In a genre so frequently peppered with heroes and villains, I find fallibility a compelling concept. Particularly when coupled with relentless perseverance and surrounded by moral ambiguity.
It’s hard to face the world after you’ve make a mistake, to not allow every misstep and misplaced gesture knock you down when it blows up in your face. It’s hard to make difficult choices instead of just giving up. It’s hard to keep going when everything seems hopeless and the odds are stacked impossibly against you, when you’ve been raised to believe your very existence is an aberration.
It’s easier to sit and wallow in regret and think about what you could or should have done, once the time is past and events unchangeable. It’s easier to drown in self-pity and contrition because they’re more ‘morally correct’ than self-righteousness—even when justified—and in guilt and penance there is forgiveness and amnesty. A long-suffering martyr is perceived as a ‘better person’ than someone who makes the best amends they can, and then moves on.
And the path of least resistance is always the easiest one to travel.
It does take courage to step into the line of fire; It takes even more to keep straight and narrow on that path and forge ahead, no matter how many hits you take along the way.
Especially when you know that you’ll never actually reach your destination, and that the best you can hope for is to make as much headway as you can, and at the end, when you can go no further, to pass the torch with whatever hope you have left that someone else might carry it the rest of the way.
Anders isn’t a hero, and I think that’s rather the point.
I love this post, and it sums up so much not only about how I feel about Anders, and his character, and why I find him so sympathetic and compelling, but also just about life in general, because it really is so true. It takes the most courage to keep going after mistakes and bad judgments, to continue moving, to keep on with your life. And Anders’ courage isn’t always obvious, and he makes so many mistakes, and has so many flaws—
And that’s what’s so heartwrenching and compelling about his story.