September 26, 2022
When a person acts with honesty and commitment towards another person or an issue, is considered that that person is acting in good faith and is believed to be doing a good thing for all the right reasons. When a person acts in ways that are deceptive, dishonest and insulting, it is believed that that person is acting in bad faith. I have questioned whether or not good face and bad faith have direct impacts on one another. Like for example, if oneself acts a majority of time in bad faith, could they ever turn their life around and practice good faith? I believe that once influenced by a meaningful person, anything could change. I do also believe that a person can continuously go back and forth between good faith and bad faith. I don’t necessarily believe an individual can be strictly one of the other. It is important to recognize in each and every individual that weather it’d be intentional or unintentional, good faith and bad faith actions are bound to happen. Octavia Butler’s novel Wild Seed and Percival Everett’s novel American Desert both experience bad faith characters who become influenced by good faith characters and start to reveal how the interactions of both faiths carry along a story. Characters in both of the novels are continuously met with situations where bad faith and good faith actions are to be thought deeply about before making a final decision.
Octavia Butler’s novel Wild Seed greets us with Doro. Doro Goes about his life 1 and control, taking form of various individuals bodies to continue throughout the story, and has faced with multiple decisions where he chooses bad faith. He often does a lot of things to benefit himself in the long run but at first, he seems intentional and that his actions have positive meanings. Doro Knows how strong and powerful Anyanwu is and how much he could use her in the future so he tries to convine her that he can give her what she wants, “ If you come with me, I think someday, I can show you children you will never have to bury” and “ if you live, they should live. It is the fault of their fathers that they died. Let me give you children who will live” (24). Doro Seems to be promising Anyanwu in good faith that he can give her what she wants and what she deserves but in reality it is bad face because he is really just looking to make more children like him that seemingly never die. Is continually brought to our attention throughout the novel that Doro really just wants to increase his power in any way possible, and no matter how many vessels, or other bodies, he has to take over to do so. But another question that was a constant thought in my mind throughout reading, was if this was Doro acting in bad faith or if it was the only thing he knew and was used to and he used it to survive? I think in this case as well as even in real life, those acting in bad faith might not completely understand that what they’re doing is considered wrong.
Another side to considering good faith and bad faith is to look at experiences in one’s life that could have caused oneself to act more in one faith or another. For example in Percival Everett’s novel American Desert, Ted Street went through an experience almost unimaginable. In the beginning of the story we learned that Ted was in a severely traumatic accident that killed him almost instantly. Then miraculously at his funeral he sits up in his coffin end is almost perfectly alive unaware that to everyone else he was deceased. Had learned pretty quickly that since his accident nothing really make sense but one thing he is sure of is that seemingly his five senses have all peaked enormously and are more attentive than the average. He can also somehow look back into another individuals memories and know more about them than any stranger should. For example Ted and his family went home during the funeral to kind of get away from all of the chaos. During this his daughter Emily ran out of the house and into the swamp of reporters and news teams stationed outside the house. Ted told Barbie Becker From Channel 5 news, that he would do an interview with her to discuss his situation if she could get his daughter back home because he was worried about her. He said, “Our daughter ran from the house and we would like her return home” and Barbie Becker from channel 5 news responded with “ If you help me, she said Softly. Give me an exclusive interview and I’ll see what I can do” (76). Ted later comes into contact with the news reporters hand and he gets a flash from her life which he later exposes while they’re doing the exclusive interview with him and she sees that as bad faith in him. Exposing her on live air, when Ted really just sees it as telling the truth and getting it out there.
Both of these experiences showed aspects of bad faith in the eyes of some and good faith in the eyes of others. Both instances were heavily impacted due to events that change the person’s view of life and their future. I think my question still stands and still will be something I think about as I continue to read more books throughout this class, that good faith in bad face often bounce off of each other and are almost always going to happen simultaneously within oneself.