We use to read stories in high school. Unfortunately the types of stories they gave us always left a bad taste in my mouth. Othello, Romeo and Juliet and The Animal Farm, they always gave us the same damn tragedy’s.
I grew to despise tragic stories because they often had predictable endings. Either someone died, they lost their dream or were betrayed by the people they once trusted. They focused on good, honest folk with a flaw or two and pecked at the tiny cracks until they became crevasses so deep that the person often fell into those black pits never to escape. I hated how they made us love someone and then casually took them away, as if we had no say in their lives.
Hero arrives, hero goes through trials, hero dies. Rinse and repeat until oblivion. But the point of the stories was always the ending. What happened to the journey? What happened to making new friends, losing old ones, fighting our demons and winning or losing the small battles. I could go to the end of a tragedy and read the last chapter and be done and dusted within ten minutes. And why is the ending always so important? I believe that if the middle of the book is good then the ending should round things off like a tiny dessert topping off an excellent meal.
I can understand the premise of tragedy though. No other genre expresses the finite-ness of life and the infinite potential within humans to overcome adversity, not always in the way we think but in the way that satisfies the character so much that readers have no choice but to be satisfied as well.
I guess, without sounding too cliche, to each his own. If you love tragedy’s then that’s your slice of pie. Me? I think I’ll stick to bittersweet horror and adventure. But what about you?
What genre’s do you love/hate?