PDA

View Full Version : Irritated on dated character traits


Tomp
06-17-2014, 05:41 PM
I think it’s important to be aware of that society’s view on specific character traits may shift over time and make the character “flaw” seem dated and loose importance.
One example of this is that in some books that were written 20 years or more ago the “villain’s” bad unsympathetic character traits sometime would include bi- or homosexuality. At the time the book was written it was viewed as a bad and very unsympathetic character trait by the majority of the readers and the society as a whole. Whereas now you don’t react in the same way. Nowadays, as a reader, you’d rather think about what an obvious clumpsy effort in trying to make the character unsympathetic it was and it breaks down the fourth wall to some degree.

I could give examples of this but I don’ want to point any fingers at competent respectable authors who used the tools available at the time to evoke sympathy or the lack of it.

Terez
06-17-2014, 10:24 PM
This is why I can't read Heinlein. His ideas about futuristic women and futuristic gender roles just irk me.

Davian93
06-18-2014, 08:22 AM
This is why I can't read Heinlein. His ideas about futuristic women and futuristic gender roles just irk me.

That's the only thing that irks you about Heinlein?

LOL

Terez
06-21-2014, 01:19 AM
It's the one I remember most. I never got far enough in any of his books for anything to stick, except for that particular ubiquitous problem.

Daekyras
07-17-2014, 08:46 AM
I think it’s important to be aware of that society’s view on specific character traits may shift over time and make the character “flaw” seem dated and loose importance.
One example of this is that in some books that were written 20 years or more ago the “villain’s” bad unsympathetic character traits sometime would include bi- or homosexuality. At the time the book was written it was viewed as a bad and very unsympathetic character trait by the majority of the readers and the society as a whole. Whereas now you don’t react in the same way. Nowadays, as a reader, you’d rather think about what an obvious clumpsy effort in trying to make the character unsympathetic it was and it breaks down the fourth wall to some degree.

I could give examples of this but I don’ want to point any fingers at competent respectable authors who used the tools available at the time to evoke sympathy or the lack of it.

I think this can be said for just about every book ever written.

I don't get annoyed at it as every book should be taken in context of the time it was written. I mean, we could look at the novels of Twain, Austen and Dickens and say similar things about treatment of minorities, women and the upper classes.

As for heinlein, if you take his books in context of the sixties they are excellent, imho.

I would say give them another chance T, just contextualise the bullshit.

Nazbaque
07-17-2014, 09:59 AM
A lot of books but not all books and certainly not in the sense of being unavoidable.

A character's flaws can be built on their personality traits rather than their sexual preferences or racial traits.

Some authors have managed to do this.

Daekyras
07-17-2014, 10:13 AM
A lot of books but not all books and certainly not in the sense of being unavoidable.

A character's flaws can be built on their personality traits rather than their sexual preferences or racial traits.

Some authors have managed to do this.

Lots of authors have managed it, true, and im not condoning such basic and incorrect indicators of flaws.

But i don't think books that contain such ludicrous assertions should be avoided. The books can be read by taking into consideration the times they were written.

In Ireland it was entirely acceptable to write "bad guys" as protestants. Many writers have done it as it was the way things were seen in the 20th century. This is of course ridiculous but i wouldn't suggest not reading the books now because of it.