writing about hate?

Maggie over at Maggie Madly Writing wrote a blog post called “Thoughts about Hate.”

At first I thought, “Oh, I don’t write about hate” (with the inevitable following thought, “I should write more about hate…”).

But then (I admit, kind of a “Duh!” moment), I thought, “Well, you write about people murdering other people — hate might figure in there, at least a little.”

So, I thought about the murders in what I’ve written. Thinking analytically, they seem to fall into three categories.

1) Personal and specific. You find out that your lover is cheating. You find out that your friend killed your lover. You can no longer tolerate your lover beating you. Hate is clearly involved here, even if sometimes mixed with love.

2) Impersonal and specific. Someone is standing between you and something you want. Hate may not be involved here, and in fact you may never have met the person face to face. It could be anybody who is blocking you from a goal. As the Mafia say (at least in the movies), it’s just business. Nothing personal. So, hate doesn’t really enter in here.

3) Impersonal and general. Someone belongs to a group that you hate. Obviously this is hate, and hate mixed with fear as opposed to #1 where it may be mixed with love.

Now, there are some mixtures here (one might murder a lover who threatened to expose the affair, which would be somewhere between #1 and #2, for example).

Interesting. I wonder if there are other configurations that I’m missing…

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2 Responses to writing about hate?

  1. Maggie says:

    Maybe there could be personal and general, where you meet a person you like (or this person becomes your lover or friend), but you later find out that the person is a member of a group that you hate on principle…?

  2. I knew there had to be another combination. Thanks.

    That reminds me of a story. Lauren Bacall’s first significant screen role was in To Have and Have Not (one of my all-time favorite movies). She was eighteen years old, and the director, Howard Hawks, had cast her after seeing her picture in a magazine.

    Some people had the idea that Hawks intended to sleep with her (that sort of thing has been known to happen in Hollywood from time to time), but this plan was stymied when she and Humphrey Bogart, the star of the picture, fell in love.

    Years later, in interviews, she said that she was terrified throughout the shoot for two reasons.

    One was obvious — that she, a novice actress playing opposite a huge star more than twice her age, might simply make a fool of herself.

    They other fear, at least at the beginning of the shoot, was that Hawks would find out she was Jewish. He was notoriously anti-Semitic and would probably have fired her on the spot. Pretty much exactly the situation you’re talking about.

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