Literature demands good bad guys

Today, my wife wrote an excellent piece concerning children’s literature and what sort of things we should or shouldn’t shield our children from. She makes the point that many Christian “sanitized” books and movies end up falling flat on both our emotions and intellects. That is to say, they suck.

Why? Sayer’s gets to the bottom of it here I think:

The vital power of an imaginative work demands a diversity within its unity; and the stronger the diversity, the more massive the unity. Incidentally, this is the weakness of most “edifying” or “propaganda” literature. There is no diversity. The Energy is active only in one part of the whole, and in consequence the wholeness is destroyed and the Power diminished. You cannot, in fact, give God His due without giving the devil his due also.

-Dorothy Sayers, The Mind of the Maker, Ch.4