“Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”
|Don Quixote by Adrien Demont, 1893|
|Deadpool is just as surprised as you are.|
™. This is something only a handful of stories have explored. The anime series One Punch Man is wildly popular for this very reason. A lot of people don't realize it, but what makes One Punch Man so funny is that he meets all the criteria for being a hero- he is extremely powerful (overpowered, in fact) and has completely benevolent intentions, but sucks at being a hero.
For non-weebs out there, Hancock is another great example of this, and some might argue that Mr. Incredible in the first Incredibles movie is another, albeit to a lesser extent.
Don Quixote is a hero in every sense of the word, except he sucks at it. The outcomes of his attempted heroism reflect this.
In one scene, Don Quixote rides up through a dense wood on his donkey-steed Rociante, and hears the wailing of a boy in distress. When he arrives at the scene of the suffering, it's an indentured servant- only a young boy- being lashed with the whip, tied to a tree, by his master.
The boy cries for help fro Don Quixote, and the master quivers in fear when he sees Don Quixote raise his weapons and threaten to let the boy go. The boy explains that he messed up a job, and that's why he was being lashed, but his master hadn't payed him in weeks. Don Quixote forces the master to let the boy go, and Don Quixote commands him to pay the boy his wages, plus extra for the lashings, but the boy pleads with him not to leave. Don Quixote, being so sure in the obedience of the master, leaves anyway, and the master ties him back up and lashes him even worse than before.
He had the drive and intentions of a hero, but in his stupidity he not only failed to save the boy from the whip, but made it worse by angering the master who then took it out on the boy, saying, "Come, child, let me make sure that I owe you even more" before tying him back up and resuming the lashings.
|I googled "folly" and this came up, so whenever you think of folly, imagine this duck building.|
In a way, I think there's a second type of anti-hero.
In my post about villains I talked a lot about stories where there is no villain. But, in some stories, the protagonist is their own worst enemy- thus raising the question of whether or not they are their own villains. In these types of stories, it isn't immediately clear whether there's no villain at all, or if the villain is the protagonist. Perhaps "villain" wouldn't be the right word, since a villain has to have a reason to hate the protagonist and hold personal malice against him / her, but in a way the main character can have a sort of duology where they are both their greatest ally and their greatest antagonist.
That's why Wake Up, Sir! is one of my favorite books, because Alan Blaire is his own worst enemy and I love it.
I apologize if this post seemed a bit short, but rest assured this is definitely the shortest piece of the 7-part series. You can expect the next part to either be posted tomorrow or the day after.
may all your cups of tea be your cup of tea,
and I'll see you in the next post.