Have you seen those wild life specials where a group of congregating chimpanzees are screaming, slapping their hands above their heads? Sometimes I have a sneaking suspicion they have their own language that we don't know about. Anyways, that's another post. Animal behavior often explains some of the odd things, sometimes called sins, that we humans portray.
When a father kills his wive and children, when a woman cheats on her man, when a boy goes to strange lengths to show a fifth grade girl he likes her can come from animalistic behavior. Thanks, Darwin.
We see all of this in the animal world.
Today I was eating at a ramen house and saw a group of young Asian boys hanging outside. One of them wore his sunglasses backwards, shading the back if his neck from the hot afternoon sun. He must have said something funny. Because one of his friends started laughing, screaming almost, slapping his hands together above his head. Sound familiar?
Is this important in story telling?
In my currentEpisode,my character is faced with an opportunity to prove his innocence. He has a choice. Prove it with dignity or with violence. Why the two opposite choices? If you'vereadwhat he's been through, then you'll undersand why he could choose violence.
Sometimes in life we don't see how our behaviors can originate from our innate animal behavior. If we are closest to our chimpanzee cousins, then how can we deny the strange behavior that some people exhibit? Do I agree with it? Not all the time. But as story tellers, we should allow for some raucous action.
One that comes to mind is Hermione punching Draco in the nose in the third Potter book. I thought that scene was right on. A bigoist taunting someone should get their nose punched in. Not because it was right. Because that kind of behavior would elicit another. Cause and effect.
I once had a student who was constantly bullied by another boy who didn't respect my student's ethnic heritage. The bully called him obscene names. My student asked him to stop and even avoided him. But the bully looked for him like a shark. Heckling my student. Barraging him with physical threats. So my studentslappedhim. Hard.
That bully never bullied him again.
The alpha male was now replaced by another.