Created By: Lorialet on January 17, 2014 Last Edited By: Lorialet on January 23, 2014
Nuked

Adamic Hero

America Personified comes without past, prejudice... or opinions.

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Trope
The Old World always thought itself the craddle of civilization. After all, who could ever even come close to rivaling it in wealth, power and cultural radiance ?

Except someone did. After the American Revolution, ties with the motherland were severed, and some intelectuals realized that it meant the birth of a new way of life, a new culture and a new kind of man. Thus, the character of the naive and/or unfazed protagonist symbolizing America's situation as a Blank Slate started popping up in many works, each with a different take on the matter, ranging from unwavering faith to complete Bring Me My Brown Pants . Those protagonists are mostly divided in three subcatories :

  • Incorruptible Adamic Hero : This character, usually young, idealistic and plucky, will bring change, as a Blithe Spirit Manic Pixie Dream Girl, no matter how stagnant and corrupt the old society she/he meets with has been for the last millenium. No one can resist their obstinate cheerfulness because she/he is unaware and untouched by traditional but corrupted views. They represent the vast creative potential of America, freed from the ties of the "tainted" mainland. Trope Codifier would be Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.
  • Naive Adamic Hero : This character's innocence may make them unfaillingly moral, but it will be useless and make them put Honor Before Reason. Or they will be so utterly unaware of evil and tentation that their shallow nature makes them The Corruptible... Trope Codifier would probably be Susanna Rowson's Charlotte Temple (but also anything written by Henry James).
  • Unscrupulous Adamic Hero : This character does not need further corruption. Their ignorance of other laws and customs is willing, and their rejection of traditional values comes from disinterest for them and the hindrance that being The Fettered occasions. Generally ruthless, greedy but Obliviously Evil. Trope Codifier would be Undine Spraggs from The Custom Of The Country.

See also the closely related Amnesiac Hero, Unfazed Everyman and Na´ve Everygirl.
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • January 17, 2014
    Koveras
    So... examples?
  • January 17, 2014
    Lorialet
    • Undine Spraggs from The Custom Of The Country. Malleable and conciling to the extreme, but uncapable of understanding why the society she infiltrates is even setting rules. Cold, ruthless, devoid of opinions.
  • January 17, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    seems like Protagonist Without A Past But More Specific.

    also, your laconic and description don't agree with each other and talk about different things.
  • January 17, 2014
    Sackett
    Well... I think this needs some more concrete examples that we can then develop the trope around. Right now the trope description is likely to just attract a mismash of naive, ruthless, and corrupted heros. Without that element of representing a fresh and new American model.

    Characters that leap to my mind include Dorthy from The Wizard Of Oz who is clearly supposed to represent America, and seems to lean towards the naive archetype, but with a rather positive spin. She is essentially a Naive Everygirl.

    Another would be the Yankee in A Yankee In King Arthurs Court by Mark Twain. Seems to lean more towards the unscrupulous, but again a very positive take. Do we have a trope about Yankee Ingenuity? Can that be part of this character?

    Maybe instead of a new trope with examples, this is an index of tropes that are part of this concept in American literature. For example, does the Self Made Man come into this at all?

  • January 17, 2014
    Bisected8
    Forgive my ignorance, but what is the origin of the word "adamic"?
  • January 17, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Yeah, my first time hearing it.
  • January 17, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ Pertaining to Adam the first man.

    makes sense actually, Adam had no past, God made a (adult) man out you earth. though i have no idea what this really is with the current salad description.
  • January 18, 2014
    Lorialet
    ^^^^ I like the idea of making it an index ! Thank you for those examples, they are great too !
  • January 23, 2014
    Lorialet
    BUMP.
  • January 23, 2014
    Sackett
    ^^ Then can you rework the description to match that idea?

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