Created By: wolfmoonrising on April 2, 2010
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Earn your anvil.

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So you just finished this really interesting story, but you're not quite sure what to make of it. It was obviously chock full philosophical ideas, but some of seem to contradict one another. But this can't be a failure on the authors part, because, either internally or in their discussions with others, the characters struggle with the same questions that you're struggling with right now. Right now being 3 o'clock in the morning, approximately the same time you are ''starting to wish someone would just tell you what to think.

Unfortunately that's not going to happen. If the work was meant to tell you what to think it probably would have, considering that doing that is much easier than telling people to think. Something about inertia being a property of mental.

One way to require the reader to earn their anvil is to present them with a difficult Moral Dilemma and refrain from blatantly weighting the outcome.

Note that internal resistance to a Family-Unfriendly Aesop does not mean that a work is making you Earn Your Anvil. This does not mean that one of the possible answers to the moral question presented by the story can't be a Family-Unfriendly Aesop. If it is, however, you have to make a case for that can flick your reader's objections to it across the room and through several walls. And then make a case against it that can give it a fair fight.


Examples

  • We: with the flicking, and the walls.
  • Star Trek: seems to be fond of this
  • Heney IV Part 2: the reputiation of falstaff
  • Watchmen - at the end, it's genuinely impossible to say who's doing the right thing. Apparently the movie made it easier to see who was right.
  • Doubt- raises questions about the appropriate relationship between uncertainty and moral convictions
  • Battlestar Galactica: Government authority versus civil liberties in time of crisis? Figure it out yourself.
Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • March 24, 2010
    Medinoc
    Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but for me this is more an absence of Anvil.
  • March 24, 2010
    Arivne
  • March 24, 2010
    arromdee
    Related to Debate And Switch.
  • March 24, 2010
    MarkusWolfe
    I don't get it. At all.
  • March 24, 2010
    Ettina
    I think it's when they present a difficult moral issue, kind of the same sort of thing an Anvilicious work would deal with, but they don't tell you the answer. Or else give an answer in a way that strongly suggests they intended to leave you uncertain.

    Jodi Picoult's MySistersKeeper would be an example, I think.
  • March 24, 2010
    wolfmoonrising
    Earn Your Aesop And Earn Your Moral would be redirects. Debate And Switch seems to include taking issues and sweeping them under the rug. this, on other hand is limited to works that almost go out of thier way to point out the existence of an unresolved moral question, and certainly don't do anything to hide it.

  • March 24, 2010
    MartineBrooke
    Several examples on the Debate And Switch page would be this if they hadn't pulled third options out of their asses.
  • March 24, 2010
    VampireBuddha
    Watchmen - at the end, it's genuinely impossible to say who's doing the right thing. Apparently the movie made it easier to see who was right.
  • March 24, 2010
    Lullabee
    Not to be confused with the anvil Mr Nutt was chained to, which he totally didn't earn. Poor little guy...
  • March 24, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Waiting for Godot is a good example of this. The author of the play even reufses to say whether it means God is Dead or God will Return.
  • March 24, 2010
    Game_Fan
    I prefer Earn Your Aesop as a title.
  • March 24, 2010
    Sackett
  • March 26, 2010
    wolfmoonrising
    Reply to Ettina:

    the differnce between this and something Anvilicious is an that the later, even if they do deal with a complex moral issue, try to make it simple, thow thereby allowing them to show you how esey it is to see that they're right. the part about adding a Broken Aesop that you aren't really expected to acept is intresting though. i'd like to see some examples of that.

    reply to Sacktt:

    Choose Your Own Aesop is an intresting idea. But I think that generaly happens when this trope is set up but not developed well enough. to clarafy, that title seems to sugest an eisier, perhaps almost uncossious choice, which any given person could make either way without having to wrestle with it much.

    as for Neon Genesis Evangelion, that strikes me as more of a case of what ''did'' just happen than what should have just happened.
  • March 26, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    So the movie Doubt fits into this?
  • March 27, 2010
    jason taylor
    JAG seems to put some work into this. You may have your own opinions at how well they do.
  • March 27, 2010
    Sackett
    Huh... I think Choose Your Own Aesop fits pretty well. It implies that no Aesop is provided so you have to choose what to make of it yourself.
  • March 27, 2010
    Arutema
    Battlestar Galactica: Government authority versus civil liberties in time of crisis? Figure it out yourself.
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