Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Lessons Learned

I just finished watching The Guardian again. And it got me to thinking about why we always have to learn a lesson at the expense of someone's death. I can immediately come up with 3-4 movies / stories in which a primary character dies so that another character (usually the protagonist) can learn a lesson / become a better person / grow a backbone / come of age / whatever.

I find this trend quite annoying -- as if our emotions and perceptions are so poor that we must be beaten over the head and forced to bear the utmost in unhappiness before we can understand that we should be better. Moreover, it isn't confined to one genre; rather, it transcends them.

Please feel free to add to this list of such tales:

The Guardian, as previously mentioned
Bridge to Terabithia
Message in a Bottle (ok, so maybe it's just that Kevin Costner has to die)
Where the Red Fern Grows (ok, so it's a dog that dies in this one)
V for Vendetta
Starship Troopers
Love Story
Lord of War
Terms of Endearment (ye gods, the guilt-tripping tear-jerker)
The Sons of Katie Elder
My Girl
The Cowboys
Little Women
Navy Seals

All of this has me wondering: What does it feel like to be the person whose sole purpose in life is to teach someone else a lesson?


Roberta said...

This is one of the reasons I don't do movies... As my father (guess it is his fault) would say, "why would I pay money to see a depressing movie?" I guess the key is to try not to be the teacher :)

Michelle Gardner said...

If I'm going to pay $8 for a ticket plus another $10 for munchies, then I'd darned well better be entertained! Ergo, I don't go to the movies much either.