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Deconstructed Trope / Literature

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  • Agatha Christie stories Death on the Nile, Triangle At Rhodes and Five Little Pigs deconstructs The Vamp role in a Betty and Veronica relationship: the evil and sexy Rich Bitch beauty is only a Jerkass that believes It's All About Me. She Really Gets Around with a lot of admirers, because once a man knows her well, he Know When to Fold 'Em and leaves her. So, one man who is bored with The Vamp either will leave her or conspire with his true love, the Betty, to Murder the Hypotenuse and get her money
  • Ayn Rand deconstructs several tropes in her works. For instance...
    • The Fountainhead deconstructs Screw the Rules, I Make Them! as well as Nietzsche Wannabe with the character of Gail Wynand. Wynand embodies what is arguably The Theme Park Version of Nietzsche's philosophy and believes he can rule the masses and shape popular opinion with his newspaper. Things don't exactly go according to plan.
    • Atlas Shrugged deconstructs Don't Think, Feel with the villain's justifications for their economic policies, as well as Betty and Veronica via an actress who joined the strike because she was always typecast as Veronica but lost the man to less interesting characters.
    • Atlas Shrugged also deconstructs I Just Want to Be Loved with James Taggart's relationship with Cheryl. Instead of being loved for owning a company, for being skilled or for even being a nice person, he wants to be loved for what he is, and that's pretty much nothing.
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    • The Fountainhead is the story of an everyman refusing to submit to an evil corporation. Atlas Shrugged is the story of a corporate head refusing to submit to the people. Which is supposed to be the correct version, we may never know.
  • Neal Shusterman:
    • The novel Speeding Bullet takes a knife to the idea of Jumped at the Call. Nick saves a girl from a subway train, then a man from a burning building, then gains the attention of a rich, hot girl, and keeps running across situations for him to intervene in. Except his girlfriend has been paying people to set up situations to feed his Adrenaline Junkie habits. And when he really needs it, he can't find his courage anymore.
    • "The Shadow Club" involves a group of teenagers getting back at others by playing pranks on them. Naturally, someone takes the "harmless" pranks too far; because that's what happens when you give people power over their foes.

By Work

  • Animal Farm:
    • Brilliant, but Lazy: Benjamin is the smartest animal in the farm but refuses to become a leader not so much because he's lazy but out of fear. He still wouldn't say anything even after Boxer got sold to the knackers.
    • Dumb Is Good: The animals' Fatal Flaw.
    • Humans Are Bastards: The animals' refusal to adopt human ways allows the pigs to screw them over.
  • Animorphs deconstructs Recruit Teenagers with Attitude by combining it with War Is Hell.
    • Animorphs deconstructs several tropes involving young heroes, or optimistic tropes in general:
      • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World, as the five (later six) heroes discover that War Is Hell and how badly it's messed them up.
      • Kid Hero: It's obvious from the get-go that the kids, having no sort of military knowledge or practical connections whatsoever, are pretty much just making it up as they go and doing the best they can with what they have, and they're closer to Child Soldiers than anything else. They're kid heroes in that they're working to save the world and they're pretty much the Earth's last line of defence, but the blunt approach the series takes to War Is Hell makes it clear that it is the furthest thing from a good thing there is.
  • Andrew Vachss's Burke books deconstruct Tranquil Fury by showing it for what it is: a sign of mental illness. Wesley never lost his temper or spoke above a whisper, and he was the most vicious killer in a setting full of hardened career criminals.
  • Catch-22 has a comedic deconstruction of the Missing Steps Plan. Milo Minderbender buys up the entire crop of Egyptian cotton (step 1), thinking it will make him a profit (step 3). He then spends pretty much the rest of the book trying to figure out step 2. He is at one point desperate enough to attempt dipping the cotton in chocolate and selling it as emergency rations.
  • The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is yet another deconstruction of The Chosen One. After seemingly getting knocked out after getting hit by a car, he wakes up in a magical land, and spends the rest of the series refusing to accept any of it is real because he thinks it's all in his head and he's going insane. And to top it off he's a Jerkass, highly cynical loner who really is only a hero because the villain is someone that gives most others nightmares. The first series also uses Lena to deconstruct Loving Force.
  • The Disaster Artist, a book talking about the making of The Room and the author's time with Tommy Wiseau, deconstructs three things:
    • The first is the mythos of the movie itself. A movie as hilariously bad as this just doesn't happen without ripping or pissing off people in the process.
    • The second is the Determinator trope. The book talks about actresses Juliette Danielle and Carolyn Minnott, who played Lisa and Claudette respectively, and the sheer hell these two women went through just for the sake of their dreams. There's also Tommy Wiseau himself, who thought himself perfect…
    • Finally, Tommy Wiseau himself is arguably deconstructed. Having gained the reputation as an infamous Cloud Cuckoolander, it's hard not to laugh at him in interviews, not just because the things he says are so bizarre, but because of his total sincerity in saying them. In the book, Wiseau is presented as a near-recluse with very few friends, little to no social skills, and is likely suffering from severe mental illness (or, as theorized in the book, the aftermath of a terrible accident).
  • Don Quixote is a Deconstructor Fleet, but even more than a deconstruction of Chivalric Romance, (a genre now forgotten given "Weird Al" Effect), he is a Deconstructive Parody of the overzealous fans (hence an immortal novel).
    • Before Don Quixote, there was Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, whose intense love for Angelica basically turned him into the Incredible Hulk after he finds out that she's a normal, human woman who's had a fling with a shepherd, and not a virginal Princess Classic.
      • This scene was homaged/parodied in Don Quixote when the titular character (who doesn't realize that Orlando is a satire) decides to recreate it. The only thing more ridiculously unheroic than a man going violently insane over a woman who doesn't want him is a man trying to go violently insane over a woman who doesn't want him.
  • The Dresden Files deconstructs the Indy Ploy methods so much favored by Harry and other heroes flying by the seat of their pants. But Harry's 'throw plans together within a seconds notice' and 'survive now and deal later' mindset screw him over multiple times, such as when he goes to Bianca's party in the third book and starts the Vampire War, or in Changes when he wiped out the entire Red Court of Vampires, winning the war - and opening up a massive power vacuum that is throwing the world into such chaos that even the mortals are beginning to take notice. The series also subtly deconstructs the Ho Yay trope - it's all fine and funny if two guys are suspiciously close while insisting they are not gay. But when there are two guys who are suspiciously close and one of them is an incubus who can enslave people to their will through sex and the other is a close friend of yours... it's caused Harry no end of trouble placating worried allies that he is not mind-controlled.
  • The Elder Scrolls novels - Pretty heavy on this:
    • Warrior Prince: Does this with Prince Attrebus. Instead of going out and winning glorious battles for The Empire, he is tricked into believing he has done so, and subsequently gets all his men killed, realizes that just being a prince doesn't make a person a great fighter, and is forced to face his own failings before he can try to be a real hero.
    • Action Hero: Annaig. She reads a lot of adventure books, and has an extreme desire to be an adventurer herself. When she finally does get to go on a "real" adventure, most people she cares about are killed, she is constantly forced to keep her morals in check or else she is worried she will become just as bad as the people she's fighting, she realizes that destroying Umbriel will likely kill hundreds of decent people along with the not-so-decent ones, and spends most of her time just trying desperately not to die.
  • The Emerald City series deconstructs, among other things, Black-and-White Morality. Said morality is, from book 4 on, enforced by the ability of Big Bad to magically force any morally grey character into his service. The result is that, since most of those are actually Anti-Villains, one often feels more for them than for actual heroes (especially since heroes can get Back from the Dead in most cases). Book ten deconstructs Become a Real Boy. Tom, a living teddy bear, magically becomes a human and a great warrior... and dies per Heroic Sacrifice in the very first battle, whereas killing him as teddy bear would be all but impossible.
  • Ender's Game deconstructs the Groin Attack. Yes, really. And yes, it really is as bad as it sounds... possibly worse.
    • The book also deconstructs the Bug War. You see, the buggers only killed humans because they had assumed our individuals were drones like theirs, when they realize we possess sentience on an individual level, they accept humanity's retaliatory invasion with a resigned, "oh… the humans didn't forgive us…" They actually turn out to be a fair bit nicer than humans at least as far as respecting other sentient life.
    • It shows the incredible physical and emotional strain of being a child burdened with saving the world.
  • The title character of Alexander Pushkin's Eugene Onegin is a deconstruction of a Byronic Hero.
  • The Familiars deconstructs the Familiar. If the humans' animal companions were on an equal level of intelligence and had powers of their own, why would they consent to be second-class citizens? They didn't- Vastia used to be ruled by animals before the humans invaded, rewriting history so that they were always the leaders. One familiar decides to start a rebellion to take Vastia back from the humans.
  • The Farseer Trilogy deconstructs the Childhood Friend Romance, as Fitz grows up in the company of a number of beggar children, including Molly Nosebleed. Over the course of the books Fitz claims that he loves Molly and obsesses over being able to see her, even though neither he or the reader know all that much about her. When King Shrewd brings up the possibility of a political marriage between Fitz and Celerity, a Lord's daughter, Fitz refuses on the grounds that he loves Molly and Shrewd sternly rebukes him by telling him that a loyal servant to the Crown doesn't get to just choose his wife on a whim and risk offending an important ally by rejecting his daughter and tells him he's acting just like his father. Fitz continuing to see Molly despite Patience, Chade and Burrich warning him not to gets him attacked by men working for Prince Regal and Molly gets increasingly angry that Fitz has loyalties outside of her and eventually leaves him when he tells her he can't run away with her. In the third novel of the trilogy, Kettle points out to Fitz that he and Molly don't necessarily love each other for who they are, but rather for who they used to be and seek to keep reliving their more carefree childhood days by clinging to each other, and advises Fitz to let the relationship stay in the past before it's soured completely. Fitz doesn't listen to her until he accidentally witnesses via Skill that Molly and Burrich have fallen for each other and intend to get married. Fitz then decides he wants both Molly and Burrich to be happy and it'd only bring them pain to know he was alive all this time, so decides to leave Buck and allow Molly and Burrich to raise his daughter together.
    • In the Liveship Traders trilogy, the Tomboy and Girly Girl trope is deconstructed with Althea and Keffria - instead of it just being treated as a personality quirk of each sister, it's a huge factor in why the sisters don't see eye to eye for a large portion of the trilogy. Althea is the favorite of her father Ephron, who indulged her free spirit and treated her like the son he never had, leading Althea to grow up as quite spoiled and stubborn as an adult and when she doesn't get Vivacia as promised, she responds by throwing a tantrum and running away from home. Keffria, meanwhile, is the submissive and mild Girly Girl who resented her younger sister for being treated with indulgence despite being a tearaway while she was largely ignored by her parents despite being the obedient daughter who conformed to society's expectations. When Keffria's husband Kyle goes missing, Keffria is suddenly left in charge and has no idea how to make decisions on her own after being dominated by her husband for so long. It takes Althea learning some humility and Keffria growing a spine for them to finally learn to get along.
  • A Frozen Heart, a Tie-In Novel to Disney's Frozen, deconstructs several things:
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu is deconstructed in the Warhammer 40,000: Gaunt's Ghosts novel Ghostmaker, where the victory of Gaunt and a small group of troopers (exalted by some Eldar sorcery) over a thousands-strong Chaos force without taking casualties is found to simply not make sense given the tactical data, which should have had them killed to the last man, and is written off by analysts as a phantom engagement.
  • The Godfather, one of the most famous Mafia sagas in fiction, made a big deal out of the Nothing Personal trope. But in the novel that inspired the films, Michael Corleone himself deconstructs the trope in this speech to Tom:
    Michael: Tom, don't let anybody kid you. It's all personal, every bit of business. Every piece of shit every man has to eat every day of his life is personal. They call it business. OK. But it's personal as hell. You know where I learned that from? The Don. My old man. The Godfather. If a bolt of lightning hit a friend of his the old man would take it personal. He took my going into the Marines personal. That's what makes him great. The Great Don. He takes everything personal. Like God. He knows every feather that falls from the tail of a sparrow or however the hell it goes. Right? And you know something? Accidents don't happen to people who take accidents as a personal insult.
  • Gone with the Wind deconstructs the Southern Belle and Southern Gentleman archetypes in the winning form of Scarlett O'Hara and Ashley Wilkes. Scarlett is more or less trained not to care about people, and merely become a pretty doll devoid of personal wishes or emotion that is supposed to attract husbands. Ashley has nothing of the vices of his trope, but also has no practical virtues. After the war, Scarlett will adapt and Ashley will become useless.
  • In Handle with Care, Charlotte shows how destructive it is to be a Knight Templar Parent. Her intentions to secure Willow's future were noble but the way she does it essentially ruined the lives of everyone else around her, especially her best friend who she was suing. And in the end, Charlotte is left with the consequences of her actions. She is friendless with no social life, having betrayed her best friend through the lawsuit and lost Willow in a freak accident.
  • The Harry Potter series deconstructs The Chosen One trope. Harry's status as the chosen one wasn't decided by fate, but happened because Voldemort thought it was fate and leaped into action with an impulsive decision. Moreover, while he's competent with magic (better at some things than his peers), he's not a genius or exceptionally gifted in magic like his adversary (who is described as one of the most powerful wizards in wizarding history). His heroic actions save lives but, until the end, do not bring him glory - on the contrary, they end up being used to label him as "reckless" and "unstable" for a long time. He ultimately triumphs over Voldemort not because of his superior talent, but because Voldemort makes a major mistake and is arguably brought down by his own blindness and arrogance.
    • A deconstruction of a lighter shade comes with Luna Lovegood's Cloud Cuckoolander tendencies, which have left her an easy target of teasing and ridicule amongst the other students. (In example, she tells Harry that the Ravenclaw kids prank her by hiding her stuff and forcing her to search for it all alone). Consequently, Ginny Weasley had been pretty much her Only Friend at Hogwarts until her 4th year at the school... However, neither of these facts bothered her significantly, and she does what she can to live her life at the fullest.
    • Also deconstructs The Power of Friendship; there isn't any magical reason Harry's friends are an advantage (indeed, Ron, like Harry, isn't really someone special) but Harry's willingness to make friends means that he has people by his side fighting for his cause because they believe in him, whereas Voldemort tries to command loyalty through fear and power. People think nothing of betraying him (one doing this in particular very important in the process of his undoing) or at the very least not giving him their all if they've come to find that it's no longer to their advantage.
      • Voldemort's side truly deconstructs the Bad Boss and You Have Outlived Your Usefulness. He is so obsessed with punishing his underlings who he considers weak that the first time he fell from power, most of them immediately disowned any association with him. During the final battle in Deathly Hallows, his Death Eaters started to outright abandon him while those loyal to Harry continued to fight on despite several major characters dying. The death of Bellatrix, his only remaining loyal underling, caused Voldemort to lose his collective shit.
    • Hagrid is a deconstruction of Nightmare Fetishist, Fluffy Tamer and Bunny-Ears Lawyer. He's a Friend to All Living Things with a particular liking for dangerous creatures, and has a kind-hearted but somewhat simple-minded persona. He's also a school drop-out with very limited educational training. Unsurprisingly, a decision to let him teach Care for Magical Creatures turns into a disaster. He honestly wants to entertain his students as well as educate them, and he does it by introducing them to things that he personally adores, that is large, vicious animals, without preparing the kids in theory beforehand or arranging for any safety protocols. The fact that he is a half-giant, and most of his students are regular human wizards, he is unaware how dangerous the creatures he tends are for the students. This grates on the children's nerves more and more, until the less scrupulous of them start blackmouthing him to the media and eventually even the main trio, who are his friends otherwise, abandon his classes.
    • In the backstory of the Marauders, it deconstructs Overshadowed by Awesome. Harry's father James Potter, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin were all brilliant, intelligent and popular wizards, with Peter Pettigrew being regarded as the Tagalong Kid and tends to behave as the group's cheerleader and Extreme Doormat despite being rather talented and skilled himself. It's been noted that Peter was only loyal to "the biggest bullies in the playground" and tragically after Hogwarts, this made Peter turn to Voldemort in his desire to gain more power and the spotlight, leading him to betray Harry's parents.
  • The Honor Harrington series deconstructs The Federation, in the form of the People's Republic of Haven (or, arguably, the Solarians). Much more on the trope page.
  • The novel Hurting Distance deconstructs Operation: Jealousy to hell and back - Charlie panics when she hears Simon mention Alice Fancourt and begins obsessing over whether Simon wants Alice back. So she tries to make Simon jealous by pretending she's seeing someone called Graham. Simon being, well, Simon Waterhouse means it doesn't work and when Charlie actually meets a man called Graham when she's on holiday with her sister, she jumps at the chance to make her lie a reality. Olivia calls her out on ruining their holiday and they spend much of the novel in a bitter feud and it turns out Graham is already married. And he's actually the very same Serial Rapist the police are looking for and his hotel, Silver Brae Chalets, is where the abducted women are brought to be raped in front of a paying audience. Not only does Graham showing up unexpectedly at Charlie's address end up leaving Naomi alone with the man who already raped her once (she gets rescued before he can do it again), but the press find out that Charlie was romantically involved with Graham and the ensuing scandal forces her to leave her job on the force and haunts her quite a bit into the series.
  • In Dostoevsky's classic The Idiot, he ruthlessly deconstructs the Purity Sue. Myshkin is basically Jesus reincarnated, being possibly the most pure representation of what the Church expects that people should try to be like. The problem? Everyone who doesn't want to be like this (that is to say, everyone except Myshkin himself) takes advantage of his personality for all it's worth because Humans Are Bastards.
  • The Kingdom Keepers deconstructs Clap Your Hands If You Believe. Enough people believing in Disney allows those characters to come to life. However, it's those like Maleficent that take advantage of it.
  • Legacy of the Dragokin does this to Kid Hero: Benji is a ten year old boy who wants to be a warrior hero and this story shows precisely why such a person would be a Tagalong Kid. Without training, experience or, indeed, maturity, he's The Load at best and The Millstone at worst.
  • Les Misérables deconstructed the typical "mysterious benefactor" character common in 19th century novels with Jean Valjean. He rescues Cossette from hardship the same way The Bishop of Digny did for him. He becomes obsessed with being her Parental Substitute because he's eaten up by guilt over not being able to save her mother Fantine.
  • Lof der Zotheid 2001 from Arnon Grunberg has as its premise to deconstruct Humans Are the Real Monsters, because in here humanity, the most abominable being ever created is on court for its criminal behaviour. What you read throughout the book is the speech as to why humanity is not that criminal.
  • The Magicians and The Magician King are brilliant deconstructions (and subsequent reconstructions) of hero, utopian, and magic tropes, among others. The main character is an extremely genre-savvy person, but finds that none of these things are what he thought they'd be.
  • The Man Who Came Early deconstructs Trapped in the Past. All of Gerald's attempts to change history fall flat on their face. When he tries to show the Vikings how to make compasses, he has no idea where to find or mine magnetic ores. When he tries to show them how to build more modern sailing vessels, the Vikings point out that such vessels are too cumbersome to dock anywhere where there is not a ready built harbor, an obvious rarity in that time period. The Vikings find the matches he brought with him impressive, but he has no idea how to make more. The only knowledge he has of any use is modern martial arts. In the end, the soldier runs afoul of his ignorance of Viking legal customs and is killed. The story's main point is that time-travellers don't really have much chance of introducing future inventions because most advances are useless without an advanced societal and technological infrastructure to support them, while the characters in question don't have sufficient skills, tools and resources to introduce new technology.
  • The Mistborn books deconstruct the Evil Overlord in the character of the Lord Ruler- he's introduced in the first book and pretty much played straight as an inhuman/superhuman force of evil though we do get a bit of his backstory; subsequent books delve deeply into his personality, history, and motivations, ultimately making him out as Not So Different from the heroes.
    • It also deconstructs many, many tropes of rebelling against an Evil Overlord like him. For example, killing him doesn't bring easy succession-it drives the land into chaos! And now the heroes, who killed him off, are in government, and it shows the hardships of that.
    • The second book deconstructs The Prophecy. What if the prophecy was actually a ploy by the Big Bad with Reality Warper powers to get someone to free them from their captivity, and they subtly shift the prophecy to match the person believed to be the hero to fit him perfectly?
  • Even optimistic adventure stories, while free from overall deconstruction, aren't necessarily free from having individual tropes deconstructed. Case in point, The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne, which blatantly falls on the Ideal side of the scale. Thus, the trope of Robinsonade is played straight by the main protagonists, but is deconstructed by Sixth Ranger Ayrton who goes mad from being isolated for so many years and probably would have died an agonizing death were it not for Nemo telling the castaways about his island.
  • The Neverending Story provides a particularly satisfying deconstruction of the Canon Sue. Bastian gets the power to remake an entire world as he sees fit, but with each wish that gets granted he loses one of his memories and becomes more and more of a moron and a jerk. Finally it's up to the story's real hero to save his ungrateful ass, and when he finally realizes what's been going on it's a thing of beauty.
    • The various 'stories' also serve as deconstructions of various tropes, especially in the second half where Bastian's attempts to help don't go as intended. For instance:
      • Always Save the Girl and Standard Hero Reward are both deconstructed with the character of the Hero (actually his title) who is madly in love with a princess who won't give him the time of the day. Bastian uses his powers to create a situation wherein a dragon kidnaps the princess and the Hero can rescue her to make her fall in love with him. It's briefly described that the Hero endures a number of dangers and saves her, and she does fall for him... except he's no longer interested in her after going through so much for her. So there's only so far The Dulcinea Effect will take you.
      • Said Hero's three companions (of the same class) deconstruct Knight in Shining Armor and Undying Loyalty - after Bastian earns their respect, they swear to serve him forever... This unfortunately includes trying to do amoral things against their benevolent nature, and also when Bastian disappears they dedicate their lives to finding him, ultimately Breaking the Fellowship and going their separate ways.
      • Magic A Is Magic A and Applied Phlebotinum are deconstructed when Bastian - in a very special city with an acidic lake, full of inhabitants who wish to know their own origins - creates a story for them which becomes fact. That would be fine... except that said origin involves the acidic 'water' of the lake coming from a group of grotesque, ever-weeping creatures, whose acidic tears created the lake but also unearthed the one metal which it withstands (the city's main source of profit as well). Bastian's attempt to make them happy (by changing their forms into butterfly-like beings) comes back to bite him much later when they reveal to him that without their tears, the lake has dried up and there is no way to mine for the special metal anymore. He is threatened and almost killed by them to try and change them back into their sorry prior forms, before Atreyu and Falkor save him.
  • The novel Nuklear Age by Brian Clevinger subverts and deconstructs almost every aspect of The Cape and rebuilds it in his own image. The book begins as a Deconstructive Parody, but toward the end it does a complete about face and begins deconstructing its own premise.
  • Out of the Dark:
    • Deconstructs Humans Are Warriors and Humans Advance Swiftly. The Bastard Aliens witnessed the English slaughtering the French at Agincourt and see how fast human tech is progressing compared to "civilised" races and are scared to hell. So they tell their enforcer race that everyone will turn a blind eye if an accident were to happen to us...
    • Weber also takes time goes out of his way to briefly deconstruct Guns Akimbo and shoulder flesh wounds.
    • Mama Bear and Papa Wolf also get deconstructed when Buchevsky argues that winter will bring the need to defend against good people with starving children.
  • Paradise Lost is a deconstruction of Draco in Leather Pants in its portrayal of Satan. He starts out all badass and charismatic, but as we get to know him more and more, he see that he's a whiny, self-pitying bully who bows to peer pressure from the other demons, bangs his own daughter and arguably isn't even all that badass when compared to, say, Michael or Kung-Fu Jesus. The intention was to make the reader acknowledge that they felt the allure of sin but also that it leads nowhere good. However, he is for the most part still portrayed sympathetically enough, to the point that actually seeing him as living up to those traits isn't that far off, if he wasn't immersed in a sea of Wangst. It doesn't help that in the process of deconstructing Satan, the story deconstructs God and You Can't Fight Fate by having God know every single thing Satan is going to do... and chooses to do almost nothing to stop it. As a result, it manages to slightly reconstruct Satan: both gods are jerks, but at least Satan is proactive and likable.
  • The entirety of Redshirts is a deconstruction of the Red Shirt, and what would happen if the universe's Cannon Fodder ever learned about or tried to do something about their high mortality rate.
  • The Redwall book The Outcast of Redwall does this to Always Chaotic Evil. Veil Sixclaw is a ferret, classified as "vermin" in the setting. He's taken off a battlefield and raised by Redwallers. However, anything that goes wrong during his stay is immediately blamed on him, and he eventually decides to be what they expect. Only his foster mother believes in him. In short, the Redwallers, sans Bryony, never gave him a chance to NOT be evil.
  • The Saga of Darren Shan deconstructs the Vampire Vannabe by showing what kind of person wants to willingly become a vampire and why. A sociopath who wants to kill people he doesn't like, and be free to do what ever he wants.
  • Seven Sorcerers by Caro King deconstructs Plot Armor. The heroine Nin Redstone, a young girl, has it, and therefore survives many dangerous situations unscathed - physically that is. However, the Plot Armor, as usual, does nothing to prevent her from getting into such situations. In fact often she get into bad situations precisely because somebody wanted to exploit her luck, in fact, this is the whole reason she got dragged into the whole mess in the first place, and Nin has to deal herself with the psychological scars of her dangers. Also she develops huge Survivor's Guilt, when other people die around her - partially because her Plot Armor doesn't seem to care about collateral damage.
  • Near-Villain Victory gets deconstructed in the later books of Shannara. In contrast to other fantasy works like The Lord of the Rings and Willow where some measure of normalcy returns after the Big Bad is defeated, the Warlock Lord coming close to victory in The Sword of Shannara has far-reaching consequences on the whole series. The next book The Elfstones of Shannara explains that the Southlands panic when they learn the Warlock Lord nearly captured the city of Tyrsis and could have easily invaded their territories. The various cities of the Southlands then form a mutual defense alliance which quickly grows into the Federation. By The Heritage of Shannara, the Federation becomes a major antagonist by conquering the other lands and waging war on the remaining free peoples. Even in later Shannara books, the Federation remains a threat to the protagonists.
  • The Tanith Lee story "Sold" is a deconstruction of the Deal with the Devil plot, and one of the few cases of a Lighter and Softer deconstruction: If you can sell your immortal soul to the devil, you obviously have an immortal soul, and the devil can't easily take it from you. So you might as well endure your circumstances, since you know you are going to heaven.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has so many of this it got its own page.
  • Stardust makes the deconstruction of the Engagement Challenge a plot point, by showing and openly talking about how stupid an idea it is, and how if someone makes a joke about an impossible task to evade your flirtations, this doesn't mean that they actually want you to do it. Victoria spends the entire duration of the Hero's quest torn between being guilt-ridden and terrified that she's probably sent an old childhood playmate to his death, and terrified that he'll come back, because she's in love with someone else. The book also covers the unpleasant end of a Mayfly–December Romance, although the movie version offers a way out.
  • The X-Wing Series novel Starfighters of Adumar deconstructs the concept of the Proud Warrior Race. The military of the Adumari nation of Cartann is made up of these types, but their Glory Hound tendencies mean they make poor tactical decisions, and their insistence on live-fire dueling means that they end up killing off competent pilots (with only certain protocols keeping them in check, and these only do so much), meaning that the New Republic and Imperial pilots who take them on are easily able to defeat them in combat. Wedge himself disparages the concept of fighting for honor in a single speech:
    Wedge: Circular thinking. I'm honorable because I kill the enemy, and I kill the enemy for the honor. There's nothing there, Cheriss. Here's the truth: I kill the enemy so someone, somewhere - probably someone I've never met and never will meet - will be happy. [...] I told you how I lost my parents. Nothing I ever do can make up for that loss. But if I put myself in the way of people just as bad as the ones who killed my family, if I burn them down, then someone else they would have hurt gets to stay happy. That's the only honorable thing about my profession. It's not the killing. It's making the galaxy a little better.
    • Another part of the series, the Wraith Squadron novels, deconstruct the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits. The Wraiths are a last-chance squadron of people who are for whatever reason on the verge of being washed out, leading to a variety of quirky personalities and funny scenes...and also higher-than-average casualties, which Wes accurately points out that Wedge should really have expected.
  • Tomorrow: When the War Began takes the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits and La Résistance tropes to their logical conclusions via War Is Hell. The kids have to stop being kids and start being soldiers - those of them that can't quickly get captured or killed, while those of them that can never really recover from some of the traumas.
  • Another book deconstructing the chosen one, The Wheel of Time does this in the form of Rand Al'Thor who is nearly driven insane by the pressure of having the entire world resting on his shoulders and begins to use much darker methods to make sure everything stays together. Eventually he realizes what he's doing wrong and gets better.
  • When the Windman Comes by Antonia Michaelis deconstructs Mr. Imagination. The girl Paredoile and her mother live in a world filled with their imagination, and some of things they imagine are very wonderful and exciting - but most are evil and threatening - like the titular Windman. They live in constant fear of imaginary phantoms, which leads to both of them having no friends (which is especially hard for the girl), brings further hardships, and even creates some very real dangers (like when Paredoile's mother refuses to let her be treated in a hospital for fear of Windman). Ultimately, it takes an intervention of the hero, a Down-To-Earth kid, to break them free of that.
  • Wuthering Heights deconstructs All Girls Want Bad Boys, by showing exactly what happens when girls fall in love with troubled, angry men. Heathcliff is a 'bad boy', and Bronte shows exactly what this means; he's unstable, vindictive, violent, selfish and vicious. The relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine is depicted as being intensely passionate, but also intensely unhealthy (not least because they may or may not actually be brother and sister), and Heathcliff's response to being spurned for another man is to embark on a single-minded crusade of vengeance that ultimately results in the ruination of both lovers and their immediate families for absolutely no point whatsoever. As if this wasn't enough to illustrate the point, Edgar Linton's foolish sister Isabella elopes with Heathcliff because she's attracted to his bad-boy image. She gets what she wants, but not in the way she expects; an abusive husband who is openly contemptuous and violent towards her, and makes no secret of the fact that he only married her to get at her brother. This hasn't stopped a Misaimed Fandom growing around Heathcliff, however, who even to this day is considered a model of a romantic hero despite the fact that he's pretty much a sociopath - something that Bronte intended to make absolutely clear.
    • It also shows that what happens when good boys fall in love with troubled, angry women who are in love with said troubled, angry men...
    • Romance, as a genre, is one of the easiest to deconstruct, simply because by its very nature it is fantasy-driven. There are eerie parallels between the 'romance' and 'porn story' genres (aside from the fact that a story can be both at once), in that both exist to embody fantasy satisfaction of impulses that in real life must be restrained by the necessities of duty, common sense, and sanity. Drama is good as entertainment but rapidly becomes exhausting and draining when you have to live it.
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer uses this same deconstruction with the transformation of Angel-to-Angelus, and Buffy's Masochism Tango with Spike in Season 6.

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