Purity as a character trait is a very common concept in fiction. Going back to some of the earliest mythology, purity is treated as an ideal goal for everybody to strive towards. Purity is usually defined as a total lack of sin with an unrivaled dedication towards the ideals of the culture. In this sense, outside of deconstructions, purity is almost always analogous to goodness. It is often analogous to virginity as well, but not entirely bound to it. This can often go to supernatural lengths.
Going more in depth, a character with this trait (usually female, but male examples aren't that uncommon) is treated both by the narrative and by many (if not all) of the characters as being a shining example of good. Almost always beautiful, she often gives off a soft radiance that tends to attract animals. Almost exclusively soft-spoken, polite, optimistic, and just all-around pleasant to be around. The general message tends to be that this is a near-angelic person and should be given the utmost respect.
Probably one of the first tropes to be consumed by the overly-inclusive Mary Sue label to such a point where any character like this will be immediately labeled as one regardless of context. Because of that, it isn't quite so common any more but is still a decently popular template in some circles.
A Super-Trope to:
- Friend to All Living Things
- Idol Singer
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness
- The Ingenue
- Mary Sue Classic
- Mystical Waif
- Nature Adores a Virgin
- The Pollyanna
- Princess Classic
- Only the Pure of Heart
- Proper Lady
- Pure Is Not Good
- Purity Sue
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth
- Virgin in a White Dress
- Virgin Power
- White Magician Girl
- Yamato Nadeshiko
Tropes that often invoke this:
- All-Loving Hero
- Celibate Hero
- Chaste Hero
- Friend to All Children
- Hero's Muse
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness
- In Harmony with Nature
- Living MacGuffin
- Magical Girl
- Magical Girlfriend
- Magic Idol Singer
- Nature Lover
- Nature-Loving Robot
- Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date
- Only Good People May Pass
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth
Add examples here of purity that don't quite fit in any of those articles:
- Sailor Moon dedicated its third season to a MacGuffin hunt involving "Pure Hearts", a crystalline object residing within people with a pure and just dedication towards a goal. Not played entirely straight in the fact that even bitter, cynical characters have them as well.
- In Saint Beast, this is what the angels believe they and Zeus are supposed to be, but slowly start to learn it is not what they are.
- Penelope from The Odyssey. She is never tempted by her suitors and works hard to outwit them so they'd leave her alone. She also spends most of her time in mourning. Slightly to be expected since she's the image of an ideal Greek woman.
- In The Stormlight Archive, Sylphrena and other honorspren are literally made out of the idea of honor.
- Warhammer 40,000 has a few:
- There is Sanguinius, Primarch of the Blood Angels, complete with golden armour, gargantuan silver-white wings, badass Papa Wolf trait and Heroic Sacrifice without ever swaying from his path, all the while being beloved by all for his nobility and generosity, which became something of his nickname; the 'All-Beloved'.
- On the other side, there are the "Grey Knights", secretive warriors who are to a Space Marine what a Space Marine is to a normal human. They are completely immune to demonic possession and thus untaintable. Until we learn that they have become this by way of 666 Mind Rapes by which they continually get possessed and exorcised by/from deamons.
- The High Elf Everqueen in normal Warhammer. Basically a Disney Princess but with magic, daemons can't even be near her or else they burn.
- The Batter of OFF wants to purify the world of spectres and evil. Purifying a zone leaves it a lifeless husk of what it once was. Batter wants to do this on a global scale, and by the end, you, the player, have the option of siding with him or against him.
- Touhou's Lunarians are a civilization that escaped Earth to cleanse themselves of the impurity of mortality and achieve a sort of eternal existence. However, they can still die of non-natural means and the little impurity they still carry ensures they will still age and can ultimately die of it, even if it takes a lot longer than normal. This has turned them into a Society of Immortals Space Elves - who are not above trying to "purify" Earth (turning it into the same barren landscape of the Moon) when backed into a corner by a canny enough foe.
- In Kingdom Hearts:
- All hearts contain light and darkness... except those of the Princesses of Heart, seven ladies born with hearts of pure light. While not evil per se, darkness does breed rage, hatred, and other such negative emotions, so its absence is indeed indicative of absolute moral purity. The group is made up of Disney Princesses, including the pictured Snow White, along with series original Kairi.
- Ventus of Birth by Sleep is also noted to have a heart devoid of darkness. Only in this case it's because Master Xehanort forcibly tore the darkness out of him and incarnated it as a separate being, Vanitas, very nearly killing him in the process.
- Subverted with Sera from Digital Devil Saga. She fits the criteria of being a Mystical Waif, and The Ingenue - mostly because she can talk to God. But this turns out to bite her in the ass: she was partially responsible for God absorbing the Earth's data; created A.I.s of people she knew (which were eventually used in a survival-of-the-fittest experiment to create powerful warriors) and was generally manipulated by her own mother, Serph and a lot of the other scientists. She also takes a level in badassery in the second game.
- Talim, from the Soul Calibur Series, is by far the most pure character in the cast, and yet that doesn't stop her from being a badass Cute Bruiser.
- Magick Chicks: Skye is a shy young animal telepath who was so pure of heart, that Hecate was astonished to find her was soul utterly devoid of malevolence. Which was lampshaded in the final panel, here, and her compassion is such, that she forgave Cerise for manipulating her and willingly tainted her soul with darkness in order to save her life.
- To Prevent World Peace: The series as a whole is a "light" deconstruction of Magical Girl anime. In this setting, magical girls can only receive their powers if they have a "purity of being" so that they completely believe in and represent an ideal, thereby gaining magical power that is used to hunt down the magical predators that plague society. Unfortunately, the forces of good are not one big happy family, politicians, businessmen, and even some muggles manipulate their children into doing dangerous / socially unacceptable things for profit, and some of the "pure-hearted" heroes of justice kill people, and are never socially reprimanded for thinking that killing is a pure and honest thing (even in the case of justifiable homicide). A lot of the plot comes from the fact that most of the magical girls in the world think that the world is screwed up and they received their powers by being pure of heart, and by that logic they are the most fit to protect / rule the world.
- As mentioned above, popular in classic Disney movies. Most of the later princesses are more morally complex, but the earliest princesses (Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora) are played straight.