The Underdog

Americans love the underdog. As a writer this is one of the few character types even I can’t escape. The reason is simple: It’s how many of us view ourselves.

In a competitive culture where success is measured by money, it makes sense that the underdog mythic type appear. Often the most successful among us have been underdogs at one point….the hunger for financial success itself driving us on. I’ve worked for several underdogs that found success in their lives, so I feel that’s true.

But the underdog beyond money and Capitalism represents the child in us. It’s the powerless one in the broken home who among dysfunctional adults must persevere. That’s certainly common in the US today. But it’s also the need for humility through embracing one’s flawed humanity. That’s to me the essence of the underdog. And that’s the one quality left in Americans that certainly has enduring value beyond the stark Capitalism that increasingly drives its value systems.

In my novel the Phantammeron Book One I start off the book telling the tragic tale of the Primordial Ones, the five fallen sons of the Creator and their destruction of the world for greed. It’s a tale about the nature of power and violence and of the ego. That story is a reflection of the people in power today in America and their broken value systems. The anti-hero Agapor is their fallen son.

But the second half of the book explores the story of the underdog, the beauty of the innocence of youth, of humility, humanity reemerging in a violent and arrogant world, of the destroyed family unity yet search for what family remains, and the need for hope in a fatalist universe.

None of that is truly original. That’s very common in American story. And it’s something I couldn’t resist in my own work. But unlike so much heroic fiction, my protagonist doesn’t “win”, but instead perishes, saving the world for those yet to come. And in so doing, she realizes as do all the fallen characters that perish, there was a hidden purpose for it all beyond their own lives in the end.

Only the One Tree and the Sacred Pool live on… two then continues…..but new underdogs will evolve in later books. Why? Because there is yet more opportunity to explore its mythological cycle, the one that lives in us all.

– the Author

Created Feb 3, 2017, 5:13 AM

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