Sunday, April 28, 2013

Villains Are Valuable to Verse

Villains are essential for a story. They give our heroes and heroines purpose. Baddies help the good guys see how important the good things in life are. In 3:10 to Yuma by Elmore Leonard, Dan Evans wouldn't be able to find his way again. Or, become a hero to his son if not for outlaw Ben Wade and his being “rotten as hell.”

If you haven’t read this awesome story or seen either of these movies (shame on you! J ) Dan Evans is a down and out rancher who lost part of a leg in the Civil War.  He’s about to lose his ranch and due partly to his physical condition feels less of a man. Desperate for money to save his ranch and maybe his marriage Dan takes the job of getting very bad boy Ben Wade on to the prison train to Yuma.

On their journey to the train, Dan is reminded of the man he can be not the one he’s allowed himself to become. Ben and his wicked ways bring out Dan’s strength and sense of purpose.

Yet not all villains are human. There are the animal baddies such as Stephen King’s Cujo. Cujo is a rabid Saint Bernard that traps a woman and her young son in their car for days. That doggie gave me nightmares. It took ingenuity and a heavy dose of courage to rescue herself and son from the crazed canine.

Some villains are in the hero's mind they've created their own evils to combat. This could be anything from a drinking problem, overcoming a traumatic life event, an illness, the hero getting in their own way or creating a villain in their mind.

Every plot has an element of good verses evil in it but without those bad apples our heroes and heroines would never find the good in themselves to overcome the bad.

Do you have a favorite villain? 

Part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the letter V

1 comment:

mooderino said...

I really like villains who are incredibly polite. The meaner they get, the nicer they get.

Moody Writing