Re: RARA-AVIS: Useful sidekicks

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 15 Nov 2001

Along with a number of interesting points (I especially liked the observation of how the PI used to be the outsider friend to a cop, but now the outsider needs someone even further outside), Richard wrote:

"I suspect the shady sidekick is often born of the same need [for the story to get from here to there], not some philosophical motive."

It can't be both? At any given point, there are always a wide variety of ways to get a plot from here to there. So aren't the paths authors choose for their characters indicative of all sorts of things about the way they view the world, including their philosophical motives?

And does the author even have to be aware of the philosophical implications of the choices he makes on how to get the story from here to there? It seems to me that your point about the black man doing a white man's dirty work (with which I agree) probably falls into this category.


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