Playing With: Broken Aesop
Basic Trope: An Aesop is broken in-story through hypocrisy.
Back to Broken Aesop
- Straight: Murder in the Streets has an Aesop saying that guns are bad. The climax requires Alice to shoot Zeke with a gun.
- Exaggerated: Every problem Alice encounters, she solves with guns despite the preaching against gun use ... even those that couldn't logically be solved with guns.
- Downplayed: In the climax, Alice shoots Zeke. Later scenes reveal that Zeke was injured and hospitalized as a result of the bullet wound, and mention that he was very lucky to survive being shot. So the work has a Broken Aesop, but at least it accurately shows the effects of being shot.
- Alice learns that the Aesop does not apply in these times and decides to break it.
- Shooting Zeke was the lesser of two evils, and this becomes clear.
- "Do as I say, not as I do."
- Inverted: The story has an obvious Aesop, despite the author's insistence that life is too complicated to serve as a source from which to derive simple lessons.
- Subverted: Alice was about to shoot Zeke, but remembers that guns are bad.
- Double Subverted:
- ...until Zeke provoked her to attack.
- So she uses other means to kill Zeke.
- Parodied: Alice keeps forfeiting the moral high ground by using guns even though Murder in the Streets takes place In a World where Guns Are Worthless.
- Zig Zagged: Alice fires a gun in Zeke's direction, but he dodges the bullet. So she stabs him in the throat with a knife, which seemingly kills him. But then he arises from the dead as a zombie, which can pretty much only be eliminated with guns ... so Alice has to shoot him again. Except it wasn't Zeke who was killed and reborn, but his idiot partner Steve, meaning that Alice now has to track down the actual Zeke, disarm him and bring him in to the police, which she and Bob do without any weapons at all.
- The characters comply with any moral message in the work.
- There is no moral content.
- "Alice! You are a goddamned hypocrite!"
- "Wait...what were we teaching again?"
- Invoked: Zeke provokes Alice to abandon her anti-gun message and prove to her that guns are good.
- Exploited: Alice's opponents depict her as a Straw Hypocrite for using a gun to solve a problem after she has espoused the opinion that they don't work.
- Alice drops the gun and proceeds to tell Zeke to shut up.
- Alice resolves the issue without resorting to gun use.
- Discussed: Bob: "Gee. I wonder how Alice can remain an arms-control advocate after this."
- Conversed: "Wait a second, did Alice just shoot him? I thought this episode was all about how guns are evil!"
- Implied: Bob's gun has one bullet fewer in its magazine after he and Alice meet Zeke, and he has an airtight story for having not fired. Alice does not.
- Deconstructed: Alice undergoes a Heroic BSOD after shooting Zeke because she is not practising what she preaches.
- Reconstructed: But then, Alice remembers that shooting people that use guns as well is a good thing after all.
- Plotted a Good Waste:
- Played For Laughs: Bob says, "Remember kids, don't smoke!" and then whips out a cigarette.
Back to Broken Aesop