Ever since I put The Lion King (Broadway version) soundtrack in my car, I've heard the word Pride a lot more often. It's used as a good thing in most of the show as long as a hero uses it. So, that got me thinking (yikes!). Pride does double duty, being warm and fuzzy and strong on one hand, but villainous on the other.
"I'm proud of you."
"We're so proud."
"You should take great pride in that."
When Pride is a good thing, it's usually directed from one person to another. My parents, especially my super awesome and very sentimental Dad, always told me how proud they were, even when my successes weren't all that spectacular. The Lion King uses this play on words (pride of lions, harharhar Disney) over and over. 'Remember my pride,' 'matter of pride,' you get the idea.
In our writing, when our spin on Pride is positive, we build strength and depth into our characters. They have emotion, they feel for other people. Or maybe pride becomes a redeeming quality. If your MG starts off in the dumps and finding his/her Pride restores him/her to everything he/she used to be...hello, that's the hero's journey, right?
"He's a proud man."
"Your pride will be your downfall."
"See past your pride, and look at what's standing right in front of you."
But there's another side to it. I mean, come on, Pride is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. It's that thing we have to step over, get around, throw away to get to that 'better place.' Mr. Darcy is one of my favorite bad pride examples, and I'll use him because I usually lose readers when I talk about Saiyans and Vegeta, but for the record, fantastic pride example there. Anyway! Mr. Darcy has to push his pride aside to allow himself to love Elizabeth. She also has pride issues, making them a pair of charming mountain goats in a cliffside battle.
When we create a prideful character, we puff them up, build a layer of arrogance into their makeup, make them more real. Now, we take them on...here it is again...the hero's journey! They must defeat the pride demon inside them to become all they're able to be. It's a piece of Redemption, wouldn't you agree?
How do you use Pride in your writing? Deadly sin? Parental emotion? Little of both?