Trope Tuesday is a meme/tag/series created by yours truly. On Tuesdays, the goal is to discuss one trope that you dislike, love, are indifferent to, hate, currently annoyed by, think is problematic, want to kill with fire, or throw out the moon door (a la Petyr Baelish). You can learn more about Trope Tuesday here.
Generation Xerox is my first selection for Trope Tuesday.
As the name suggests, Generation Xerox has to do with similarities between generations. For example, in “lighter” versions of Generation Xerox a child would share some key physical characteristics like eye or hair color with their parent, and maybe a couple of personality traits. In other cases, the child will be a dead ringer for their parent, and share all their personality traits. Usually, in this case, the child has to overcome the one obstacle that was the downfall of their parent.
I have been championing Generation Xerox for ages. Having characters that have the same exact traits as their parents might seem boring, but I really enjoy it when it is done well. One of my favorite companion tropes to Generation Xerox is ‘the new generation fixing the mistakes of the old’. It goes along perfectly with Generation Xerox, and it creates such a fulfilling feeling that after all that time, someone could finally get it right.
One of my favorite examples of Generation Xerox in Literature is in A Song Of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin. If you aren’t familiar with the series or its abominable television adaptation on HBO, Game of Thrones, it takes place in a fantasy world in which there are Great Houses that control politics in Westeros. The families of these Great Houses show tons of examples of Generation Xerox. In House Stark, there is Lyanna Stark from the older generation, and Arya Stark from the new generation. Throughout the series, characters make statements comparing how similar Arya is to her aunt Lyanna. They share physical characteristics like grey eyes and dark hair, along with sharing the same tomboyish attitude. In other houses, there are different connections, but still the same theme of the old generation and the new generation sharing the same physical appearance, key personality traits, and/or imagery (like Gendry wielding a hammer as a blacksmith while his father, Robert Baratheon, wielded a war hammer in battle).
My verdict: I will forever love Generation Xerox.
What do you think of Generation Xerox? Winner, or totally terrible?