Ambiguous Morality in the Human Condition as Reflected by Modern Villains from Popular Culture




McNeal, James

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What makes morality and the question of right and wrong increasingly challenging to answer, and how does the recent trend of complex villains across various media reflect the state of morality? Through examining eight characters drawn from popular culture and analyzing their narratives and beliefs, their unique reflections of the human condition provide a basis for the human struggle between good and evil. Such a basis encompasses how individuals come to think about their actions and the actions of those around them in a way that expands the understanding of others. The narratives and beliefs of villains receive comparison with other, real-world examples across disciplines including, but not limited to, popular culture, philosophy, current events, and sociology. As each villain explored is expressly different, the implications and parallels derived from each are examined in ways that reflect their individuality. Analysis of each character’s actions and ideologies illustrates morality as a uniquely individual construct.



Morality., Trends in Popular Culture., Human Condition.