Literary Examples of “But Both Sides!”

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Deepali Agarwal

Staff Writer

Deepali Agarwal has a Master’s in literary linguistics, which means that every person she’s ever known has, at some point, asked her to ‘edit a thing’ for them-- ‘just see if it reads okay?’ She doesn’t mind, because she believes that the world can be fixed one oxford comma at a time. Deepali lives in Delhi, the capital of India, where cows are sacred, but authors and poets exist and write brilliant things. She works as an editor with OUP India’s School ELT division, where she moves apostrophes, looks up pictures of cats, and talks about children’s books for eight hours. The rest of her day is spent reading, thinking about Parks and Recreation, and wondering if there exist jobs for English majors that pay more than peanuts. Twitter: @DeepaliAgarwal_

In the battle between real, actual Nazis and the people they are hellbent on destroying, one must not lose track of the truly important stuff. I mean…

Death Eaters were moments away from killing Dudley Dursley, but Harry prevented this from happening by casting an illegal Patronus charm, so who’s really at fault here? Are we supposed to let Harry go scot-free? Dementors weren’t as evil as they’re made out to be, and just because the Death Eaters were loyal supporters of Voldemort does not mean they were part of his fascist propaganda. Some of them were nice people, okay? One of them was even friends with a Muggle.


Yes, Sauron was determined to destroy all of Middle-Earth, but Frodo and Sam were trespassing and destroying property, so faults on both sides.

Yes, Ursula was cruel and terrible, but Ariel was a hoarder, so faults on both sides. The evil stepmother wanted to kill Snow White, but didn’t she know better than to live with seven dwarves she didn’t even know?


The Party may have tortured Winston Smith, but he said mean things about Big Brother in a secret journal. *sad face*

Ares wanted to destroy the universe, but Diana went against her mother’s wishes to save the planet, so who’s really to blame? Wonder Woman broke some rules along the way, and you know it. She even destroyed public property:


Malakeith enslaved the light elf queen, but Thor was committing identity theft, so how was he supposed to know?

Sure, Arawn Death-Lord was using the black cauldron to create an army of unstoppable undead, but Taran couldn’t even keep track of a pig (you had one job!).

Humbert Humbert may have abducted twelve-year-old Dolores for fulfillment of his sexual desires, but Dolores was a girl, so think carefully.

Okay, yeah, Franco and his army did orchestrate a coup against the elected government of Spain, but Robert Jordan and his pals didn’t have a permit to destroy that bridge.

Faults. On. Both. Sides.

The mayor of Jersey City sent Kamala’s brother to an Inhuman internment camp, but did you know that she punched a supremacist, and he was human too?

The Warden may have used brutal physical child labor for her own gain, but Stanley Yelnats had a no-good-dirty-rotten pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather.

Jadis might have kept Narnia in eternal winter for 100 years and killed Aslan, but the Pevensies stole some fur coats. That is also a crime.

Remember, what’s important is that Lex Luthor had a permit and Superman lied about his identity, so who’s to say who the real villain was. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯