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When we think of heroes, we often imagine noble and virtuous characters who stand up for what is right and just. However, in recent years, a new type of hero has emerged – the anti hero. Unlike traditional heroes, anti heroes are flawed and complex characters who often struggle with their own morality and motives. In this article, we will explore the concept of the pragmatic anti hero and why it has become such a popular trope in modern storytelling.

What is a Pragmatic Anti Hero?

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A pragmatic anti hero is a character who is willing to use morally questionable methods to achieve a greater good. Unlike traditional heroes, who are bound by a strict moral code, pragmatic anti heroes are more focused on results than on ethics. They are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals, even if it means breaking the law or hurting others.

One of the most famous examples of a pragmatic anti hero is Walter White from the TV show Breaking Bad. Walter is a high school chemistry teacher who turns to cooking and selling methamphetamine to provide for his family after he is diagnosed with cancer. Throughout the series, Walter becomes increasingly ruthless and willing to do whatever it takes to protect his business and his family.

Why Do We Love Pragmatic Anti Heroes?

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So why are pragmatic anti heroes so popular in modern storytelling? One reason is that they are more relatable than traditional heroes. We all have flaws and make mistakes, and seeing characters who struggle with their own morality and motivations is more realistic and compelling than watching perfect heroes who always do the right thing.

Another reason is that pragmatic anti heroes often represent a commentary on modern society. In a world where the line between right and wrong is often blurred, these characters reflect the complexities of our moral landscape and force us to question our own values and beliefs.

The Pitfalls of Pragmatic Anti Heroes

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While pragmatic anti heroes can be fascinating and complex characters, they also have their pitfalls. For example, they can sometimes be used as an excuse to glorify immoral behavior or to justify actions that would otherwise be considered unethical or illegal. It’s important to remember that just because a character is a pragmatic anti hero doesn’t mean that their actions are always justified or acceptable.


The rise of the pragmatic anti hero is a reflection of the changing values and attitudes of modern society. These characters are complex and multifaceted, often challenging our assumptions about right and wrong. While they can be compelling and relatable, it’s important to remember that they are not always role models and that their actions should be judged on their own merits, rather than simply because they are the actions of a popular character.

Related video of The Pragmatic Anti Hero: A Complex and Compelling Character

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