A to Z Challenge – T (WR)

It’s April again and that means it’s time for the A to Z challenge and this year, my theme for the A to Z Challenge is characters and narrators.

T is for Tragic

Not all characters have happy beginnings, or happy endings for that matter – these are the characters, the tragic and tortured souls, who pull at our heart-strings for years to come.

I’m the kind of author who likes to give her characters a happy ending.  But some stories and some characters, are not meant to have them.  No matter how hard you try, some events are not meant to work out.

Roman Holiday,” for example, while not a tragic story, has a tragic component – a romance that was never meant to work out.

 Audrey Hepburn is a princess visiting Rome, who plays hooky from her duties and Gregory Peck is an enterprising reporter, who first plans on publishing an article with pictures on the Princess’ shenanigans but finds himself falling under her spell.

*Spoiler alert* At the end of the movie, Audrey returns to her role as Princess and gives a press conference, which Gregory Peck attends.  After making a brief speech to the crowd, she takes questions and of course takes one from him.  He coyly slips her photographs of her visit and then the press conference ends.  Audrey leaves the room and so do all but one of the reporters.  We’re left in the room with Gregory Peck, waiting for Audrey to come back and tell us she loves him.  But she doesn’t come back.  Because she can’t and it wasn’t meant to be… and that’s exactly what it’s like to have a tragic component or a tragic character in a story.  No matter how much you’d like it to work out, even when you’re the author, you know it can’t end any other way.

Notable tragic characters/tortured soul characters:

  • Julián Carax, “The Shadow of the Wind” (if you haven’t read this novel you should – it was so beautifully written and such an interesting story…but seriously tragic character, you’ve been forewarned)
  • The Punisher
  • Quasimodo
  • It’s not a character but it still made me sad, so I’m listing it – the romance in Roman Holiday

T

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11 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge – T (WR)”

  1. Ah the tragic heroes…you’ve gotta love ‘em. Because the universe sure as hell doesn’t. To get a little geeky for a minute, Spider-Man fits this niche perfectly. His parents died, his Uncle dies, his girlfriend dies, and then House of M makes him feel like a complete dick. A lot of comic book heroes are pretty tragic, but the Punisher is right up there. To pull it back from the geek, Maltese Falcon also comes to mind. Occasionally a tragic ending feels a little more realistic than the Hollywood ending. Still…gotta love the tragedies.

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    1. I agree, being able to see it coming doesn’t soften the blow, it gives you this overwhelming sense of dread that just builds and builds, and then wholly depresses you when it happens.

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      1. I remember the sart of Five People You Meet in Heaven, (no spoilers) on the first page you are told that a guy is going to die then you follow him through his day before the inevitable and then his journey really begins…

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      2. oh wow. That would be rough. I mean, there are a few books that are upfront with you about it (or that you can pretty much tell where the story is heading from the beginning)….I’m never sure if this makes the eventual end better or worse.

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