Being ‘Wrong’ and Being ‘Flawed’

//Short discussion time.

So lately (or maybe not that lately), people have been really worked up about the characters of the books they read being ‘flawed’. I don’t know from when exactly this flawness became a ‘thing’, but I’ve been noticing that nowadays, more and more people appreciate authors who pen down ‘flawed characters’. We like to read about characters who are not flawless or perfect, who are as humanly real as possible.

Why so? Simply to avoid feeling insecure, because the more flawed and human the character, the more realistic it feels. The more we can connect with the person, and the more we feel an attachment towards him/her. Authors who can present the flawness as realistic and humane, are appauded and cherished.

Which brings me to my question : what about characters who are wrong? Not just flawed, but fundamentally wrong? Do you still like such characters, by guising them under their so-called ‘flawness’ or do you judge those characters for what they are?

For me, personally, when a character does something wrong because of a flaw in his/her character (for eg, misbehave because of anger issues, or doing something rash because of being impulsive by nature etc.), I find it easier to accept than when a characater does something wrong or immoral or inappropriate.

I feel like wrongness brings out a funadamental deficiency in the character, whereas a flaw brings out the humanity in him. For me, it is much easier to accept and sympathize towards some trait which is ‘there’ in the character (like a flaw, which cannot be helped) than a wrong act (which is a character’s own decision and choice and action).

What about you? Do you draw a line between ‘flaw’ and ‘wrongness’?

4 thoughts on “Being ‘Wrong’ and Being ‘Flawed’

  1. Good thoughts! I definitely agree that when a character makes a mistake that comes from one of their flaws, it’s easier to forgive. When they do something that I feel is really wrong, what I think depends on how it is handled. If they consistently do it throughout the book and are never change, feel guilty, or are at least held accountable by someone, then I just can’t accept it. On the other hand, I can deal with a character who doesn’t turn around as long as they at least face some consequences, so that the overall message isn’t that the author condones what this character is doing. An example would be Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind. She does some things that are really wrong, and she’s also just a pretty nasty individual at times, but since she by no means gets to live happily ever after, it’s more forgivable.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent post! Personally, I like a flawed character because real people have flaws. It’s the characters that are too perfect I’m leery of. Some of my favorites are Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye and Amy Dunne from Gone Girl. It’s characters like them that keep me reading. I like when a character does something that shows their flaws- a good girl who does something bad or vice versa-then later redeems herself. Amy is not a good example in that situation, but I do like her as a character. It made for an interesting read. If a character does something morally wrong, I would probably be inclined to not care for them too much, though there are exceptions where a good person does something appalling and maybe didn’t want to take it as far as they did.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You make a really good point here. I tend to have a real problem with reading from the POV who I find unlikable. Often, that unlikability is paired with actions that I find “wrong.” But I don’t mind when a character has flaws that they are leaning to get past. I agree that there’s a difference!

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