One of the most confounding ways to look at the actions of people is through the prism of that which is good in a character’s eyes. A wise man once said that no one does what he does because it is bad. He does it because he believes it to be best in his view, whether that’s bad for everyone else or not. A wiser man once said that the question is not ‘what is good?’ The question is, ‘who decides what is good?’ These are important concepts to keep in mind when writing. The worst people in history didn’t believe they were doing bad. They just had definitions of what is good that are radically different from what most people intuitively understand to be reprehensible.
Most of us never have to challenge those distinctions between right and wrong, not even in a transient way. What if you’re thrown into a situation where there’s simply no good to be had? Do the best you can and try to live with it later, right? Pick a course and hope it’s best. How thankful we should all be that most of us never have to address a truly evil history that haunts us. But some do.
They say love conquers all and in a sense, they’re right. Love of justice can carry a man to do wonderful and difficult things. And when justice is failed, the broken heart in the man who loved and lost it can bring him to an end; it can destroy his every ambition and whatever remaining threads of self-worth he has left, leaving him to depression, addiction, suffering through the unending grind of hours, or even suicide if all semblance of justice remains shattered.
But there’s hope for Evan Gabriel…
I highly recommend Steve Umstead’s novel and am anticipating the followups with the patience of a nine-year-old. More complete review to come in a few days. I just wanted to write this up in this manner because it was fun.