Saturday, November 17, 2007

Angel: Redemption Stories

We all have our themes we're attracted to, and one that endures for me is that of redemption. I've always liked Angel better than Buffy and one of the reasons is the fact that while Buffy is trying so hard to protect what she loves, Angel has already lost it. Sure, there are times when Buffy has losses, but nothing she goes through is ever so complete.

Heck, when you get down to it, Oracle is a redemption story (or, will be once I finish it). Everybody has something they've lost, something to try and regain. I think I'm drawn to redemption stories because they feel genuine. No matter who you are, you can relate.

They talk about story archetypes, about how there are only a handful of major plots that all stories somehow correspond to. I suppose I could look them up, but I'm going to skip it. Instead, I'm going to ask another question: Archetypically speaking (yeah it's not a real word, so sue me) what are the stories you're consistently drawn to? Any thoughts on why?


Jenny said...

I don't know if what I'm drawn to can be called 'redemption' stories. Shane and I were discussing this at one point (archetypes and such) and the conversation was really, really interesting.

I discovered I'm drawn to stories about people 'descending into the underworld' (Persephone and Hades, the Eurydice story) to go retrieve something they love at great cost. Similar to what you're talking about with the redemption bit, but not exactly the same...I don't think. Mostly because I just admire the effort of the heroes--Eurydice's husband does not succeed and Persephone's mom only half-succeeds at getting out of hell. But I like the idea that you've gotta *try*.

I'll let Shane tell you about the stories that he was drawn to...and there was a pattern. =)

Jenny said...

Ah! And now I just figured out what really bugged me about Jonathan Strange and Mr's like they only *half* descended into hell. They didn't really hit rock bottom. Interesting...well, to me.

Ali said...

Good points. While the stories you're talking about and those I'm talking about are similar, you're right on about how they're different.

Yeah, half-way descents into hell just aren't as interesting :)

Funnily enough, I'm currently getting into the end of season two, right after the part where Angel effectively hits rock bottom and is presumed evil again. You don't get much further into hell than that.