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Playing With / Refusing Paradise

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Basic Trope: A (dead) character is offered a choice between a peaceful afterlife and a return from the dead. The character chooses the second option.

  • Straight: Angel Fred gives Daniel the choice between eternal afterlife in paradise, and returning to the world of the living. Though seriously tempted to stay in the afterlife, he eventually refuses.
  • Exaggerated: The afterlife presented to Daniel is very clearly a world of paradise, and Angel Fred makes it clear that all of his worries will be eased forever if he decides to stay. He still refuses the offer.
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  • Downplayed: The afterlife presented to David is pretty much identical to the world he left, so it is very possible he wouldn’t even know the difference. He still refuses the offer.
  • Justified:
    • Daniel has Unfinished Business in the world of the living; he made the choice to go back because he couldn’t leave it just yet.
    • Daniel is a heroic Nay-Theist and just does not take Heaven at face value. To him, it's just a Lotus-Eater Machine.
  • Inverted: Daniel wants to stay in the afterlife; however, Angel Fred tells him that he still has Unfinished Business. Daniel is sent back to the world of the living even though he repeatedly begs to stay.
  • Subverted: Daniel decides to return to the world of the living – however, Angel Fred then reveals that there was never a real choice to begin with; Daniel has been Killed Off for Real, and he was going to be in the afterlife no matter what his answer was.
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  • Double-Subverted: After one in-universe week, Angel Fred asks Daniel what he thinks of the afterlife and whether or not he still wants to go back. Again, Daniel answers that he wants to live again; this time, Angel Fred is impressed by Daniel’s resolve, and pulls a few strings to allow for Daniel’s return to the world of the living.
  • Parodied: Daniel would have accepted the afterlife it wasn't for all of the coffee being decaf, he runs away screaming when he finds out.
  • Zig Zagged: Daniel goes back and forth between wanting to live in comfort and wanting to finish his business in the mortal world, causing Fred to become exasperated.
  • Averted: There was never a choice to begin with. Everyone, once dead, is Killed Off for Real, and whether they automatically go the afterlife or are forced to wander the earth as a ghost depends on the story.
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  • Enforced: Having already made the decision to kill off Daniel, the author presents his editors a number of ways in which he could possibly come back – one of which is simply that Daniel refuses to accept the paradise of the afterlife because his mission as a mortal was not yet finished. That scenario was the one the editor urged him to use.
  • Lampshaded: “They always choose the living world over this paradise!”
  • Invoked: Normally, people who die are Killed Off for Real and immediately sent to the afterlife. However, Daniel has been so morally ambiguous throughout the story that Angel Fred gives him a choice, instead.
  • Exploited: Daniel is specifically chosen by The Mentor to take on the quest because it has been established that even a trip to the afterlife won’t deter him from his journey.
  • Defied: The angel of death has a warning posted forbidding offers of resurrection both for cycle of life reasons and the state of the worthy deceased.
  • Discussed:
    Alphonse: “When you die, you’re given a choice: Accept the afterlife as your eternal fate, or return to the world of the living.”
    Bain: “That’s stupid. Wouldn’t everyone choose to come Back from the Dead?”
    Alphonse: “Actually, it’s the exact opposite. You see, other than myself and a friend of mine, nobody ever chooses to come back. It is such an exquisite paradise in the afterlife that almost everybody chooses to stay.”
  • Conversed:
    Alex: “Wait, so the guy was given a choice?”
    Bob: “Of course he was given a choice! How else was he supposed to come back and finish the quest!”
  • Deconstructed: Daniel decides to return the world of the living and finish his quest. A few weeks later, though, his friends realize that Daniel didn’t come back as quite the Daniel they remember as their friend, causing them to consider sending him back to the afterlife in order to do him a favor.
  • Reconstructed: …at the climax of the story, Daniel makes a Heroic Sacrifice that allows for the completion of the quest. Not only did the characters earn their happy ending, but his sacrifice means that Daniel’s friends don’t have to agonize over any kind of decision to kill him.

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