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Nov 25th 2017 at 7:11:56 PM •••

Regarding the Angry Black Man entry for Kaladin.

I argue that it's Square Peg, Round Trope mainly because Angry Black Man is classified as a stock character, which are characters with such simplistic characterization that a single trait and/or attitude can define the entirety of their personality; They're flat characters at best and stereotypes at worst.

Saying that Kaladin "fits the spirit" of a stock character basically means that being angry and brooding is all that Kaladin is and ever will be when his character arc is about him resolving those issues.

Edited by Neverwhere Hide/Show Replies
Nov 25th 2017 at 7:25:18 PM •••

I think you're taking "Stock character" out of context - that line, "A stock character and stereotype popular in the 1970s1980s.", is describing how this trope was common during that time period.

But, going to from the stock character page: "Angry Black Man - Intimidating, loud black man with violent behavior."

Intimidating? Check, he can glare the soldiers at Hearthstone down with ease, just to name the first incident that pops to mind. Violent behavior? He's a soldier, he punches Roshone because he can, and was willing to fall to assassination of the king over injustices. Loud? He's vocal about his distrust of the lighteyes, especially to Dalinar and his squad. (There's a line about everyone he called "Brightlord" betraying him.)

Also from the Stock Characters page:

"Major and Rounded characters will likely embody more than one of these tropes depending on the story."

So no, saying that he fits this trope does NOT mean that it's all he is and ever will be.


From the playing with page: "Played Straight: Bob will quickly get angry at evidence of systematic racism against black people." That fits Kaladin to a T, except Darkeyes instead of Black - which is tropes are flexible.

As for the description, with Darkeyes = Black, and Lighteyes = White (as Alethi society is structured in a way similar to that):

"A male black youth, the Angry Black Man knows that The Man is out to get him, and that the Revolution will soon come and whitey will have his back against the wall." — Kaladin is 20ish (maybe a little older, though more like 23 with their year length) and thus a youth, the equivalent of black, and inherently distrusts all lighteyes - he even has trouble trusting Dalinar for a while because of that, despite no other reason than categorical distrust. In Oathbringer, he expresses interest in the "whitey will have his back against the wall" thing (citing lack of time to actually do that)

"The Angry Black Man sees injustice everywhere and is capable and intelligent but usually financially destitute because the damn Honkies won't hire him to give him an opportunity." — Sees injustice in a lot of places, at least, is regularly capable and intelligent, and one-ups "financially destitute" by being a slave for much of the first book. And even after being freed and given a Battalionlord's authority, he's only a Captain because he's darkeyes - and the lighteyes don't like that

"Liberal white people will attempt to befriend him, but he will have none of it, seeing even being friends with white people as a betrayal to his race without realizing the hypocrisy of this logic." — Adolin (and, at one point, Elhokar) attempts to befriend him, and he has none of it. Renarin and Dalinar are partial exceptions, and him befriending them is a sign that he's evolving beyond this - but still is this, and at least was this for some duration before Character Development.


Edit: added some quote marks.

Edited by AuraGuardian
Nov 26th 2017 at 6:46:21 PM •••

I have to agree that the trope fits Kaladin pretty well.

Edited by DoctorDetective
Nov 28th 2017 at 10:29:01 AM •••

I'm glad we had this discussion, Neverwhere, because I wasn't aware you thought that a stock character must be a Flat Character.

Anyway, Aura already said everything I would have said. If no one has any objections by tomorrow (11/29/2017), I'll put the line back.

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