Earn your anvil.


(permanent link) added: 2010-04-02 12:01:21 sponsor: wolfmoonrising (last reply: 2010-04-02 12:01:21)

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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.
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