Tuesday, May 3, 2011
I was planning on doing a post on characters with conflicting emotions, and on Sunday night I got some first hand experience in conflicting emotions when I learned the Osama Bin Laden had been killed by a team of Navy Seals under the orders of President Obama.
On the one hand if anyone deserved to be killed it was Bin Laden. After the Soviet Union was defeated in Afghanistan turning him into a folk hero in that part of the world, he had power to be a force for good in the middle east. Instead he used that power to create chaos, leading to a huge loss life.
However, I can't celebrate the loss of anyone's life, not even his. As a result when I first heard the news I was simply stunned and had no emotion at the time.
The only time I can remember a fictional character deal with two conflicting emotions like that was in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS when Clarice was told that the inmate in the cell next to Hannibal Lecter had committed suicide and her first reaction was, “I don't know what to feel.”
Reflecting on it, I know intellectually that the world will be a better place without Bin Laden and he deserved to die. I praise the Navy Seal team and President Obama for carrying out the operation and I'm glad they did. But, I am unable to feel joy over the death of any human, even one as vile and unforgivable as Bin Laden.
So when I'm writing my characters I'll try to remember these feelings so I can have them express their conflicting emotions in a convincing way.
By Darrell B. Nelson author of I KILLED THE MAN THAT WASN'T THERE