Day 13: Moral Movers

Welcome to Day 13 of the A to Z Challenge. For this year’s challenge, I’ll be examining different types of characters that can be found in international fiction. Today I’m looking at moral movers.

Moral movers have power to make decisions that can impact a community and are driven by a set of morals. Usually they have to tackle complex moral decisions.

Strong Moral Compass

These characters tend to have a strong set of beliefs that influence their decisions. Katherine Anne Watson in Mona Lisa’s Smile believes in the power of the female voice. Yates in the short story “The Baptism” is a preacher who believes in redemption. Helen Prejean in Deadman Walking is a nun who also believes in redemption.

Tackle Morally Ambiguous or Social Themes

Although the characters have a strong set of beliefs, they often have to tackle gray areas. Yates has to wrestle with the decision to baptize a man who only wants to do so in order to marry and abuse a child. Helen has to wrestle with the idea of redemption in the face of horrible deeds. Katherine wrestles with the social issue of female empowerment in a world where the feminine voice isn’t valued.

Moral movers typically appear in dramas and non-fiction. Other examples of moral movers are Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Malcolm X in Malcolm X, and Joan of Arc in The Passions of Joan of Arc.

Are there other genres where you’ve seen moral movers?


  1. I’m really glad I found this post when I did–it aligns very well with my current project. My main character rigidly follows his own moral code, and intends to do good…but often goes overboard as a “means to an end.” Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 2 people

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