Trope of the Week: Philanthropic Savior

Paige is back with more Tropes of the Week. Enjoy!

break the system

Seeing how oppressed and overworked the poor impoverished are, Philip Moneybags, now aware of this horrible tragedy, throws money at the poor. They are now happy and love Mr. Moneybags because he is their great savior.

Why this can be bad: When a story shows poor people being saved from their horrible states of life by a kind philanthropist, it takes away the agency of the poor and treats poverty and its effects like they can be fixed with sudden influxes of money. Not only is poverty a lot more complicated than “people don’t have money,” it’s not as easily fixed as giving the poor money. These feel-good stories of rich people making others’ lives better by giving them money also sets up the same kind of story as heroes saving princesses; the saved are incapable of saving themselves, and need someone outside of their group to save them…

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