Generation of Joker: why are we obsessed with anti-heroes

Recently I began to notice that people love the negative and difficult characters. Irvine Welsh has very successfully built his literary career, describing the bastards of varying degrees of jerkiness. However, the bastards at the Welsh quite ugly, not cool, so they’re a little on the subject.

«The dark knight» will be remembered by all the beautiful Wild, which was an archetype of the chaotic evil anti-hero. It was the Joker, or rather the hysteria he clearly showed us that people, regardless of gender, age, social status and other cosmetic differences are madly in love with anti-heroes, villains and complicated characters and I want to be like them at any cost.

Let us remember your favorite characters. Books, movies, games, comics — any kind of modern and classical art. Who will be there? One or two good guy and who else? Probably Darth Vader, the character Clint Eastwood from «the Good, the bad and the ugly», the Joker, Wolverine, Walter white from «Breaking Bad», Tywin Lannister and other questionable guys from «Game of thrones». If it’s not an outright thief, if this is not the one who cooks blue meth or undermines the planet, then this is probably a typical Western hero or antihero: seems to be doing so that all was well, but leaves behind a mountain of corpses, and his methods are extremely questionable. Well, he leads a very immoral life.


Anti-hero is always deeper and more vivid character than a positive character. First, we always wonder how he became so. Second, it has qualities that are always valued: leadership, the ability to control and subdue a lively mind and a pretty good charisma. Well written anti-hero really makes you think: why not to stand under its banner? He or she may not have the kindness and generosity in the traditional sense, but the most important: they are somehow immoral. Darth Vader blows up a planet, Walter white cooks high quality drugs, and the Joker in General wreaking havoc. To sum up, it is possible to understand one thing: they do not follow the rules of traditional morality and established society, but despite this, they have something else.

A great example of anti-hero who perfectly fits this description, and which despite everything managed to fall in love a lot of people — is a former teacher Walter white, without exaggeration, the greatest show «Breaking Bad.» We see how a simple chemistry teacher, the mellow fellow who barely was not under the thumb of his wife, turns into a cunning, charismatic devil in the flesh, the drug Lord, whose Sense of Self-Importance has grown to obscene proportions. Despite this, he still manages us like we are worried about him and somehow sympathize with him, even though Walter is a criminal, a tyrant and not a good guy.

The same «Game of thrones», which previously was not close to as popular as now because of the show, like everyone at least for the reason that each character is not positive. Even Eddard stark, the only character possessing good qualities, too, keeps in the closet skeleton: he has an illegitimate child and his wife he never loved. It is the lack of a typical positive characters do as Saga and the TV series popular. And violence and Boobs.

Why we love all these characters? This is enough for a lot of reasons about which I will write below, but the most important reason: they are realistic. Even if we are exceptional optimists who believe that the whole world is fair, and everyone in the soul is wonderful and kind, we deep down understand that this is not so. Anyway all people have selfish ambitions, ulterior motives, and if you think about it, this is what makes us human, it is this, coupled with the desire to do what turns the wheel of history.

We live in an age full of contrasts, it lacks the freedom with which nobody knows what to do. This is the age of divorce, corruption, mixed morality, crises, mindless TV show and outright deceptions. We were skeptics at fault our time, but at least no longer naive, which is good. We want to see people like us, with flaws and mixed morals. We want to watch people who do not know how to behave correctly and which do not always take the morally right decision. So why are we so nice, these specific people?

1. They are as imperfect as we are

One of the main reasons why anti-heroes are so attractive to us is relative. We don’t want to look at the positive characters and to read about them, I agree that you are annoying those damn moralists. With them, probably, something not so! At least on the screen they look dead and the living. Even if the hero is a nice and positive man, a good family man, he probably has some negative traits that make him… alive. The hero of Clint Eastwood from «Gran Torino» was a man of high moral principles (he loved his wife and knew what is good and what is bad), a very cool old, but he had problems with the neighbors, racism and his own family that made him alive.

2. They are the person

Life presents us with a number of different difficulties. We overcome them, and they lay its imprint on our views and interests and provides us with complex emotions. For this reason, Walter white is much cooler than Superman as a character. It is deep in his soul demons, sorrows, emotions, deprivation, insecurity and whatnot.

3. They are strong

To hold certain positions, the anti-hero overcomes a series of bad challenges that temper his character and grow him giant egg. We respect the anti-hero, because he demands respect. He is a force with which to be reckoned.

4. They capture

Often their actions can be questionable, but their motives are always pure. Who wanted a single powerful Empire, someone to provide for his family for many years to come, and someone wanted to wreak havoc, to get people thinking about their place in this world. This is reminiscent of statements from Machiavelli’s «the Prince» about what the perfect ruler should be cunning as a Fox, and the goal always justifies the means.

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