But when I sat down to actually write the blog post, another facet of the word came to me—something much more tied to my usual topic of writing and/or fiction.
What I thought about, was Firefly. Actually, Serenity. About how the reason the Operative in it is so dangerous, was because he believed. More to the point, he believed that what he was doing was just and right. And I remembered a paper I very nearly wrote for a Classics course I took in college, where we read Antigone. The “villain” here too, Creon, the one who has decided Antigone’s fate, believes that he has made a just call, the only thing he could do, under the laws of the gods.
Another example is Javert from Les Misérables. Javert too is a man of justice, a man who believes in exact punishment. He believes he is a servant of God, but he (like Creon) doesn’t understand the subject of mercy, and therefore is limited in his view of the world—he sees only in black and white, wrong and right.
In these cases, belief can be a scary thing… especially belief without questioning. Devoutness can be admirable, but it can also be taken a little too far. It makes for some great villains, though. 😉
Belief makes for great heroes, too, though. Think about Harry Potter, Frodo, or even say, Indiana Jones. Each of them have a strong belief system, a goal that they will not stray from, and it is those beliefs that give them the courage to take on the things that might scare or intimidate the rest of us into complacency.
This makes me wonder a little what my characters believe in… do they believe in anything strongly enough? What about yours? What about you?