Analysis: The Good Guys Always Win
This trope, The Good Guys Always Win
, is fundamentally a rejection of one of The Seven Basic Plots
- that is, tragedy. The fact that this trope is so prevalent in our current popular culture sphere indicates that at some point, there was a massive depletion of tragedy. Perhaps this is the result of Moral Guardians in the mid-twentieth century realizing Do Not Do This Cool Thing
. After all, a tragedy is based in the main character doing something wrong and being punished for it. A Moral Guardian would reason that the punishment is insufficient to make the "evil" actions unappealing. They might have been provoked into this by the trend of films with Villain Protagonists who are punished at the last moment to appease moral guardians. In any case, we can take The Good Guys Always Win
as a severe limitation on story structure. Stories are now unable to focus on unresolved injustice, and stories are now unable to focus on justice being applied to unrighteous protagonists. Stories are now forced to focus on rewards being applied to righteous protagonists through exertion of their effort. This might be linked to the relentless positivity of modern-day Western "nice" discourse, wherein constructive criticism is taken to mean "praise of what deserves praise", children are taught that "no", "bad", "wrong", and "dumb" are bad words, and "if you can't say anything nice, say nothing at all" is the rule.