Comments on Defending Skyler White by Mark

One of the functions of ancient drama was catharsis. We discharge our emotions by watching the protagonist suffer the inevitable consequences of his human shortcomings and reflect on our shortcomings. In order for this to work, we need to identify and sympathize with the protagonist. This literary device makes us sympathize with Milton’s Satan, Humbert Humbert, Tony Soprano, and Walter White. Walter White is an objectively evil man who profits from drugs and murders people. However, it is the genius of the show that we come to identify with him. Skyler is one of his victims. Unfortunately we admire the “strong” man and despise victims. We see very few dramas where the “hero” eschews violence and chooses peace, and perhaps this says something about us.