Day 22: Virtuous Victims

Welcome to Day 22 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 virtuous victims.

Virtuous victims are good guys who undergo hardship through no fault of their own. Like jolted jerks, they have a major event that transforms their lives, but unlike jolted jerks, virtuous victims tend to be seen as good-natured.

Two things that are common in this group are a sense of virtuousness and exposure to a world they knew nothing about.

Virtuous Innocence

Virtuous victims are often blindsided by an event. Ayumi in Switched (宇宙を駆けるよか), for example, is happily about to go on her first date when her body is taken over by an envious classmate. Andy Dufrense in Shawshank Redemption, is also going about his happy life when his wife is murdered and he is imprisoned for the crime.

Exposure to Different Worlds

Virtuous victims although they don’t have perfect lives, tend to have it pretty good. The hardship they experience exposes them to worlds they otherwise would not have known. Ayumi goes from being a popular teenager with many friends to a world of bullying and rejection. Andy Dufrense goes from being a free man to a prisoner in a corrupt jail.

Like many other character types, virtuous victims cross genres that include speculative fiction and drama. Other examples of virtuous victims are Richard Kimble in The Fugitive, Carla Jean in No Country for Old Men, and Bambi in Bambi.

Can you think of other examples of virtuous victims?

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