Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sarah: The Archetypal Tragic Hero

UPDATE: The article by Dan Fagan, along with all comments has been deleted from The Alaska Standard. Thanks to, a copy of his OpEp titled "Sarah Palin: A Dark Soul(to which my following post responds) can be seen here.


I just read Dan Fagan's comment about Sarah's book, Sarah Palin: A Dark Soul. It explores another aspect of Sarah's book, one that I have been thinking about for a while: her character. (That OpEd has now been deleted from The Alaska Standard website, along with all comments.)

Most of the book 'reviews' have been of the fact-checking kind, which is important. Dan Fagan reviews another aspect, maybe even more important than Sarah's strange relationship to facts. Sarah is as mature as the 'pretty girl' in High School who gets away with meaness, because she can. Most of these girls move past this but Sarah hasn't. Or, as Mr Fagan puts it:

Palin comes across as the rotten on the inside, faultfinding, petty teenage girl we all hated in high school. If you’ve seen the movie “Heathers” or “Mean Girls” you know what I am talking about.

The character of Sarah Palin, is revealed by how she says what she says, rather than what she says what she says.

Dan is right to focus on this, because Sarah's book is glaringly High School. The name calling is pathetically immature... 'the perky one' ... 'the falafel lady' ... insulting comments about people's physical appearance (such at Steve Schmidt's 'rotundness') ... I don't need to go on and on .. it's shallow and mindlessly simple. Anyone who has 'crossed Sarah' is a target for her 'words of wrath'.

When she is too self-centered to figure out that the President of France wouldn't call her to flirt with her, she says she thought he was 'drunk' .... her ego doesn't allow that the President of France wouldn't call her at all, drunk or sober: He's not that into you, Sarah!

In Sarah's mind, everyone is pining for her attention and should be enabling her success. If they aren't ... then they are just jealous persecutors.
The 'book' is a litany of pettiness. Sarah considers herself 'tough' because she says things that most of us learned were inappropriate amongst adults by the time we were out of High School.

Sarah's fatal flaw is her ego: how fitting that writing a book about herself and those who 'victimized' her, is likely to be the instrument that brings her down. Her need to keep talking about herself, (her book and the tour) is causing people to really 'look' at Sarah, and what we see is ....... an aging airhead, a mean-spirited one at that!

In fact, while she tries to paint a tragic picture of herself, as a victim of those who wish to see her fall ... the reality is that Sarah is archetypal 'hero' who is the master of his/her own destruction.

She should have educated herself with books instead of mirrors, she might have learned that the 'tragic hero' is not bought down by his/her enemies but by the flaws of his/her character.


  1. Your comment on the Alaska Standard site this evening was the best thing I have yet read on the whole, embarrassing subject of Sarah Palin.

    Good for you!


    Tom Degan

  2.'s gone now. Any idea what happened?

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Verbose .. No I don't know, but has it in one of the blogposts. (2 days ago, I think)

    Very strange, the whole thread is gone!

  5. Yes, Sarah is the ultimate tragic hero isn't she? You are so right, books would have served her much better that her looking glass.