The case for the villain

Villains are seductive. They’re much more interesting. They make us wonder about what suffering they must have endured to become the way they are. They give us a chance to be compassionate and to see beyond the absolute dichotomy of right and wrong.

But that isn’t why I like them. No, I like them for the large variance in how they treat people. It excites me to think how special a villian would make me feel, if only I were special to the villain! Compare and contrast for yourself how a normal person (versus someone like Hannibal) would behave towards others, depending on affection.

Normal Person:
person she dislikes – ignores, or is unfriendly
person she likes – attempts to interact more, is friendly

Hannibal Lecter:
person he dislikes – kills, fillets, mauls, eats, and/or feeds own brain to
person he likes – writes letters in flawless copperplate, rescues from certain death, performs life-saving surgery, buys extravagant gifts, kills enemies, sacrafices own limb(s)

If a normal person likes me, I can hardly tell. But with someone like Dr. Lecter, it’s the most obvious thing in the world. Villains — they wear their hearts on their sleeves a little, don’t they?

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