Skip to the article, or search this site

Home: The Toast

jeeves1Previously: The moral alignment of Bob’s Burgers.

Lawful Good: A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. He combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. He tells the truth, keeps his word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go unpunished.

While strict in their prosecution of law and order, characters of lawful good alignment follow these precepts to improve the common weal. Certain freedoms must, of course, be sacrificed in order to bring order; but truth is of highest value, and life and beauty of great importance. The benefits of this society are to be brought to all. Creatures of lawful good alignment view the cosmos with varying degrees of lawfulness or desire for good. The are convinced that order and law are absolutely necessary to assure good, and that good is best defined as whatever brings the most benefit to the greater number of decent, thinking creatures and the least woe to the rest.

Wodehouse’s Lawful Goods: Pongo Twistleton, Jeeves

Representative Quotes: “Jeeves lugged my purple socks out of the drawer as if he were a vegetarian fishing a caterpillar out of his salad.”

“‘Oh?’ I said. ‘I see. And now, I suppose, as the result of this dashed psychology of yours, Aunt Dahlia is so sore with me that it will be years before I can dare to show my face here again—years, Jeeves, during which, night after night, Anatole will be cooking those dinners of his——’

‘No, sir. It was to prevent any such contingency that I suggested that you should bicycle to Kingham Manor. When I informed the ladies and gentlemen that I had found the key, and it was borne in upon them that you were having that long ride for nothing, their animosity vanished immediately, to be replaced by cordial amusement. There was much laughter.’

‘There was, eh?’

‘Yes, sir. I fear you may possibly have to submit to a certain amount of good-natured chaff, but nothing more. All, if I may say so, is forgiven, sir.’

‘Oh?’

‘Yes, sir.’

I mused awhile.

‘You certainly seem to have fixed things.’

‘Yes, sir.”

‘Tuppy and Angela are once more betrothed. Also Gussie and the Bassett; Uncle Tom appears to have coughed up that money for Milady’s Boudoir. And Anatole is staying on.’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘I suppose you might say that all’s well that ends well.’

‘Very apt, sir.’

I mused again.

‘All the same, your methods are a bit rough, Jeeves.’

‘One cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs, sir.'”


jeeves2Neutral Good: A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them.

Creatures of neutral good alignment believe that there must be some regulation in combination with freedoms if the best is to be brought to the world–the most beneficial conditions for living things in general and intelligent creatures in particular. Creatures of this alignments see the cosmos as a place where law and chaos are merely tools to use in bringing life, happiness, and prosperity to all deserving creatures. Order is not good unless it brings this to all; neither is randomness and total freedom desirable if it does not bring such good.

Wodehouse’s Neutral Goods: Bertie Wooster, The Earl of Emsworth, Galahad Threepwood

Representative Quotes: “’It can’t be done, old thing. Sorry, but it’s out of the question. I couldn’t go through all that again.’

‘Not for me?’

‘Not for a dozen more like you.’

‘I never thought,” said Bingo sorrowfully, ‘to hear those words from Bertie Wooster!’

‘Well, you’ve heard them now,’ I said. ‘Paste them in your hat.’

‘Bertie, we were at school together.’

‘It wasn’t my fault.’

‘We’ve been pals for fifteen years.’

‘I know. It’s going to take me the rest of my life to live it down.’

He looked at me like Lillian Gish coming out of a swoon.

‘Is this Bertie Wooster talking?’ he said, pained

‘Yes, it jolly well is!’

‘Bertie, old man,’ said Bingo, patting me gently here and there, ‘reflect! We were at school – ‘

‘Oh, all right!’”

“The exquisite code of politeness of the Woosters prevented me clipping her one on the ear-hole, but I would have given a shilling to be able to do it. There seemed to me something deliberately fat-headed in the way she persisted in missing the gist.”


bingoChaotic Good: A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he’s kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society.

These characters are basically good, but tend to be selfish and maybe a bit greedy. They tend to hold personal freedom and welfare above anything else. The chaotic good dislikes confining laws, self-discipline, and they distrust authority.

Wodehouse’s Chaotic Goods: Eve Halliday, Bingo Little, Frederick Twistleton (Earl of Ickenham), The Oldest Member

Representative Quotes: “Betting!” he gargled. “Betting! You don’t mean that they’re betting on this holy, sacred – Oh, I say, dash it all! Haven’t people any sense of decency and reverence? Is nothing safe from their beastly, sordid graspingness? I wonder,” said young Bingo thoughtfully, “if there’s a chance of my getting any of that seven-to-one money? Seven to one! What a price! Who’s offering it, do you know? Oh, well, I suppose it wouldn’t do. No, I suppose it wouldn’t be quite the thing.”

“Love (says the Oldest Member) is an emotion which your true golfer should always treat with suspicion. Do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that love is a bad thing, only that it is an unknown quantity. I have known cases where marriage improved a man’s game, and other cases where it seemed to put him right off his stroke. There seems to be no fixed rule. But what I do say is that a golfer should be cautious. He should not be led away by the first pretty face.”

“Bertie, old man,” said young Bingo earnestly, “for the last two weeks I’ve been comforting the sick to such an extent that, if I had a brother and you brought him to me on a sick-bed at this moment, by Jove, old man, I’d heave a brick at him.”


madeline1Lawful Neutral: A lawful neutral character acts as law, tradition, or a personal code directs her. Order and organization are paramount to her. She may believe in personal order and live by a code or standard, or she may believe in order for all and favor a strong, organized government.

Wodehouse’s Lawful Neutrals: Anatole, Angus McAllister, Roderick Glossop, Madeline Bassett

Representative Quotes: “But the devil of it was that Angus McAllister would have a fit if they picked flowers. Across the threshold of this Eden the ginger whiskers of Angus McAllister lay like a flaming sword. As a general rule, the procedure for getting flowers out of Angus McAllister was as follows. You waited till he was in one of his rare moods of complaisance, then you led the conversation gently round to the subject of interior decoration, and then, choosing your moment, you asked if he could possibly spare a few to be put in vases. The last thing you thought of doing was to charge in and start helping yourself.”


True Neutral: A neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. She doesn’t feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most neutral characters exhibit a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil-after all, she would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, she’s not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way.

Some neutral characters, on the other hand, commit themselves philosophically to neutrality. They see good, evil, law, and chaos as prejudices and dangerous extremes. They advocate the middle way of neutrality as the best, most balanced road in the long run.

Wodehouse’s Lawful Goods: Freddie Threepwood, Stiffy Byng, Tuppy Glossop, Gussie Fink-Nottle

Representative Quotes: “More and more, it was beginning to be borne in upon me what a particularly difficult chap Gussie was to help. He seemed to so marked an extent to lack snap and finish. With infinite toil, you manoeuvred him into a position where all he had to do was charge ahead, and he didn’t charge ahead, but went off sideways, missing the objective completely.”


psmith1Chaotic Neutral: A chaotic neutral character follows his whims. He is an individualist first and last. He values his own liberty but doesn’t strive to protect others’ freedom. He avoids authority, resents restrictions, and challenges traditions. A chaotic neutral character does not intentionally disrupt organizations as part of a campaign of anarchy. To do so, he would have to be motivated either by good (and a desire to liberate others) or evil (and a desire to make those different from himself suffer). A chaotic neutral character may be unpredictable, but his behavior is not totally random. He is not as likely to jump off a bridge as to cross it.

Chaotic neutral characters like to indulge in everything. This is the insurgent, the con-man, gambler, and high roller; the uncommitted freebooter seeking nothing more than self-gratification. This type of character will at least consider doing anything if they can find enjoyment or amusement. Life has meaning, but theirs has the greatest meaning.

Wodehouse’s Chaotic Neutrals: Aunt Dahlia, Claude and Eustace, Psmith, Roberta Wickham, George Cyril Wellbeloved, Boko Fittleworth

Representative Quotes: “Aunt Dahlia, describing this young blister as a one-girl beauty chorus, had called her shots perfectly correctly. Her outer crust was indeed of a nature to cause those beholding it to rock back on their heels with a startled whistle But while equipped with eyes like twin stars, hair ruddier than the cherry, oomph, espièglerie and all the fixings, B. Wickham had also the disposition and general outlook on life of a ticking bomb In her society you always had the uneasy feeling that something was likely to go off at any moment with a pop. You never knew what she was going to do next or into what murky depths of soup she would carelessly plunge you.

‘Miss Wickham, sir,’ Jeeves had once said to me warningly at the time when the fever was at its height, ‘lacks seriousness She is volatile and frivolous. I would always hesitate to recommend as a life partner a young lady with quite such a vivid shade of red hair.'”

LEAVE IT TO PSMITH!
Psmith Will Help You
Psmith Is Ready For Anything
DO YOU WANT
Someone To Manage Your Affairs?
Someone To Handle Your Business?
Someone To Take The Dog For A Run?
Someone To Assasinate Your Aunt?
PSMITH WILL DO IT
CRIME NOT OBJECTED TO
Whatever Job You Have To Offer
(Provided It Has Nothing To Do With Fish)
LEAVE IT TO PSMITH
Address Applications To ‘R. Psmith, Box 365’
LEAVE IT TO PSMITH


honoria1Lawful Evil: A lawful evil villain methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his code of conduct without regard for whom it hurts. He cares about tradition, loyalty, and order but not about freedom, dignity, or life. He plays by the rules but without mercy or compassion. He is comfortable in a hierarchy and would like to rule, but is willing to serve. He condemns others not according to their actions but according to race, religion, homeland, or social rank. He is loath to break laws or promises.

This reluctance comes partly from his nature and partly because he depends on order to protect himself from those who oppose him on moral grounds. Some lawful evil villains have particular taboos, such as not killing in cold blood (but having underlings do it) or not letting children come to harm (if it can be helped). They imagine that these compunctions put them above unprincipled villains.

Wodehouse’s Lawful Evils: The Efficient Baxter, Honoria Glossop, Watkyn Bassett, Roderick Spode, G. D’Arcy “Stilton” Cheesewright, Florence Craye, Julia Ukridge, Laura Pyke

Representative Quotes: “The root of the trouble was that she was one of those intellectual girls, steeped to the gills in serious purpose, who are unable to see a male soul without wanting to get behind it and shove.”

“’Roderick Spode is the founder of the Saviours of Britain, a fascist organisation better know as the Black Shorts…’
‘When you say ‘shorts’ mean ‘shirts’, of course.’
‘No. By the time Spode formed his association, there were no shirts left. He and his adherents wear black shorts.’
‘Footer bags, you mean?’
‘Yes.’
‘How perfectly foul.’”

“Laura Pyke,” said young Bingo with intense bitterness, “is a food crank, curse her. She says we all eat too much and eat it too quickly and, anyway, ought not to be eating it at all but living on parsnips and similar muck.”


auntsNeutral Evil: A neutral evil villain does whatever she can get away with. She is out for herself, pure and simple. She sheds no tears for those she kills, whether for profit, sport, or convenience. She has no love of order and holds no illusion that following laws, traditions, or codes would make her any better or more noble. On the other hand, she doesn’t have the restless nature or love of conflict that a chaotic evil villain has.

Some neutral evil villains hold up evil as an ideal, committing evil for its own sake. Most often, such villains are devoted to evil deities or secret societies.

Wodehouse’s Neutral Evils: Aunt Agatha, Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe, Gwladys Pendlebury, Rupert Steggles, Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge, Teddy Weeks

Representative Quotes:  “My Aunt Agatha, the one who chews broken bottles and kills rats with her teeth.”

“Aunt Agatha, who eats broken bottles and wears barbed wire next to the skin.”

“Aunt Agatha, the one who kills rats with her teeth and devours her young.”

“My Aunt Agatha who eats broken bottles and is strongly suspected of turning into a werewolf at the time of the full moon.”

“There’s no getting away from the fact that, if ever a man required watching, it’s Steggles. Machiavelli could have taken his correspondence course.”


Chaotic Evil: A chaotic evil character does whatever his greed, hatred, and lust for destruction drive him to do. He is hot-tempered, vicious, arbitrarily violent, and unpredictable. If he is simply out for whatever he can get, he is ruthless and brutal. If he is committed to the spread of evil and chaos, he is even worse. Thankfully, his plans are haphazard, and any groups he joins or forms are poorly organized. Typically, chaotic evil people can be made to work together only by force, and their leader lasts only as long as he can thwart attempts to topple or assassinate him.

Chaotic evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents the destruction not only of beauty and life but also of the order on which beauty and life depend.

Wodehouse’s Chaotic Evils: The swan

Representative Quotes: “I bent over the edge and peered into the abyss.

‘Look out for the swan, Jeeves.’

‘I have the bird under close observation, sir.’

The swan had been uncoiling a further supply of neck in our direction, but now he whipped round. The sound of a voice speaking in his rear seemed to affect him powerfully. He subjected Jeeves to a short, keen scrutiny; and then, taking in some breath for hissing purposes, gave a sort of jump and charged ahead.

‘Look out, Jeeves!’

‘Very good, sir.’

Well, I could have told the swan it was no use. As swans go, he may have been well up in the ranks of the intelligentsia, but when it came to pitting his  brains against Jeeves, he was simply wasting his time. He might just as well have gone home at once.

Every young man starting life should know how to cope with an angry swan, so I will briefly relate the proper procedure. You begin by picking up the raincoat which somebody has dropped; and then, judging the distance to a nicety, you simply shove the raincoat over the bird’s head; and, taking the boat-hook which you have prudently brought with you, you insert it under the swan and heave. That was Jeeves’s method, and I cannot see how it could be improved upon.”

[Definitions via Easydamus]

Add a comment

Skip to the top of the page, search this site, or read the article again