Arrow: The Variations of Evil

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The other day, I was having a conversation with Austin about the many TV series that we watched. At this moment I realized that I was running out of shows to watch since I had recently caught up on many of the ones I was following. It was time to add one to my repertoire. While listing the shows that we were watching, Austin enthusiastically mentioned “Arrow” as one of his favorites. Intrigued I asked him what it was about and he told me it was about the Green Arrow. That weekend, I decided that I would check it out, and I found myself glued to my TV for the rest of the day.

Arrow is about a playboy billionaire, Oliver queen, who experiences a life changing event when the family yacht sank due to a storm. As the lone survivor, Oliver Queen found himself on an island known as Lian Yu (Chinese for Purgatory). The show slowly reveals his experiences on the island but he initially described it as 5 years in hell. However, this experience was precisely what led him to become the Green Arrow, a vigilante whose goal was to eliminate the evils of Starling City.

Before Queen’s father died at sea, he told Queen that he had to live in order to right the wrongs that had been done by his father and other influential men in the city. These men were rich and bullied had their ways by destroying others. Queen found a list of the names and upon returning to the city quickly began his mission.


Now the interesting thing is Oliver Queen’s thoughts on evil. When we think of evil, we think of famous villains like The Joker, Lord Voldemort, The Green Goblin, Hitler etc. All of these people are notorious for killing or causing suffering. They are extreme and obvious examples of evil. However, in this series, evil is portrayed in ordinary men. How can these ordinary men be juxtaposed with someone as evil as The Joker? Well these men have built themselves up by destroying others. They earned their riches at the expense of others. They are evil simply because of their negative impact to society. This idea is exemplified when Oliver says

“I don’t fight street crime. That’s a symptom of what’s wrong with the city. I’m trying to cure the disease.”

Oliver blames these few men for the street crime in Starling City and other tragedies. Take Kyle Reston for example. Reston was a victim of Queen’s father’s actions. His Father fired many of the employees when he outsourced to China because this was the cheaper move. However, these people weren’t even notified and were shocked. They didn’t receive severance packages or anything. Well, Reston had to resort to Bank robbing for a living. He robbed banks with his family because he didn’t have any other choice. This is the symptom of the disease that was caused by Queen’s father. Evil can come in many different forms. It usually stems from the selfish nature of mankind. In all cases, evil shouldn’t be taken lightly and is bound to cause damage.




2 thoughts on “Arrow: The Variations of Evil

    Chris said:
    November 15, 2013 at 3:10 am

    Hi Matt, have you heard of the elitest theory of politics? It states that essentially the world is controlled by the upper echelon of society, and most actions and opinions of the lower class means nothing. The root of the evil in Starling City is similar in the way that the rich control the city and act only in their own self interest.

    On another note, I agree that actual evil is not embodied in figures such as the Joker and that it is often found in normal people that make negative decisions. However, one part I am quizzical about is that even if you take away the root of the evil, does that mean the symptoms will disappear? Oliver’s father (the root) was killed, but Kyle Reston (the symptom) still existed and could be considered a new root altogether, as Kyle’s actions may effect others in a way that make them turn to a life of crime. Where exactly does the line between cause and effect end?

      mattkdoan responded:
      February 4, 2014 at 3:28 am

      Hey Chris, thanks for taking the time to read my blog and I hope you enjoyed it. Anyways, It is interesting to note that Kyle could become his own root and influence others. This does make me wonder if a tree would fit the analogy better. It seems that the root is Oliver’s father and Kyle is more like a branch that has been created because of Oliver’s fathers actions. Now Kyle’s actions may cause others – who can branch off – to follow suit thus creating a vicious cycle of crime. There are many possibilities and I do not believe there is a definitive line where the cause and effect ends. It just varies.

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