Ah, Pure Good Heroes, it is good to be back! So... it's been eight months since I've my last attempted PG Removal, and 4 since my last proposal period, but since then, I've used all that time to reconsider my strategy for how I'm going to deal with this thing. And then I found a minor character from the Prince of Egypt who somehow got approved for Pure Good, despite the movie's high bar and the competition she had. In case the title didn't give it away, it's Yocheved.
Who Is She/What Has She Done?
Yocheved (or Jocheved in the Bible) is the mother of Miriam, Aaron and Moses. She lived in Egypt, where the Israel descendants were being oppressed and/or slaughtered. Pharaoh Seti had decreed that all their baby boys were to be thrown into the Nile, as he was worried that they might become too powerful, and one would overthrow him. When Moses, her youngest child, was born, Yochebed hid him for three months until she could hide him no longer., with her other children Miriam and Aaron close behind being protected by her. To save her Moses' life, she placed her child in a waterproof basket, sang a lullaby to him praying for his safety and released him in the flow of River Nile. The basket is discoved by Seti's wife Queen Tuya who was compassionate enough to adopt the child who'd grow up to become a prince. Miriam would pray that the Moses would free the slaves. This version of the character died during the time skip between Moses growing up and never meets him again as he discovers his true heritage.
Why Doesn't She Quality?
I can definitely see why somebody would see Yocheved as Pure Good as she's shown to be nothing a caring mother and is never shown to have any kinds of negative qualities. But another key rule of being a Pure Good is that you need to stand out among the competition and be the most moral, noble and innocent character in your work. Take another look at the original write up. See how bare bones it is compared to mine? KGBSpetsnaz left out a LOT of key factors about the character, maybe this was okay back when the PG write-ups were new, but it won't fly today. I'll explain more in the "Admirable Standard" section, Yocheved doesn't really do all that much to warrant the Pure Good badge. She's shown to be more of a plot device than an actual character as she's responsible for Moses being able survive the first for ten minutes of the film and being a prince... and later a great leader. She wished for three simple things: the first that God delivered a Shepherd to them so that they could free all the slaves and lead them to the promised land, the second is that her child Moses was able to live free, and the third, and the one she had the least hopes in, that her family one day could be reunited, anyone who knows the story knows well that despite living a miserable life and having to let go of her youngest child she gets none of her wishes. She never active works to make any of those goals a reality, and this version doesn't even get the biblical benefit of being able to reunite with her adult son, because... death. Plus, the movie already has two Pure Goods approved who get far more screentime than her -- both of which happen to be her own children, Miriam and (of course) Moses himself. Now let's take a moment to look into what they've done and why they're viewed as Pure Good...
As I previously stated, Moses is the titular protagonist of the animated epic. And the fact that Moses was able to make it to the Pure Good writeup at all is an accomplishment on its own. He's one of those Pure Goods who starts off as a flawed individual with various corruptible factors, but slowly goes through Character Development to learn his proper place and earn his heroism.
- While Moses was without a doubt a hero to the Hebrew slaves in the Bible, his biggest flaw was his unstoppable rage and lack of remorse after losing his temper. Examples include smashing a slave-driver's head in with a rock when he saw him beating an old man, and then burying the body out of fear of discovery rather than guilt. In this movie, it's clear that while Moses was trying to stop the beating, pushing the slave-driver from a great height was an accident, and was immediately consumed with guilt over it. In the Bible, Moses is also not shown to feel any remorse for the suffering inflicted on the Egyptians during the plagues, whereas in this movie Moses is tormented by the suffering (and deaths) of innocents.
- ... but again. While Moses does have some more heroism than he did in the Bible, he was also a royal brat who was (initially) callous and uncaring towards the Hebrews.
- Although after banishing himself and returning as an all powerful god, he repeatedly warns Rameses to let the Hebrews go because he doesn't want to see the innocent suffer. And when his nephew (Rameses' son) dies as a result of ignoring Moses's warning, the latter leaves his brother to mourn. And when he does, he immediately weeps over the loss of his nephew and other innocent first-born sons.
- Despite being chosen by God, he often tries not to abuse his power, and he hates that he's not only is he forced to be the instrument of destruction, pain, and death on God's behalf, but he must now fight against the man who was once his adoptive brother.
She's the older sister of both Moses and Aaron. As a child, she watched her youngest brother be sent away from the Hebrews and then adopted by the royal family. Since then she never lost hope that he would return and deliver her, Aaron, and their people from slavery. She is the representation of the hope for the Hebrews.
- She's shown to have several cases of "Big Sister Instinct" toward her younger brother Moses (and sometimes Aaron). First, when a young Miriam follows baby Moses' basket down the Nile until it safely lands at the palace, and then later on when she steps in to save Moses from a potential No-Holds-Barred Beatdown by a mob of pissed off slaves led by Aaron. And she spends a lot of time providing Moses with emotional and moral support as well. She even played a conscience role as she reveals his identity to him, in order to put him on the path toward delivering the Hebrews out of slavery. And when Moses breaks down, unsure of himself, Miriam provides emotional support, but also keeps him focused on his mission and reassures him he's doing the right thing.
- She attempted to save an elderly Hebrew slave from beating beaten by an Egyptian overseer.
- She continued to remain caring to her little brother Moses even through his was very difficult to tolerate difficult times.
- She encouraged everyone to continue to have faith in god. This is especially notable as unlike Moses -- who at least had the privilege of living the royal life with the pharaoh -- she and Aaron were stuck as slaves who had to fight for their survival, and yet she still managed to remain optimistic.
Yeah... when you really stop to think about it, Yocheved's actions mainly add up to... saving a baby from the dangerous plague and allowing him grow up into royalty. Her son's the one who became God (unwillingly) and fought to free the slaves and bring order, and her daughter's the source of optimism and hope for the Hebrews -- and by extension, her own family. Let me know if there's anything I've missed onto the proposal and I'll see you next time.