Monday, March 11, 2013

Heroes of Austen - Part 3


It's my third and final post about the Heroes of Austen.  Yes, so very sad to say 'goodbye', but you can read posts one and two here (and come back just to look at the pictures :-)


Today, we discuss the two most intriguing Austen heroes (or literary heroes in general) - The Reformed Rogue and the Anti-Hero.
Let's check them out.

The Reformed Rogue

Here we come to the most swoon-worthy of Austen’s heroes, particularly Pride and Prejudice’s, Fitzwilliam Darcy.

- A reformed rogue is a man who begins the story quite flawed and (usually) aloof. His somewhat serious disposition or reserve is one of his attractions.
- The heroine has a distinct desire to change him or find the ‘softness’ underneath the impenetrable expression.
- He is also a character of massive emotional growth, and usually possesses dry wit to go along with his outlook on the world.
- Though many of the other heroes show change from beginning to end, The Reformed Rogue has a clear character arc – from bad boy to good; from hardened heart to soft, from rogue to…redeemed? all because of love.

Mr. Darcy- is Jane Austen’s most recognized hero. He is the tall, dark, and handsome fellow who sends off the wrong (but oh so interesting) vibes in the beginning and then, as he grows and we see more of his real character, he transforms into the amazing hero we love.

Captain Frederick Wentworth would also fit into this category.

 Julie Lessman’s fabulous rogues Cluny (Luke) McGee and Collin McGuire. Whew…

Marc DeHollander from Ruth Logan Herne’s debut Winter’s End

Cassius McLinn from Laura Frantz’s novel The Colonel’s Daughter

John Thornton from North and South

Han Solo from Star Wars

The Anti-Hero


An anti-hero is a protagonist who is as flawed or more flawed than most characters; he is someone who disturbs the reader with his weaknesses yet is sympathetically portrayed, and who magnifies the frailties of humanity.

While an anti-hero cannot slip into a white hat, he will always:

·         have the reader’s sympathies, although sometimes his methods will make this difficult.

·         have easily identified imperfections.

·         be made understandable by the story events, meaning that the reader will come to know his motivations and likely will be privy to his inner demons.

·         have a starring role in the story.

 THIS is the ultimate play boy, the lady’s man, the rebel. He may exude charm or have a certain dark magnetism, but underneath  we discover he can go one of two ways – good or bad, and many times…we’re not quite certain which way that will be. If too the good side, he transforms into a faithful hero. If to the bad? A villain.

John Willoughby - Though I see a little bit of anti-hero in The Reformed Rogue and the Reluctant Hero, Austen portrays the true heart of the Anti-Hero in Sense and Sensibility’s John Willoughby.
- He is the epitome of the Anti-Hero in the fact that we see some true virtues within him, but his self-interests win over his virtue.
- He has a past of poor choices led by selfishness and we get the ‘hint’ that he’s been fairly spoiled throughout his life, but always with the awareness of being a dependent (which can be quite tough on a guy’s self-confidence)
-Unlike Wickham in Pride and Prejudice, Willoughby develops true feelings for Marianne and has every intention to marry her – “had it not been for the money” of which Marianne has almost none.
- John Willougby is essential to the plot of Sense and Sensibility and helps Marianne recognize her ‘perfect’ man isn’t realistic, even if Willougby’s first scene is of him riding forward on a white horse, no less :-)

Some popular Anti-Heroes are:

Artemis Fowl – (my 15 year old thought of this one)

Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby

Severus Snape from Harry Potter
Robin Hood
Dirty Harry
Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre

Have you ever written an Anti-Hero? I bet you can think of a few Reformed Rogues ;-) Hollywood is great at portraying them for the swoon-value. Are you writing one in your novels?

14 comments:

Crystal Walton said...

I think Reformed Rogues are some of the most ideal characters to write. Their hidden layers of depth form a haven of creativity for an author, both in developing the character & plot. I'm not sure which I like better - writing them or reading them. :)

Laura Frantz said...

YES! YES! YES! Wonderful heroic post and examples. Makes me want to read or watch all of these over again (or write them;). I agree with Crystal - not sure which I like best, writing or reading them. Both, I guess!

You did a stellar job with this series and I will be sorry to see it end. But you cats are so creative it will be fun to see what's up next:)

Thanks for including Colonel McLinn. Cass is a rascal and was super enjoyable to create:)

Susan Anne Mason said...

Great post as usual!

Off to mull the wonderful heroes.

I don't think any of mine are 'Reformed Rogues', but maybe I should create one!

Cheers,
Sue

Julie Lessman said...

PEPPER!!! LOVE this blog, but then I pretty much love everything you write, kiddo! :)

Thanks for including Luke and Collin ... gotta love those bad boys, don't you, though???

LOVE your other heroes listed as well ... hubba, hubba!!

Hugs,
Julie

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

I'm thinking I do not like the anti-hero. Give me a reformed rogue every time and I will be a happy reader. LOVE the bad boy redeemed. :)

Pepper said...

Crystal,
Definitely!! They are great ones to write to open up their depth and show the Arc of growth. Oh man....and fun ;-)

Pepper said...

Laura,
I do love reading them...but they're so much fun to write! :-)
And Colonel McLinn...WOW!!! His beautiful transformation is brilliant

Pepper said...

Susan,
I'm sure mulling over heroes will not be a hardship ;-)

Pepper said...

Jules,
Luke and Collin are my FAVORITE heroes you've written!!!!
I love a Reformed Rogue - but some of those other heroes, the Good Guy and the Best Friend are beautiful to develop too.

John Brady was definitely a SWEET friend! (and SWEET HERO)

You are fab at writing those Rogues, though....

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

I'm a big fan of the Reformed Rogue types! Gruff and stubborn on the outside, and yet soft and melty on the inside. There really is something about a bad boy, isn't there. I've thrown in some anti-hero elements a lot two. People are complex, it's so fun to write them as they really are.

Amazing post, Pepper!!

Kaye Dacus said...

Ooh, ooh, ooh! (Jumping up and down with my hand in the air like Hermione.)

I have an anti-hero in my book that comes out in October/November of this year (An Honest Heart). His name is Oliver.

Pepper said...

Ames,
I wondered if Alex was a little Anti-hero-ish.
But whew...Rogues? How can you not swoon.
And reformed rogues?
Sigh....

Pepper said...

Kaye!!
So glad to see you here.
Woohooo! You brave soul, writing an Antihero? Is he redeemed at all? Or would that be a spoiler?

Debra E. Marvin said...

I'm enjoying one of each right now. (today's hero is a flirtatious bad boy with 1)hurts that he hides and 2)a sudden desire to be worthy of the heroine.)