Giving your Characters Poetic Justice

Have you ever written a character where something in their past was truly horrible? While you wrote about that character and their past, you thought do they deserve justice for that darken past? Granted, after all, you wrote the character and you gave them the ugly past that they never want to talk about. Shouldn’t you also give them the justice that they deserve?

This question has plagued my mind for a while and as I sit and think that yes, I should give that character justice. But I also think that maybe they don’t deserve justice for that past or whoever it was that hurt them in the past. However, my mind was changed again, after watching Grey’s Anatomy last night.

Here is the story one of the doctors ran away from an abusive ex-husband and he turns up in Seattle and finds where she is so that she can sign divorce papers. While he is there, she meets his new finance and she works really hard to convince the new woman in this man’s life to run away from him and never look back. Well, while that did not happen, something did happen to the ex-husband, he is hit by a car. While either woman thinks that the other woman is to blame for the man’s condition, it was actually a drunk driver, who hit the man. But before that revelation comes out, the man wants to leave the hospital but the new finance refuses to help him out of the hospital for she wants him to rot in prison for what he had done to her. But in his anger at the new finance, he hits his head on the end of the bed and is declared brain dead, at which point he is on life support and the one who can take him off of the machines is the original wife, who busts up laughing although, she says she’s sorry and then she cries. But she decides that she will take him off of life support and donate his organs. So was she given the justice that she deserves? While I think yes for the doctor but what about the other woman, yes she took off her engagement ring and she watched from the gallery as his organs were dispensed out, but was she given her justice? Yes, she would have preferred to have testified in court against him and see him rot in jail, I think that she also got the justice that she needed.

Granted, all characters may not get the justice that they deserve, but there are others that do get the justice that they deserve. Another great example that comes to mind is in Game of Thrones when the horrible, Ramsey Bolton gets imprisoned and he is mauled up by his dogs, that as he mentioned had not eaten for three days. While he was being eaten, one of his living victims, Sansa, leaves smiling at the justice that had been served to Ramsey. Another example, that comes to mind from Game of Thrones, is Little Finger’s death when it comes to light that he betrayed Ned Stark and his beloved wife Catlin, who Little Finger swore that he loved over and over again. What was even more poetic about it was that he was on his hands and knees gravling as his throat was slit just like Catlin’s was.

So then do heroes deserve just as much justice as the villains? I’ll leave that up to you, to decide. But I will say that maybe almost every character needs just a bit of justice.


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