Moral equivocation

I was watching Criminal Justice this week on BBC1 and was riveted by it.  It made me think about what makes me interested in fiction, especially as I’ve also been reading holiday thrillers by Richard Harris Ghost and Patricia Cornwell Book of the Dead.  I realised that I really like puzzling out whether characters are goodies or baddies, and I’m sure this is dealt with by Murray Smith in Engaging Characters as a way we engage with the story and the characters, as this is part of our real life engagement and judgement of people.  It was great in Criminal Justice to see the very violent sweeps of character as they let each other down, or some revelation showed they weren’t as guilty or innocent as we thought.  I realised that there was none of this in Echo and the moral world is very simple and clear cut.  Perhaps this is part of the polemical style of the piece, but they are really very uncomplicated.  Zeus and Hera are flawed, but still lovable, Echo and Narcissus are victims, but Narcissus is not very sympathetic – problem in the writing/directing here.  Thus, the rhetoric doesn’t move the story on as much as I’d like.  However, perhaps also a reflection of my own lack of insight – I see myself as innocent and don’t explore the guilty and difficult parts of my own character and actions.  Also trust other people similarly.  Next time, I’ll write more difficult moral choices and show some weaknesses. 

Coral Houtman © 2012-2022