The bad man in literature 2

Published on 5 July 2023 at 11:26

As readers of my latest block may have noticed, I couldn't get a clear picture of the wrong man in literature. Because I wonder if I missed any information in my search, I have enlisted the help of ChatGPT. It divides the wrong man into three categories: 1. The seducer, 2. The transgressor, and 3. The tragic figure.

The seducer: One of the most common characteristics of the "wrong man" is his ability to seduce the reader or other characters in the story, despite his unreliable or dangerous nature. He can be charismatic, alluring, and manipulative, drawing others into his web of intrigue.

The transgressor: Another characteristic of the "wrong man" is his tendency to break rules and go beyond the boundaries of society. This makes him a rebellious character who challenges conventional norms.

The tragic figure: In some literary works, the "wrong man" is also depicted as a tragic figure. He may have inner demons or personal struggles that explain his immoral behavior. This allows the reader to empathize with such a character, despite his negative actions.

Interestingly, ChatGPT adds insights about the role of the "wrong man" in literature: "In general, the presence of the 'wrong man' in literature provides an opportunity to address complex moral issues, explore the allure of evil, and push the boundaries of human morality."

Upon reading this passage, I understood why we see so few wrong men as protagonists in literature. It is quite a challenge to write a literary book that tackles complex moral issues. Additionally, the question remains whether a writer engages with such themes and to what extent their own "wrong man" traits come into play. I think of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "Memories of My Melancholy Whores." A 90-year-old man treats himself to a 14-year-old virgin on his birthday. She does this to earn money for her family. He falls in love with this girl, for the first time in his life. Through the poignant but one-sided relationship, the reader can develop sympathy for this very wrong old man. In his upcoming book (En agosto nos vemos), which will be published next year, the stories revolve around a woman who visits her mother's grave every year on August 16th to assess her extramarital adventures. One of them involves her unforgettable one-night stand with a very wrong man. But the woman didn't know that, and it didn't bother her. On the contrary. As a female reader, I'm looking forward to this book.

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