Spoilers for Ruby Sparks
The abuse of the power is the most evil, condemnable action a human can take. It is an transgression of no equal, it can be the smallest affront – telling child that Santa Claus is imaginary – to the greatest of villainy – To play with lives, be it a politician or Yahweh.
Ruby Sarks has made me irrationally angry. Calvin, the ‘protagonist’ is a writer that somehow has brought his character to life, a girl he has fallen in ‘love’ with. In the beginning Calvin is talking to his brother, Harry, about women, and says he does not like dating because women seem to fall in love with the preconceived idea of him as a writer, instead of the actual true person that lies beneath the fame and mystique. This, is ironic foreshadowing, likely intentional, but still aggravating – Calvin himself falls in love with the idea of Ruby, not the woman once she exists with him, and once she begins to show signs of losing interest or not being happy with Calvin (even though it is him who ignores her and his family for a whole weekend and acts like an arsehole for no apparent reason) he begins to mess with her life by re-writing her on his typewriter, creating an incomplete person, a person that once put back together is so confused with herself that she has a mental breakdown.
You would think that a person with that kind of power would then realise what he was doing, practically torturing a person because it wasn’t his perfect image, but no, this isn’t enough, as absolute power corrupts absolutely. Is Calvin had created the perfect person to begin with, then she was going to pay for having evolved on her own.
After an argument about dipping in the pool at a party (after he left her alone with no one to talk to) Calvin begins to show her what he can do, forcing her to stay in the same room, making her strip, sing, tell him how much she loves him. She collapses once he stops, the shock and trauma of, really, meeting her God. How could you look someone in the eye with that much power but practically abused you. Regretful, Calvin writes that once she leaves the house she is free, and no longer bound to that curse.
In the end, Ruby forgets Calvin, and like a good ol’ romance they end up sitting and talking together, Calvin getting his happy ending. At no point was Calvin a sympathetic character, he is a character that calls his ex a slut for leaving him 4 weeks after his father died, but we later learn that Calvin never had any time for her, he only had time for her when he was being the woman he wanted her to be, not the woman she actually was. Calvin has only the time for himself, and given power, he abuses it to his end. Even in the slight act of redemption he commits at the end, he never receives reprimand for his actions, just a broken heart that he brought upon himself. The ending he gets is entirely underserved, and as much as I believe in second chances, Calvin never goes through a developmental arc, he abuses his power, and barely learns anything except ‘hey, maybe controlling people’s very actions is a bad thing to do.’ – which is something a child should know.
I would rant about the comparison of this to God and how he screws around with people’s lives in the bible, and, if you believe in any form of it, your own very life. But I won’t because it’s 2am and I’m just about done.
I hate reprehensible characters with no moral comeuppance, or developmental arcs.