I mentioned that I would touch on themes and morals in this last part of the article. This is the area I have the largest complaint of. Just as a disclaimer, I’m somewhat of a morally sensitive guy. Sensitive meaning that I am aware of matters concerning morality. Ethics and principles are meaningful to me, and so, if something doesn’t sit right with my conscience, I inspect the problem and work to fix it. Not all people do this. And I understand that the interpretation of morals is key to how one would perceive and make an ethical decision. That having been said, this is my take on the matter.
I generally view books and shows in two different categories: positive influences and negative influences. Positive meaning hope filled, uplifting, and inducing a desire to improve one’s state, spiritually, mentally, or physically. Negative meaning causing the feeling of helplessness, depression, or hedging up one’s ability to progress in a positive way. Life is too short to fill my time with material that does nothing but depresses me, does not eventually uplift me, or invites me to make a positive change in my life.
In Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, We are taught, and exposed, to the righteous ideals of Dr. Van Helsing more than we are taught by his nemesis, Dracula. A novel ruled by Dracula’s demonically negative thinking would put me out. The novel is not like that though. We see more of the struggle of the crew of light than that of the adversity. We know how evil Dracula is because an appropriate amount of time is spent in setting up his character and twisted alignment; but, the author instead chose to focus on the uplifting struggle for right, exposing the reader more to the uplifting characteristics of the struggling characters than that of the downfalls and hopeless situations. The same can be said of The Lord of the Rings. Sauron is an evil force ten times more potent than President Snow. The atrocities ravaging Middle Earth were far greater than Panem, but Tolkien chose to focus more time on the main characters’ positive attributes than on the actual terrible events.
Stories that tend to show the positive nature of humans often inspire me to strive to obtain those positive attributes. Throughout most of the first two books of The Hunger Games, I felt as though the situation was disgustingly dire, the characters were reflexive and instinctive instead of insightful, and the story provided me with little hope for the state of humanity. I simply find other books and media that could better inspire society as a whole to become better.
That’s the difference. Shows or books like The Walking Dead and The Hunger Games don’t actively inspire me to become a better person, and in the end, leave me more put out than energized. More attention in those stories is given to the negative and horrific scenes of bloodshed and the awful state of things than that of the positive messages of teaching one how to deal with such negativity in our lives.
I do oppose negative based stories for my own consumption; at the same time, I realize, to each his/her own. I just feel my time is better spent consuming stories that actively seek to inspire and that are more positive than negative in content; since, I’ve found that if I fill myself with enough negative things, I get depressed, but if I fill myself with more positives than negatives, I begin improving my nature.