Playing With / Black and White Morality

Basic Trope: Pure good versus pure evil, without any shade of gray between them.
  • Straight: Alice, a heroine, is much nicer than Bob, who is a villain.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alice is undoubtedly good while Bob is unquestionably evil.
    • Alice is absolutely heroic with no evil ulterior motives, while Bob is unironically heinous and has nothing but completely wicked intentions.
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
    • The world itself has moral absolutism built into its very core.
    • The God of Good and God of Evil respectively have gained power over the universe. They adjust values accordingly.
    • The enemies the hero faces are made to be the embodiment of evil such as demons from hell, and the hero is meant to be an embodiment of good such as an angel from heaven.
    • The aura and temperament these characters give to the audience reveal their innate quality as good or evil.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: Alice varies between pure, kind-hearted heroine or a mean, ruthless anti-heroine while Bob varies between a vile, depraved villain or a sympathetic one.
  • Averted:
  • Enforced: The Moral Guardians want to preach to the audience that there is true knowledge of right and wrong.
  • Lampshaded: "THERE ARE NO SHADES OF GREY! You must choose a side! note 
  • Invoked: The gods themselves build moral absolutism into the world and force everyone to choose a side.
  • Exploited: Alice uses this setting as a way to make herself morally superior over everybody.
  • Defied:
    Alice: But that's evil!
    Bob: It is but it's also the best option available. It doesn't make me proud, but if I can save innocent lives with it, so be it.
    • Alice and Bob agree that choosing between good and evil is a waste of time and decide to have a normal life without being involved in moral affairs.
  • Discussed:
    Bob: So what happens if I choose good?
    Alice: Then I will be your friend.
    Bob: So what if I choose evil?
    Alice: Then you're my enemy.
  • Conversed:
    Moral Guardian: "Now I like the new series because it has a clear understanding of what's right and wrong and that the audience should always do what's right."
  • Deconstructed:
    • See "Invoked". Everyone is sick of having to follow an absolutist moral code and having to identify as good or evil which always forces the "Good" people to do stupid things while "Bad" people are never able to have good intentions. They all band together to Rage Against the Heavens.
    • See "Exploited". This time, Alice's moral superiority has driven others away, refusing to choose any side but their own.
    • Good and evil are defined because The Powers That Be are brainwashing people to be good or evil.
    • Everyone is either pure good or pure evil. Therefore if they aren't 100% heroic and do mundane every-day things instead of saving lives, they must be evil. And your Average Joe does mundane things instead of saving people and thus must be evil and is not worth saving.
    • Heel Face Turns are required that there is to be some good in the person beforehand to inspire them to make the change and Face Heel Turns requires the person to be selfish or cruel enough to be capable of turning evil. Because everyone is either 100% good or evil, their moral alignments are set in stone and thus they are unable to change and grow as people.
    • Alice becomes a Knight Templar in her pursuit of justice, and in so doing, is not terribly different from Bob.
    • Black and White Insanity. Alice is clearly very deranged in order to believe in being all good or all evil.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Alice and Bob form a temporary alliance to destroy those who reject choosing a side, proving yet again that there's no room for middle ground.
    • But to Alice, they are evil because they serve their own side, which is the same as evil.
    • See Deconstructed #4. ...but if you don't save them, you'll be just like them.
    • See Deconstructed #5. Bad guys can still do good or join the heroes as long as there's something in it for them.
    • Alice believes that in order for society to be fair and just, moral standards of right and wrong have to be in place, a belief she holds strongly to, which many find perfectly reasonable. Whether Bob is evil or morally gray ends up being irrelevant to the fact that he has done evil deeds and needs to be brought to justice.


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