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Characters and Expectations

January 12, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

In continuance of my previous post on cultural symbols and the figures who formulate themselves on the basis of tradition, I explore the notion of expectation. Given that my suggestion is correct, that certain “characters” in society are less original creations and more amalgamation of previous figures (in a sense archetypes), we need to consider how we evaluate these figure’s adaptations as they strive to establish themselves.

In taking on the characteristics of tradition, those who assume the qualities of tradition do so in order to comply with social knowledge and expectation. Meet the standard and make connection, communicate the familiarity and the public will categorize you according to interpretation. If one’s formulation is accurate then the process should take place automatically. Initial reactions are powerful but not thorough and many figures reveal the truth behind these formulations once power has been provided. Carelessness leads to errors that reveal how true the formulation is, risking a revelation that suggests the task of amalgamation at play and the hidden secrets possessed by the individual.

Who is pure? What is the standard by which we assess our cultural figures? Ultimately we continue to apply the same expectations utilized to make the initial categorization. One must maintain the character one takes on or risk a removal from the category. We have seen our heroes fall, our cultural sources of pride quickly falling into a moral trap that leads us to question the validity of our respect. The public will not be tricked, a violator of public trust is punished in forms beyond the simple removal from categorization. Deceit provides a reason for scorn and public punishment- one who seeks to be a public figure must hold true to the initial qualities presented. Any alteration comes at a severe cost and one risk’s great loss in breaking from tradition and suggestion.

We have certain standards for our figures. For a public leader we expect strength in all facets of existence. A leader, according to our expectations, must be formulated on solid moral ground, must present a physical and mental strength that shores up our confidence and, in a sense, assures us in unspoken forms that “Yes, this is a leader and one who is worthy of our trust.”

The public will look closely for errors in these expectations. With the gift of public trust comes additional scrutiny and our media strives and craves the stories of trusted figures failures. We seem to enjoy the revelation of a falsehood- it appeals to our aim for greater wisdom than the figures we gift with power. In these revelations comes a sense of greater strength, of a notion that it is not the amalgamation that is powerful. Instead we are the pubic gifting power, the one who is in charge and whose keen sense of reality is precise in its considerations.

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