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Moral Emotions, Antiheroes and the Limits of Allegiance

  • Alberto N. García

Abstract

According to its creator, Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad (AMC, 2008–13) describes the moral corruption of a normal man, the conversion of Mr Chips to Scarface. In ‘Full Measures’ (3.13), the moral and emotional complexity of the story is encapsulated in a seemingly incidental scene. We see Walter White in his living room, giving little Holly a bottle of milk. A close-up shows how the baby grabs at his glasses, and in this moment of paternal tenderness, the writers cunningly re-humanize a character who just executed two thugs and minutes later ordered the death of his lab partner, as if to remind us that, at heart, ‘he’s really just a family man’ forced by circumstances to take matters into his own hands. This important step in the metamorphosis of Walter is again mitigated by several factors: children, the family and everyday domestic life. Self-defence is, of course, the justification for these deaths, but the devotion of a father towards his little baby also enter into the moral and emotional equation that characterizes Breaking Bad.

Keywords

Moral Judgment Moral Emotion Moral Evaluation Serial Killer Moral Sympathy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Alberto N. García 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alberto N. García

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