There are so many interesting character tropes, and variations on those tropes that it is hard to choose a favourite type of character. And yet, I have no trouble choosing my favourite – the redeemed.
I find redemption to be fascinating; this transformation of character is so satisfying, and hopeful.
Characters who are fully redeemed are often those who begin the story with a myriad of flaws. Their redemption often comes from self-actualization, and subsequent attempts to rectify their previous decisions. My favourite example of this is Felicity King from Road To Avonlea. When the series starts, she is insufferable; vain, and condescending, constantly belittling others to make herself feel superior. Felicity is transformed when she begins to realize that she alone is responsible for deciding her own self-worth.
Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter is an excellent examples of a character who experiences partial redemption. Draco spends the series making foolish, selfish decisions, that came from fearful, and prideful places. But in the last book of the series, Draco begins to act in a manner that (in some part, albeit a small part) can atone for those selfish decisions.
Never needed redemption:
This character trope is portrayed in a certain way for much of the story, and then is revealed to have been in the right the entire time. A good example of this is Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, who is portrayed as arrogant and selfish; deliberately sabotaging other characters. Towards the end of the novel, Mr. Darcy is revealed to have been misunderstood all along, his awkward social skills mistaken for arrogance, and his meddlesome actions true and just. Another common example is Severus Snape from Harry Potter (although I think this example is up for discussion!) whose egregious actions throughout the series are revealed to be all in the service of his love for Lily Potter.
Do you like redemption in storytelling? Who are your favourite redeemed literary figures? Tell me in the comments below!
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