Bracing against the wind  

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The "Laughing Fly" Trope

Somehow while using Google images to search for a picture of a laughing fly, I stumbled across the site where the discussion Jiggle Physics naturally caught my attention.

"Trope" is a word used to describe a common literary theme, not necessarily with the same negative connotation as a cliche. A cliche can be defined as an "overused trope seen as negative or too obvious".

For example, I would consider using dead parents as a plot excuse for an unsupervised child's "adventure" to be nauseatingly cliche, but somehow most critics still seem to consider it a "valid trope". More generally, this is classified as the parental abandonment trope.

I liked the discussion of Flanderization, in which a character who starts off as subtle evolves towards exaggerated social stereotypes to meet lazy scriptwriting demands.

The site, while juvenile in vibe, is enlightening. It brings to light many of the implanted memes arising from the years I spent watching TV as a kid.


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