Is Seymour a good person?

edited July 2014 in Theater
I don't know why I haven't brought this up before, because I'm really proud of it, but a few months ago I wrote a small essay(?) on why I personally believe Seymour is a good person, despite his actions. You can read it here: biasexualpotterhead.tumblr.com/post/46351046878

In a nutshell, I think he's a good guy because he always reluctant to kill people and convinces himself to kill the plant multiple times (with his fear of Audrey leaving him holding him back). What he did wasn't right, and I'm not saying he shouldn't be punished, but I think that, at his core, he is a good person with a kind soul.

So what do you think? Is Seymour a good person, or a terrible human being because of the things he did?


  • Nice essay, Justin. I'm glad you posted the link.
  • I think a lot of this comes down to what defines a "good person" and a "bad person".

    I believe that there are two kinds of people in this world. There are those who try to do what they believe is the morally right thing to do, and there are those who try to do what's best for themselves, regardless of the moral implications. I think that the amount of people who fall under the former category greatly exceeds those under the latter. However, even people who try to do the right thing can wind up doing the wrong thing, because telling right from wrong can actually be very difficult under certain circumstances.

    Fiction is filled with unsympathetic characters, usually antagonists, who only do what benefits themselves, but I think that those kinds of people are actually far and few between in our world.

    Seymour is, like most people, fundamentally good. However, he does things in the play that are almost certainly evil. Seymour kills two people and is by, definition, a serial killer. However, he's a sympathetic serial killer, which isn't a concept that has been used too often in mainstream fiction. As you said in your essay, Seymour doesn't kill people for fun, but if the only people who committed homicide were those who did it for fun, genocide would not even exist.

    In short, I think Seymour's a good person who does bad things. There are lots of good people who do bad things. It's just not a concept that we see too often in popular culture.

    (While I'm confident in everything I'm saying, I haven't spent much time outside of the controlled environment of the public school system. The things I believed a year ago are different from the things I believe today, and I'm fully aware that what I'm saying may seem ridiculous to people older and more experienced than me. Forgive me if that is the case.)
  • @Tacowiz "A good person who does bad things." Yeah, that's exactly it, isn't it? It is so easy to forget how nothing is ever black and white, and everything has a hint of grey.

    If you look at the Harry Potter universe, there isn't really anyone who falls under "good" or "bad," with the exception of Bellatrix Lestrange (who is just completely insane) or Voldemort (though an argument could be made). Draco, the main bad guy for the first four stories, becomes a death-eater in HBP, and we see that he is sickened and upset over what he sees and has to do. His mother, Narcissa, risks her life in DH to make sure he's safe and okay. Sirius Black treats Kreacher horribly. Remus left his wife and unborn child in DH, terrified of what he son could be. Ron has a habit of abandoning his friends. Dumbledore, in his early years, fell in love with a dark wizard and aligned himself with Grindelwald's ideas of wizard dominance over muggles and was shown to be power hungry. (Sorry for bringing it to Harry Potter. I've been listening to Alohomora alot lately and it's on my mind.)

    Even everyone in Little Shop is neither completely good or bad. Audrey "has a past" which, she feels, makes her unworthy of a good life. Mushnik adopts Seymour only for his won personal gain. Even Orin, when played right, seems to me like he's a nice, caring guy who has this really dark side to him. The only characters who don't fall into the gray area are The Plant (for obvious reasons), and The Urchins, who, being a greek chorus and our window into the world, can neither be good or evil.
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