Katie, a senior in high school, is torn between loving the “good” guy, her childhood friend Wes who makes promises he doesn’t keep and abandons her when she needs him the most, and the “bad” guy, the new kid at school Josh who is also a real demon from Hell. Katie wants someone who pays attention to her and puts her first, but what is she willing to give up to find him?
I have always been intrigued by the notions of good and evil, angels and demons. When I was an undergraduate in college, I took a 17th century poetry class and read Paradise Lost by Milton. His portrayal of the Devil fascinated me. It made me think about what it meant to be “good” and what it meant to be “evil” and how the lines between were often blurred.
I remember distinctly the professor asking the class what we thought the Devil looked like. There were the general answers of being large and red with cloven hooves and a pitchfork. He just smiled, then asked us what we thought angels looked like. We answered that, and then he commented that Lucifer looked just like an angel. After all, that’s what he was before The Fall. Over time, his looks were altered, but he was very distinctly angel in appearance.
That concept just stuck with me, and I often wondered if Lucifer ever had second thoughts about what he’d done; if he ever sat in Hell thinking, “Well, that really wasn’t a good idea.” Isn’t that the first step down the road of forgiveness? Granted, he would have to ask to be forgiven, which he never did because his pride was much too great. That and his jealousy. He really doesn’t like humans.
But the point for me is that good and evil really are never as clear cut as we want them to be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure the Devil is plenty evil, but he knows how to be good, and if he wanted to, he could probably be good again. Angels have the capacity for evil, as we’ve seen with Lucifer and his friends when they rebelled against God. What’s to stop others from going down the same path?
The Spawn cartoon series (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_McFarlane’s_Spawn) also had an influence on my fascination with good/evil, angels/demons. Spawn wants to return to Earth to get revenge on the man who murdered him and to be able to see his wife. He makes a deal with a demon to be in Hell’s Army (Hell has to have an army because of the war raging with Heaven, which also has warrior angels that fight against the Hell Spawn), and he comes back to Earth and actually does some nice things for people. He isn’t completely evil, but he isn’t completely good, either.
Humans are much the same way. Some of us strive for goodness, but we don’t always reach the mark. Some people try to be totally evil, but they aren’t always successful. Humans have to have both traits of good and evil to exist, and good can’t exist without evil and vice versa. It is these things that make us who we are, that sculpt our personalities.
I really enjoy exploring those aspects that make us human. Katie, Wes, and Josh are merely trying to find their place in the world. They think they know what they are supposed to do, but as they make their way through life, they discover things are always as clear cut as they expected them to be, and they have to react accordingly. Sometimes, they discover that their reactions aren’t what they expected them to be.
One print copy of The Appeal of Evil (US only)