A lot of Western fiction goes along the lines of:

the world’s in danger and since you’re God’s chosen person, only you can save the world. You don’t require that much assistance from anybody else because you pulled yourself up by your own bootstraps

Even if it involves a team, it’s like a team off like 10 people, that the protagonist had to pull together in some way shape or form due to their personal charisma or something.

In real life, to take down the evil dictator or whatever it needs a lot more than 10 people, and since you’re not God’s chosen person, you could even die.

Additionally a lot of Western fiction places big emphasis on money. The protagonist will have access to very expensive equipment frequently.

The evil dictator is basically straight out of a psych ward, which I guess is not offend conservatives, but It’s rare that the evil dictator is even racist. Like Trump would make a great villain.

This is kind of a follow-up to my personal branding question. But basically protagonists have done a great job with personal branding.


I think it would help our cause a lot if there was fiction that emphasized basically the opposite of what I listed above. And it should go mainstream.

Any examples of good fiction? Especially if it’s free and visual

Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu if you like sci-fi. It has a bit of the “chosen one” aspect but it’s not as bad.

Mad
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i think it’s just impossible to create a good narrative where a ton of people are the focus. there is a way to come close though, and it’s by showing a small team of main characters, but making it so that their efforts are only a small part of the greater success. the best example i have of that is Rogue One. the protagonists spend all that time and energy, risk their lives and eventually lose them, all to simply get the death star plans. their work is of course absolutely crucial, but it’s still only the starting point.

another way to do it, which is how pretty much all movies do it, is to have a huge group of people working towards the main goal, and have them all be important, but just have a small team be active at the climactic turning point, and then only talk about that part. once again a good example is star wars, this time the original one. in it there’s a whole rebellion that’s been building up political support, military might, strategy etc. for years, but the movie focuses on just the final moments where it depends on one good shot from one good pilot.

Star Trek. All of it.

This. Star Trek is the birth of (gay) space communism

mario
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can’t really think of any title right now that can answer your question. it’s tricky because i think there loads of “group stories” which, as you said, stillmay fall in the chosen one category.

i think another issue to think about when discussing stories is the idea of “conflict” and how we are brought up to believe it is the only thing that can push any story forward and every fucking editor note will always be about conflict conflict conflict! hence, when seen in that frame, it is way easier to have one conflict that can be solved by one person and push for that until the end.

however, as ursula le guin wrote in this beautiful essay, the first step (and victory) is to kill this old and patriarcal way of looking at storytelling.

sorry, might have gone a bit off-topic, but because i really like the discussion and i think it can be broaden up.

If you want anti-Trump fiction, try Transmetropolitan.

Aside from that, the ‘one chosen hero-man’ trope is common, but hardly ubiquitous.

  • Earthsea has the main character quest to understand the balance of the world

  • LotR, despite its grand kings and warriors, always returns to the value of friendship, acceptance of other cultures, forgiveness, and the importance of small things.

  • Day of the Triffids has a main character surviving through a story about economics.

Or if you just want anti-money, pro-teamwork, Deep Space 9 has you covered (despite the emmisary plot).

PS: Don’t watch the Earthsea films.

Le Guin’s ‘The Dispossessed’

mario
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even if he’s not the chosen one, shevek is basically the only and main one of the story.

poVoq
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There is an interesting young fiction book called “The Book of Heroes” by Miyuki Miyabe that has an interesting (Japanese) take on this topic. But I don’t want to spoiler too much.

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