Playing With: Straw Nihilist
: An extremely nihilistic character, oftentimes a villain.
- Straight: The Philosophical Recurring Traveler Hermann keeps ranting on about how the world is cold and miserable and we can as well start murdering each other for all it's worth.
- Exaggerated: Hermann is the Anthropomorphic Personification of hate, chaos and despair.
- Downplayed: While he isn't antagonistic about it, Hermann refuses to delight himself in believing idealism, morality, justice, hope, love, friendship, etc.
- Double Subverted: This is not revealed to the heroes, though. Hermann acts like a nihilist when around them simply because he's a bit of a jerk, and does not like them.
- Parodied: Hermann hates the world because he lost a toy train.
- Zig Zagged:
- The author needed a character to be a nihilist, with a heavy cultural backbone, so he made him a Nietzsche follower. Only, the author doesn't care to read anything about Nietzsche, so the character's beliefs vary at every needs of the story. Wildly.
- Hermann is said to be a nihilist... but what he says he lets others interpret how they wish, no matter what he says. This means to some he is a Straw Nihilist, to others The Cynic, and to some a Knight in Sour Armor or The Anti-Nihilist.
- There are no nihilistic villains around.
- There's a real ‹bermensch around.
- Hermann is a nihilist, but simply believes that there's no true purpose to live, feeling instead each person should find their own.
- Enforced: Author includes Nietzsche and Nihilism only to prove or disprove some points.
- "That guy sounds like he tries to rip off good ol' Friedrich Nietzsche... and fails at it."
- "He sounds like Schopenhauer"
- Invoked: "I know I'm a pessimist, but I don't want to be called an emo. I'll read this Nietzsche's work to give myself some more mature credit"
- Exploited: The creator begins marketing shirts with Herman's lines on them to edgy teenagers.
- "Hermann's wrong, if the world was as bad as he says it is, there wouldn't be people like us around."
- Herman is a Nihilist, but he knows not to waste his breath ranting to people he knows he's not going to convince.
- Discussed: "Mr Villain gloated about his plans to wipe half of humanity. Let's see if he's the real thing, or just a deluded Straw Nihilist."
- Conversed: "Straw Nihilists. I hate those guys." "How come?" "Well, first and foremost - Nietzsche does not work that way. They just give him a bad name."
- Deconstructed: Rant-prone nihilists like Hermann are just as pathetic, if not even more, than the "wide-eyed idealists" they're constantly debunking and bullying, sometimes with their speeches being just a projection of their own self-hatred, depression and death seeking tendencies on the idealists. Sure the nihilists are smarter and/or more savvy, and are wise to know that it's a Crapsack World, but they waste their philosophical intellect on fauxlosophic wangst and being assholes, instead of making something actually useful.
- Reconstructed: He finds renewed motivation in life through trying to prove to everyone that "Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!". The strong motivation makes him a less pathetic villain than an ordinary Omnicidal Maniac, while he himself, through finding more motivations in life, is gradually transformed into The ‹bermensch- all while holding a grim dark nihilistic philosophy.
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