As a fiction writer I find virtuous characters to be the hardest to write about. Maybe it’s a case of the darkness not being able to abide the light. Is it that I find it too hard to believe that anyone would take themselves so seriously as to strive for virtue? Does it make it easier to overlook my less than virtuous thoughts and actions if I deride people who make the effort? Or am I just cynical? What about you? What do you think of the word virtue? Does our society still value the trait once considered necessary in a democratic republic? And what about on a personal level?
According to Google, the word VIRTUE has gone dramatically down in usage over the past few centuries. I wonder what that means (if anything at all).
LINK to Ngram: VIRTUE WORD USAGE DOWN OVER TIME (When you enter phrases into the Google Books Ngram Viewer, it displays a graph showing how those phrases have occurred in a corpus of books –e.g., “British English”, “English Fiction”, “French”– over the selected years.)
Adrienne Morris is author of the novel The House on Tenafly Road (selected as an Editors' Choice Book by The Historical Novel Society and a Notable Indie Book of the Year) and The Tenafly Road Series, the continuing historical saga of the Weldon and Crenshaw families of Gilded Age Englewood, New Jersey.
Adrienne lives on a small Upstate New York farm with her human and animal family.
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