar line of thought which is "But at what cost"

    At what cost do we sacrifice our essential being to become, "a great" in Whiplash?

    Consequently what price is too high for "perfection" in Tar, and who pays when the tab is due?

    If we aren’t our accomplishments, who are we in Black Swan?

    In a society driven by a consumptive need to be the best, how much is too much to attain it?

    • It may be interesting to have The Perfection and I, Tonya as part of this discussion - especially in regards to the kind of personal motivations that drive the need to be best - even apart from individual ambition. – Janhabi Mukherjee 4 months ago
    • You could make mention of Phantom Thread; this film includes a lot of references to psychoanalysis and the central character is a great example of the toxicity of a narcissistic perfectionist who projects his pedantry onto those closest to him. – Tahlia 3 months ago

    Batman, Realism and systemic problems of Gotham

    Batman as a character is one of numerous contradictions. He’s a normal human but a superhero. He’s a vigilante who fights crime. He’s a hero who fights in cruel often dark and unethical ways. Batman is often criticized for not taking more systemic solutions to the problems of crime within Gotham. This is not without merit as a billionaire with virtually limitless wealth when it comes to supplying his crusade of crime and punishment. But, at the same time, what actually can be done within the continuity of DC comics to counteract the criminal element in Gotham? He’s just as likely to fight a woman with the power to control every nearby plant as he is to fight a carjacker. Even if he was able to use his liquid funds to curb homelessness and food insecurity, he’d still have a killer clown shooting poison gas. How does one reform that?

    At what point does the reality of comics diverge from the goal of realism many fans and writers desire?

    • I would suggest the article's author expand to more than just Batman. Consider other comics' takes on "realism." In The Boys, it's almost like crimes are planned and staged by the corporation that owns the heroes, and the public perception of these crimes is carefully curated. In alternate versions of the DC universe, such as Injustice, the only way to reform crime is conquering the world, dystopia-style. – noahspud 5 months ago

    Are audiences losing media literacy?

    Media literacy is the ability to understand and analyze works such as movies, television, books, and even video games. That said in recent years there’s been a notable lack of nuance in media discussions and even worse a rise in pushback against anything that challenges the audience’s comfort,
    claims such as "All sex scenes are useless", "protagonists shouldn’t be bad/do immoral things" and "There should be a clear lesson in a story"

    46% of American adults in a survey say that they didn’t learn media literacy in schools, which begs the question of why not? What consequences have arisen due to low media literacy and how can they be corrected going forward?

    • A good place to look at whether or not audiences are losing media literary is on Booktok. Creators who critically review books are often slammed and shamed for taking the pleasure out of reading. When in all reality, readers do not want to be made to feel uncomfortable with the authors and reading themes they choose to support. – morgantracy 3 months ago

    Burn After Reading - The Idiot Plot

    "The Idiot Plot, of course, is any plot that would be resolved in five minutes if everyone in the story were not an idiot."
    — Roger Ebert in his review of Narrow Margin (1990)

    The 2008 black comedy "Burn After Reading" by the Coen Brothers is a film of fools doing foolish things to disastrous consequences. Each character for the most part overestimates their own standing and refuses to see the world as it is, but is that ideologically driven, do these people within the story have ideologies? For a film that is based in D.C. and told from the perspective of a C.I.A operative it’s politics are remarkably scant, so then what drives each character to behave the way they do?


      Who's the best Robin?

      A comparison of characterization, compatibility, and narrative function of the Robins within the Batman and greater DC universe.

      The writer has five potential options to choose from, Dick Grayson a.k.a Nightwing, Jason Todd a.k.a Red Hood, Tim Drake a.k.a Red Robin, Stephanie Brown a.k.a Spoiler, and Damien Wayne.

      Each served as Robin for an extended period and all contrast Batman in their own ways. The writer can present a case for and against each of them both from the text and metatexually such as referring to sales or fan receptions.

      • Good start. Rather than just "who's the best," however, consider going deeper and doing a full compare/contrast between the five incarnations. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of everyone, and when you choose an overall "winner," explain why their strengths rise above the others', while their weaknesses are less egregious or more humanizing/endearing. – Stephanie M. 4 months ago

      Villainy in Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

      Jack Horner and Death

      Of the antagonists in The Last wish, these two stand head and shoulders above the rest. But between them who can be argued to be the "better" villain.

      Horner is a throwback, an old school villain, evil at his core. Unrepentant and callous his simplicity lends itself to easily understanding why he’s a villain but, that same simplicity could be critique as lazy or unoriginal due to him always taking the worst most inhumane option.

      Contrasting him is Death.
      Death plays with Puss in Boots but is solely focused on him. It could be argued he is cruel and unfair but he’s literally death and that is his nature. Is his simplicity better than Horner’s due to him being more of a force of nature than an character.

      What elements make each villain unique?

      • Great topic! Maybe comparing these villains to other villains in the shrek universe and puss in boots films would help strengthen this – Anna Samson 12 months ago
      • Cool topic! Maybe comparing these two villains to other villains in all of the fictional universes you can think of that have a similar dynamic to both Jack Horner and Death would give some perspective to both these villainess characters in - Puss In Boots: The Last Wish – PinkLisa 7 months ago

      The Death of the Western

      With the rising discontent with the MCU as seen on many social networking apps and film and television critics, a revisiting of the last truly dominant Genre of Westerns which held control of the box office landscape never before seen and only really eclipsed by the current superhero/comic adaptation market.

      What in particular made the western so popular and what in specific lead to the box office death of the genre? What were the politics behind the genre, the economics, and actors both in a gamesmanship context and a performative context.

      • This is an awesome topic, and definitely very relevant in the current progression of entertainment demands today. One small suggestion I might recommend is providing some examples of current Westerns facing this trend to help jumpstart potential writers. Another angle that might be interesting to take could lie in the Western's influence outside of the box office too. The Mandalorian is just one example of a current and well loved show that has repurposed the Western for its own benefit beyond the big screen-also standing as a stark contrast to the ebb and flow of a traditional theater style Western. Has the role of the Western begun to change in society-now valued more heavily as an allusion rather than an outright genre of itself? – mmclaughlin102 8 months ago
      • If you were interested in considering literature as well as film, "Green Grass, Running Water" by Thomas King might offer some useful insight into a critique of Westerns in the context of colonialism and narratives of indigenous peoples in settler media. It may also suggest that though the Western is not as popular in mainstream media today as in the past, it remains a dominant, internalized cultural form. The tropes and ideas put forth by the genre haven't gone away, they've merely transformed over time. – clairegranum 8 months ago

      Can there really be "art for art"

      The slogan "art for art’s sake" arose in the 19th century with the core ethos being that art, true art is divorced, separated, alien from function, any and all functions.

      But with this philosophy, there is room for critique, after all nothing is created in a bubble and artists are influenced by their society and as such so are their works.

      Does art always have a message? Should it?

      Many Marxist thinkers would argue art must have a meaning and purpose but even non-Marxists have levied criticism at this school of thought.

      Is Art for Art’s sake a philosophy that is unfairly maligned? Is it a cynical defense from critique?

      • I think it’s also interesting to explore when we define that someone is to be considered an artist. As we age it’s much more difficult to explore things separated from fiction but as children there is a much more free exploration of art that is disconnected from our adult analysis. Is this something we are only able to harness in childhood? If so, is “art for arts sake” something we are trying to reconnect with in adulthood? – Denise Zubizarreta 1 year ago
      • If one were to write about this topic, I believe they would absolutely need to mention Oscar Wilde. In the preface to Picture of Dorian Gray, he writes that "all art is quite useless". By trying to give a spin to the word "useless" -- and make it a word that doesn't necessarily have a negative connotation -- he responds to the idea that art should have a purpose, and instead suggests that it can simply be purposeful for its aesthetic qualities. I therefore don't believe that "art fort art's sake" is merely a cynical defense from critique. It simply asks you to critique it under different criteria! – chloew 1 year ago
      • When I hear the phrase 'Art for art's sake' I think of two people: James Hampton and Henry Darger--the former not to be confused with James Hampton the actor (who plays Dad Wolf in Teen Wolf), and the latter not to be confused with Jeffrey Dahmer. These two persued making art that they seemingly never intended to show to anyone; the art they constructed had no audience, no person in mind. James built religious inspired structures out of trash, the finished products of which he kept in a rented garage. No one else laid eyes on his creations until he passed away and his landlord found them. His works are now kept in the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Henry Darger wrote a 15,145-page novel accompanied by extremely detailed images and tracings he made himself. His works were not discovered until shortly before his death, oddly enough, ALSO by his landlords (there's no significance to the landlord thing, just coincidence... I hope). This all goes to say that this could be a pretty interesting avenue for an interpretation of 'Art for art's sake' to take a stroll down. I'm cringing DEEP into myself for what I'm about to type but, in a world where the ability to share everything we create is democratised so that audiences are readily available to consume it, stories about outliers such as these call into question the very purpose of art itself. So, that doesn't really answer the question 'can you really have art for art?'. But I think the question James and Henry tease out is 'without an audience can art even exist?' – JM 10 months ago

      Analyzing Analog Horror

      Analog Horror refers to the genre of horror created with the aesthetic of Analog technology, that is to say shot on video, "found footage".

      Within the subgenre there exists quite a number of breakthrough hits such as "Backrooms" "Local 58" and "The Mandela Catalogue"

      What draws people to this genre and what can be said about the genre tropes and themes? What is the appeal and is there a lesson that can be garnered from the creation of these works?

      • Good start, but you might want to delve a bit more into what analog horror is, or how your examples achieve it. If you don't know what found footage is (and I, for one, only have a vague idea), you might be a bit confused. – Stephanie M. 1 year ago
      • I was just thinking of leading a topic for this subject too. I think the evolution of analog horror is fascinating, its origins (I think) layered from many concepts and ideas from YouTube. I think constantly about what makes this niche sub genre scary, and what draws people in. This would be a great topic, especially to see where it’s grown from. – eaonhurley 1 year ago

      Bloodborne and the grotesque feminine.

      Bloodborne, the 2014 game from FromSoftware is a game ripe for exploration. One element worth delving into is the nature of femininity within the world.

      The ways in which the player is force to confront the cruelty in which women and female coded NPCs are treated with regards to the game’s world. Elements such as the "blessings" of the old ones force the player to view the horror of a world where women are specifically targeted for cruelty.

      The nature of the blood within the universe is also worth exploring with regards to origins of the blood and the people born of it.

      • I love Bloodborne and would love to claim this article to write, but I haven't played it in a while and the only three female characters I remember are Iosefka, Eileen, and Lady Maria and I wouldn't know where to start in terms of talking about their "grotesqueness." However, the obvious connection with women and blood (you know what I mean) could be an interesting avenue to take for the prospective author. – LeoPanasyuk 12 months ago
      • Bloodborne is my favourite game and I think this topic is really worth exploring. One key character who would be great to write about is Arianna and how she *spoiler* literally gives birth to an old one if you follow up her quest line — players are then faced with the choice of whether to kill her. Lady Maria would be an excellent choice for discussion, as well as Vicar Amelia. – Patrick 11 months ago
      • LOVE this topic!! I am so keen to read this article when it has been done. It would be really cool as well to consider ideas of feminine suffering and pain and the fetishisation of this in media. – Zoe Odessa 11 months ago

      Sex scenes in Media

      The discourse surrounding sex scenes in media has risen again and this time to much more of a pushback.

      Starting with the origins, who are the people criticising the existence of sex in media and what are their reasons?

      From there, what are the arguments against limited sex in media?

      What can come from this repetitive discourse and why does it seem to be such an enduring topic for discourse?

      • My biggest critique of sex in media is that so many of them have minors involved (though played by adults). The confusing thing is that shows like this (Euphoria, Riverdale, you name it) would probably make more since if the characters were in their 20s and in college. Why do they have to be minors? Additionally, having grown adults playing children makes the concept seem fine, thus normalizing sexual content involving minors. – kaitminghui 1 year ago
      • It is also interesting how television and film reviews are impacted based on the type of sex scene featured. The Last Of Us episode 3 was review bombed on IMDB after featuring a gay sex scene despite it being one of the more acclaimed episodes of the series. – mattweightman 12 months ago
      • There is also the issue of exploitative use. For example, the film I Spit on Your Grave has long scenes of sexual violence and is a commercial product. It is important to ask whether a scene is there to communicate something or is just a fetish. – EllenPastorino 12 months ago
      • One of the things that can come from the discourse is the existence of intimacy coordinators and further discutions around best practices for sex scenes. Additionally, the topic is always discussed because, like it or not, people like sex scenes in television and film, they find them entertaining, etc. – Madelinelca 11 months ago

      Understanding Death of the Author

      "The Death of the Author" is the title of an essay literary critic and theorist Roland Barthes.

      The term itself has been argued to mean that the work should be judged wholly on its own merits despite problematic origins. But, was that the intent of the framework or is it a post hoc justification for supporting creators (and thus their creations) who would otherwise be maligned?

      With regards to fandom, how much can be said to be justified under this framework and as consumers should there be a limit to where and how this framework is used as a defense?

      • I recently studied this essay in my class on Contemporary – thalamouawad 1 year ago
      • I recently studied this essay in my class on Contemporary Writing by Women. I think that Barthes' essay can be juxtaposed effectively with Nancy K Miller's "Changing the subject". It counters Barthes' work by stating that this dismissal of individual identity can be interpreted as a hegemonic tool used to deemphasize the stance of minority writing. – thalamouawad 1 year ago
      • Another point for reference: novelist John Green has publicly subscribed to the Death of the Author philosophy, saying "authorial intent doesn't matter"; how readers interpret metaphors, he says, is as important or more important than what the author was thinking when he wrote them. This makes reading Green's books, like Paper Towns and The Fault in our Stars, which are stuffed full of metaphorical imagery, quite interesting. Paper Towns, in particular, is about imagining people as multifaceted instead of seeing them as metaphors - but if authorial intent doesn't matter, should we accept our superficial impressions as accurate? – noahspud 11 months ago

      "I Don't Like ****, I Don't Go Outside" An Exploration of Depression

      "I Don’t Like ****, I Don’t Go Outside" is the sophomore album by Odd Future Alum, Earl Sweatshirt. Despite maintain a level of darkness in his tone and instrumentation, Earl is distinctly alien from his former self. Gone are the edgy shock-lyrics of cannibalism and murder, replaced instead by a vulnerable young man drowning in depression reliant on drugs and alcohol to keep himself going.

      What is it to be a celebrity? A chosen one at that, to be the idol of millions of people you’ve never met while isolated from your friends and family. The album speaks to the thin veneer of happiness success can really be.

      Earl was often a center piece of the fandom from the "FREE EARL" days and yet it doesn’t seem as though the freedom was very liberatory. The lack of hope and overwhelming sense of abject bleakness from Earl speaks to the hollow nature of what was gained by his fame and his regrets seem innumerable as each song on the album falls further in further into an inky blackness of despair.

      That then begs the question, what does this album serve? Is it just a self-exploration or can there be some universal message garnered from the album? What can be said of Earl and his developments as an artist? What of the raised awareness about depression and how it can shape and distort a person’s view not just of themself but of the world around them.

      • Agree with first person. You do a good job summarizing what the album is about, but what specific question are you trying to ask? – Montayj79 2 years ago

      Ideology and a problem with Superheroes.

      Superheroes, are presented as by their nature disruptions to the "natural order" of the world. That is to say many are presented in worlds more or less analogous to that of the reader, either in the urban setting or something that perceivably realistic. But, this presents a disruption to the world they exist within.

      Many heroes are, in some interpretations, read as virtual gods amongst men, invulnerable, nigh unstoppable, with only "benevolence" as the check against them dominating the world. How does a world function similarly to our own while also inhabited by a living god or gods?

      Many exist only in reactive states, that is to say, many heroes and their stories are written to respond to "crime" or "disasters" but rarely are we presented with them proactively pushing for some sort of shift. How does this materially affect their world? How does a world of heroes and supervillains, one of constant impending doom have any sense of normality? How can that world even function?

      Part of this can be blamed on the medium, crime being punished is an easier comic to sell than crime never happens, but that reinforces the idea of crime without interrogating the why of crime. The material conditions, not to mention the motivations of criminals within worlds of sentient nuclear weapons is rarely examined.

      Returning to the core question, superheroes exist in worlds similar to our own, but how in fact is that possible? How is it that a world where Superman and Batman exist is virtually the same as a world where they don’t. How is the world of Marvel, with aliens and spirits, and devils, and sentient robots not dissimilar entirely to the world that exists today?

      How do writers square the circle that is the "status quo" ? Status quo being read as a world that has enough parallels to the real world to be read as similar to our own. A sense of normalcy that can allow for the reader to feel connection with the world of the heroes. How can you reckon with the fact that the existence of these walking myths has little impact on their worlds?

      The writer could interrogate the idea of the superhero as it compares to the prior age of myth, but the more challenging question would require some understanding of the main universes of some of the major comic book publishes and their distinctions and similarities from the real world along with speculation/analysis of why or even how those similarities exist.

      • One idea from the pilot episode of Agents of SHIELD: organizations like SHIELD exist to keep the majority of the weird stuff away from the public, so the world will not change dramatically. Another idea: if the existence of super-people did change the world, the most likely result would be something like Injustice: Gods Among Us - the super-people ruling the world, whether the regular people wanted that or not. Many of the superheroes know this and willingly avoid impacting the world in such a way because free will matters to them. Also consider Watchmen, a fairly popular story about super-people very much changing the world. – noahspud 2 years ago

      Gilgamesh and shooting the shaggy dog

      Shooting the shaggy dog refers to a bleak ending at the end of a drawn out story. Doing so can create a sense of realism as seen in movies like Chinatown but can also create a sense of apathy in the audience if every turn makes the world worse and the the stories conclusion is just more of that.

      For the writer, the Manga Gilgamesh is a pure example of shooting the shaggy dog. The plot is a world of darkness and depravity and the story’s conclusion leaves off with the question what was all of the suffering for? What was the purpose of the story if the ending doesn’t just drive home the point that the world is bad, but makes it clear that it can never be good?

      • Okay, nice, but you left me hanging. I understand your frustration with the story and the trope, but what's the thesis of your article? Are you trying to say the trope should die because it's not redeemable? Or, is there something of value in the trope and the types of stories in which we find it? Or are you going for something else entirely? Consider these questions, and consider exploring other stories as examples. A Series of Unfortunate Events immediately popped into my head. – Stephanie M. 1 year ago