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Chidi Anagonye.jpg

For my first Pure Good Proposal: I am going to do the proposal on Chidi Anagonye from The Good Place. I'd like to point out that Chidi does not start out pure good, but but does develop as a character throughout the entire show and eventually becomes pure good. Also, the who is he/what has he done is going to be long. I'm not sure if everyone is going to be okay with that but it's what I am doing at the moment.

What's The Work

The Good Place is a fantasy comedy TV show that starts out as a sitcom about Eleanor Shellstrop, a con pharmaceutical salesperson who was placed in the Good Place (heaven) by mistake and has to learn from Chidi Anagonye how to be a good person in order to not get caught. Following the big reveal that the four humans (Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani Al-Jamil, and Jason Mendoza) were actually placed in the Bad Place (hell), it turns into dystopian dramedy about four humans trying to escape damnation.

The show delves into themes of ethics and morality, with its most common theme being about humans' ability to improve and the complications of life that make it hard to improve. By the end of the show, the humans win. They get saved and go to the Good Place, mostly because they literally changed the afterlife system to make it so it does not doom people to damnation. Instead, when person becomes deceased, they are put through a test of character that resets every time they fail, but with the person having vague memory of what happened. Once they pass the test, they go to the Good Place.

Who is He/What Has He Done

Chidi Anagonye was professor of moral philosophy and ethics at St. John's University before his death. He had a crippling indecisiveness that made everyone around him miserable, despite his well-meaning intentions. This would get him killed as he is on the sidewalk trying to decide what bar to go to while his friend, Uzo, calls him out on his indecisiveness when and air conditioner crushes Chidi.

In the Good Place, he is placed with Eleanor Shellstrop by Michael as soulmates. Eleanor is supposedly a death row lawyer, however when Michael leaves, she reveals this to not be true. Eleanor was actually a selfish jerk who sold fake medicine to the sick and the elderly. Following a party hosted by Tahani Al-Jamil, a chaos sequence occurs with various objects representing Eleanor's actions during the party. This makes her realize that she is going to be caught sooner or later and is forced to have Chidi teach her to become a good person so she can slip under the radar. Chidi is reluctant to do this, but does it anyway. He goes through a moral dilemma because of Eleanor's mistake of being in the Good Place.

At one point, Jianyu Li, a silent Buddhist monk, reveals his true self to Eleanor. He is Jason Mendoza, a petty thief and failed DJ. She reveals this Chidi, who fears that Jason will expose Eleanor's true self. At the grand opening of a restaurant, Eleanor crushes a cake to open up a pit in order to prevent Jason from exposing his true identity. Eleanor convinces Jason to join Chidi's ethics class. Afterwards, Chidi admits that Eleanor has become a full-time job, though later admits that the true reason he is miserable is that he had never had a true love interest before. Feeling remorse, Eleanor puts Chidi in his idea of paradise.

Because of the chaos sequences, Michael decides to retire, which would involve eternal torture. Eleanor decides to kill Janet, an all-knowing A.I. that is the only one that can take Michael to his retirement. However, Chidi ends up doing it while trying to prevent Jason from doing it. Michael says that he will stay until the true killer of Janet is found. The remorse Eleanor has results in her admitting she doesn't belong in the Good Place.

Once Michael looks at file, he agrees and is about to send her to the Bad Place when Chidi stops and convinces him to let Eleanor stay. However, the Bad Place demons reveal that this Eleanor switched with a "real" Eleanor Shellstrop who they have brought here. The stress and chaos d that ensues about who should stay and who should be damned, made more worse when Jason's true identity is exposed, makes Eleanor realize that they are in the Bad Place and are being tortured.

Michael resets the neighborhood 800 times, but each time Eleanor always realizes that they are in the Bad Place. Michael is threatened with a strike headed by Vicky, who played the "real" Eleanor Shellstrop the first time. He is forced to ally with the humans by having them feign ignorance of the truth of their position in the afterlife in order to trick Vicky and later, his boss Shawn.

During this time, Michael is put through Chidi's ethics lessons. He initially doesn't engage with them. In order to get him to engage, Chidi reminds him of retirement, which causes to go into an existential crisis and then a mid-life crisis. He is consoled out of his crisis by Eleanor. Later, during a lesson of the trolley problem, Michael puts Chidi through real-life enactments of the trolley problem. Upon realizing he is being tortured, Chidi expels Michael. Michael genuinely apologizes to Chidi, which leads to Chidi letting him back to the lessons.

Shawn is successfully tricked into thinking Michael's experiment works, but the humans have escaped following their "reveal" that they are in the Bad Place. After he leaves, Michael helps the humans go into the Good Place. They go through the Bad Place and into the Neutral Zone to meet Judge Gen. She puts them through a character test based off their personality and flaws. Eleanor is the only that the succeeds, meaning the humans will have to go to the Bad Place. Michael then convinces Gen to let him stop the humans' deaths to push them into improvement.

After Chidi's near-death experience, he consults Simone Garnett, a neurologist, and becomes more decisive. However, his decisiveness would lead to his friend, Henry, being injured from a gym. This negates Chidi's improvement. Michael, disguised as a libraian, convinces Chidi to help the next person who comes up to him. This turns out to be Eleanor herself, who went through a similar experience, but in relation to being jerk instead of being indecisive.

Chidi, Simone, and Eleanor start a joint-study thesis about the effects of near-death experiences and their effects on humans. It would later involved Tahani and Jason, and Chidi would start dating Simone. Trevor threatens to split apart the group by convincing Chidi that engaging with the humans would interfere with the results, which saddens Eleanor, making her absent the next day. Chidi then denies Trevor's concern and convinces Eleanor to come back.

The joint-study thesis would go on for a year until Chidi decides to split it apart to look for more members. Eleanor has a breakdown and wrecks the farewell party. She is consoled by Simone and Chidi decides that they could meet together annually. Then they discover Michael and Janet opening a portal. Michael is forced to explain the afterlife and the humans' past experiences, thus dooming them to damnation. Chidi has mental breakdown and tells his students to become nihilists. Eleanor then brings the humans, Michael, and Janet together and convinces them to help other people go to the Good Place.

Chidi breaks up from Simone so she wouldn't figure out how the afterlife works. The humans are discovered by the demons and are attacked, forcing Janet to place them in her void, ending their life on Earth. While Michael and Janet are going to Accounting to find someone who made it to the Good Place, the humans are forced to be stay while in the bodies of Janets. Eleanor confronts Chidi about their past romantic relationship in one of the reboots. Chidi denies having any feelings towards Eleanor, which leads to her having an identity crisis. Chidi lists off who Eleanor is before kissing her, restoring their bodies and ejecting them into Accounting.

Michael reveals that no one has gone to the Good Place in 521 years and that he believes that the Bad Place is tampering with the afterlife system. They go through a pneumatic tube into the Good Place offices. They pose as Neutral Zone accountants so the Good Place committee can let them in. While Michael voices his concerns to the committee, Eleanor and Chidi go on a date which culminates into them having sex in the closet. Eventually, Michael realizes that the real reason the afterlife system is dooming humanity is because unintended consequences has become more common-place on Earth and the afterlife system is taking them into account.

They meet up with Gen and voice their concerns. When Gen realizes that they may be right, Chidi recommends putting four humans through an experiment similar to the one Michael did on the humans before to see if they improve. Gen allows this experiment to go through, but Shawn and the Bad Place would be picking the four human subjects. After it is revealed that the first subject was a gossip columnist who terrorized Tahani through his column, the humans realize that the subjects picked are meant to be the worst for them.

The second subject turns out to be Simone. When this is reported to Gen, she allows them to erase her memories of Chidi. However, Chidi is unable to teach her how to be good because he will always remember her as his ex-girlfriend, which could threaten the experiment. Chidi is forced to have his memories of Simone be erased, which would mean his memories of his life after his death and the afterlife would have to be removed. Chidi becomes a subject of the experiment after it is revealed one of the subjects was a demon in disguise.

Eleanor pairs Chidi and Simone together to convince her that she isn't experiencing a hallucination. Chidi is too relaxed to teach ethics, so Eleanor terrorizes Chidi to the point that he believes that he is being punished by the universe, starting with assigning him the task of teaching Jason ethics and keeping his identity secret. When he voices these concerns to Eleanor, she breaks down and starts crying, realizing that she has gone too far. Chidi decides to alleviate his angst by teaching Jason.

During the experiment, Brent Norwalk, a selfish chauvinist, writes a horrible mystery novel and holds book-signing convention on it. When he is confronted, Brent throws a tantrum, resulting in Chidi punching him. A year later, Simone reveals to the subjects that she believes that they are under an experiment. They reveal their secrets to each other. Brent falls down a pit in the town center. Chidi decides to help him, even though the rest of the subjects have given up on Brent.

Chidi falls down the same pit in the process and he and Brent are rescued by Eleanor and Michael. They ask them where Simone and John are. Brent insults them and Chidi says they tried to be his friend, but couldn't because of his personality. Chidi reveals that he believes that they are in the Bad Place. Michael and Eleanor "admit" this to be true and tell them that they are going to the "real" Bad Place in a last-ditch effort to improve Brent. Chidi calls him a bad person, leading to Brent to apologize to Chidi as the experiment ends.

Gen rules that the afterlife system doesn't work and in response, decides to reboot Earth. Michael gives Chidi all his memories back in order for him to help devise a new afterlife system. Chidi becomes at peace with the possibility of questions having no answer or many answers. He devises the new system and proposes it to Gen and Shawn. They eventually accept it and the humans are admitted into the Good Place. When it is revealed that the inhabitants have become bored of eternal paradise, a door is set up that ends a human's existence when they walk through. but only when they are ready. Eons later, Chidi is ready to walk through it, but stays for Eleanor. After Eleanor lets him go, he walks through the door to end his existence.

Corrupting Factors

Chidi's worst traits at the beginning of the show was his indecisiveness and his doubtfulness of human improvement. Because of the amount of reboots in this show, Chidi's progression in his character improvement is reset many times. However, the last time he is rebooted, he gets all his memories and what he has learned all back.

From this point on, he has no indecisiveness and is genuinely nice to everyone. Though he is initially doubtful about whether his relationship with Eleanor will work in the Good Place, he is convinced by Jason to stay with Eleanor. He has no corrupting qualities from then on. When he is ready to end his existence, he stays with Eleanor for a bit, who would be saddened by Chidi's end. He goes through the door when Eleanor lets him go.

Admirable Standard

He has done many actions that make him stand out. In season 1, he agreed to teach Eleanor ethics and not have her get caught by the Good Place. When she does get exposed, Chidi defends her in front of Michael and convinces him to let her stay. In season 2, he agrees to teach Michael ethics and ended up helping reforming him. In season 3, he broke up from Simone so she wouldn't figure out the afterlife system and be doomed to damnation. He also proposed the experiment to Gen and Shawn and when it turned out that Simone would be a subject, had his memories removed to not doom the experiment.

In season 4, he saved the human race from damnation. Granted, his friends helped and Michael was the one spearheading the effort, but Chidi nonetheless was a major and vital role in this heroic action. He devised the new afterlife system to replace the old one that was dooming humans to damnation, and proposed it to Gen and Shawn, which they would ultimately accept. This action is not standard heroism. It is an action most heroes could only dream of doing and yet, he did it along with his friends.

Final Verdict

In conclusion, considering Chidi's complete reformation and truly heroic actions, it becomes clear that he does meet the criteria and is indeed Pure Good.