I recently informed my niece that her five-year-old’s vocabulary indicates he’s not talked down to. She thanked me and added that they were currently learning the word “antagonist.” Wow! Most kindergarteners would be happy to utter, “that mean guy.”
But a good word to know, antagonist is. [Thanks, Yoda] Every good story has an antagonist [Vader] and a protagonist [Skywalker]. Conflict creates interest.
A Literature teacher would probably confirm my personal theory that, in order to create conflict, writers often remove the person, place, or thing that would guard against admittance of the antagonist. Here’s my theory: I believe that the sentinel person, place, or thing is (many times) …Mom or Dad.
Luke didn’t grow up with Dad (maybe that’s just as well); Hamlet’s dad was a ghost, Robinson Crusoe shipped out against his parents’ will, and David Copperfield’s parents passed away. The list goes on: even Jack Sparrow found out his dad was Keith Richards. (That’ll do a number on ya.) I don’t watch much TV (some, but not much). But with shows like “Vampire Diaries”, “Ten Things I Hate about You” and “My Two Dads”, I expect there aren’t many authority figures guarding against the looming villain.
In America, we have parents and police to protect us from things running amok. Sure, that can make for a boring storyline—but at least we’re safe. And we can still add interest to our lives in the form of fun, food, and fellowship. And it’s fundamentally fabulous to finish the funny fairy-tale… with a family.
Eph. 5:15-16 “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
End of story.